It's never been easier to "check out" your parks, thanks to our new partnership with the Sonoma County Library. Now available at all library branches are Regional Parks Discovery Packs, backpacks donated by REI and filled with a parking pass, parks map, nature guides and games, trail notes, Junior Ranger guides, and other park info. All you need to check out the packs - and the parks - are your library card and sense of adventure.
It's that time of year when Sonoma County's natural beauty seems almost too pretty to be true. One of our favorite late winter-early spring destinations is Helen Putnam Regional Park just west of Petaluma. Hiking here in February and March is like stepping into a screensaver image of fluorescent green hills and endless blue-and-white skies.
If you haven't visited one of the parks that burned in October's wildfires, you may wonder what to expect when you do. The good news is you will find green grass on hills and meadows that were scorched black five months ago. You'll see early wildflowers and tender sprouts on tree limbs. But at the same time, you will be struck by the fire scars, some obvious and some less so
. Our latest blog post describes some of the impacts.
You can help us track Sonoma Valley Regional Park's recovery from the Nun's Fire by contributing to a crowd-sourced time-lapse photo project. Look for the smartphone stand on the Valley of the Moon Trail and follow the easy instructions (in English and Spanish) to take and share photos of a hillside that burned in the wildfire. Over time, we'll curate and share the images to show how the land heals.
A year-long study to determine the safest, most feasible option for a proposed Petaluma-Sebastopol trail recommends most of the route run along Highway 116 and Stony Point Road. Landscaping and other buffers would separate the trail from the road. Several segments could loop into the Laguna de Santa Rosa to connect to future recreational trails. The draft study is available on the project webpage, where public comments can be submitted by Feb. 23.