Regional Parks Newsletter
September 2018
Spring Lake Water Bark. Photo by Julie Vader.
The Dog Days of Spring Lake are Here
Want to see pure joy? Bring your dog to the Spring Lake Water Bark, the annual off-leash party at the park's swimming lagoon, and watch him splash, fetch, chase new friends, and practically wag his tail offD ogs can swim and romp Sept. 8-9, Sept. 16, Sept. 22-23, and Sept. 29-30. Parks members get $2 off admission and free parking, and a Water Bark pass gets you easy entry on all seven days.  

Your Guide to Fall Fun
Our fall activities guide brings together dozens of free or low-cost adventures from September through November.  Some of this month's outings: yoga next to the waves at Pinnacle Gulch and Doran Beach, eco printmaking in the Laguna de Santa Rosa, a watershed walk at Shiloh Ranch, nature photography at Helen Putnam, a twilight viewing of the Vaux's swifts on the Russian River and family farm chores at Tolay Lake.  

Measure M: Potential Funding for Parks
Spring Lake Regional Park
For the first time, Sonoma County voters in November will have an opportunity to create a stable source of funding for both their regional and neighborhood parks.  The  expenditure plan for "Measure M" shows how the county and cities would share the 1/8-cent sales tax and how it would be dedicated to repairing parks, reducing wildfire risks, building new trails, better protecting wildlife and waterways, and making other investments in public safety and access. This fact sheet explains more about the need for the measure. 

What's it Take to Build a Good Trail? 
Volunteers carving trail at Taylor Mountain
A good trail is like a comfortable pair of shoes: It feels welcoming and pleasing under foot, and takes you confidently to a favorite destination and back. But making a good  trail takes a lot more than meets the eye. Our latest blog post looks at local trail history, trail successes, and the challenges we face in expanding and renovating our trails network.

The Benefits of Livestock Grazing in Parks  
Why Are Sheep at the Laguna Trail?

You might have been surprised this summer to see sheep munching the dry grasses along the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail or in Helen Putnam Regional Park. In this video and recent article, we explain how livestock can help us minimize wildfire hazards and promote native plant habitat. 

Join the Statewide Fight for Clean Beaches  
Debris gathered from the Russian River
Support the goal of trash-free seas by giving a few hours on Sept. 15 for California Coastal Clean Up Day, the state's largest annual volunteer event. Sonoma CoastWalk is organizing cleanups at Doran, Pinnacle Gulch, Birdwalk Coastal Access, Gualala Point, and other beaches. Russian Riverkeeper is leading cleanups at regional parks in Cloverdale and Forestville and other river beaches, and we're hosting  Sonoma Creek cleanups at Maxwell Farms and Larson parks.  

Junior Ranger Recruitment is Underway! 
Do you have a nature-loving kid in your life? A kid who'd like to hang out with our rangers and learn wilderness skills, like how to spot steelhead trout in a creek or how to create a first-aid splint from sticks? Sign them up for our new Junior Ranger sessions, and they can earn their own official Regional Parks badge!

Final Stretch of the Trails Challenge
Tag your pics #TrailsChallenge #SonomaCountyParks
This is the last month of the 2018 Trails Challenge, so be sure to finish your five hikes to get a Trails Challenge T-shirt while supplies last. If you're down for an epic hike, the Sugar-Hood Shuttle runs Sept. 8-9, so you can park your car at Hood Mountain's Los Alamos Road lot, ride the shuttle to Sugarloaf Ridge, and make the 8-mile one-way trek from park to park. Or, if want to park at Sugarloaf and get dropped at Hood, you can do that too.

Wildfire Anniversary: Community Healing Together 
Join us under the oaks at Shiloh Ranch
As we reach the one-year anniversary of the wildfires, we invite you to Shiloh Ranch Regional Park on Oct. 6 for an afternoon of artistic expression focused on community resiliency and connections. This all-ages event will feature musical performances, arts and crafts, mural painting, poetry, and guided hikes through the park's recovering landscape.

September Activities