October 2022 NEWSLETTER
Tell us what you want at the new
Mark West Creek Regional Park and Preserve
Your input is needed to shape the future of Mark West Creek Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, northeast of Santa Rosa. We're creating a master plan to guide the long-term development of this parkland (which is not yet open to the public) and we want to hear from you! Would you prefer gentle trails or strenuous trails? All multi-use trails or some trails for hikers only? Picnic sites? Backcountry camping? Share your preferences and feedback by taking a brief survey at MarkWestCreekParkandPreserve.org.
First-of-its-kind partnership inked to
co-manage Tolay Lake Regional Park
The County of Sonoma and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria have entered into a 20-year agreement to co-manage Tolay Lake Regional Park, southeast of Petaluma. The 3,400-acre parkland is within the Tribe’s ancestral territory and holds significant cultural history. The partnership is believed to be the first of its kind in California between a local government and a federally recognized tribe. 

The agreement creates a formal framework to jointly develop policies and procedures related to access and use of park resources, cultural resource stewardship, traditional ecological knowledge, operations and administration, and interpretation, education, and community engagement.
New trails coming to Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve
Sonoma County’s largest trail construction project in over a decade is underway at Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve in southeast Santa Rosa. When completed next year, hikers, cyclists and equestrians will have access to 8 miles of new trails across a section of the park that has not yet opened to the public. The project will double Taylor Mountain's existing trail network and provide the first regular access to the north and east sides of the 1,100-acre park.
Parks fosters climate-adaptive design,
greatly expands fuels management since 2017
This month marks five years since the Tubbs and Nuns fires fundamentally reframed how Regional Parks approaches its day-to-day business. More than ever before, we are managing our more than 16,000 acres of parkland with an emphasis on climate-adaptive infrastructure and trails, increased grazing and vegetation management including prescribed burns and have redoubled efforts to address the root of climate change by identifying and reducing the department’s greenhouse gas emissions. In this look back at the 2017 firestorms, learn more about the steps we've taken toward climate adaptation and resilience.
Public boat launch opens in Guerneville
Boaters, anglers and other Russian River recreation enthusiasts can now begin or end their adventures at the first public boat launch and portage near downtown Guerneville. The new launch at Guerneville River Park is designed for canoes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards and other non-motorized watercraft and is part of the county's efforts to improve river access and recreation opportunities.
Have you ever heard a mountain lion caterwaul?

A new female mountain lion is showing up on our wildlife cameras in Mark West Creek Regional Park and Preserve (not yet open to the public).
The sounds she makes – called “caterwauling” – are an attempt to attract a male. As she walks away, notice the scrape she makes with her back feet, depositing a scent as a way of leaving a message for other lions in the area. 
The last clip in the video shows the much-larger territorial male in the area stopping through the same spot. They have been traveling within days of each other over the past several months. Only time will tell if the female's calls have paid off.
Apply to be a Parks Youth Commissioner
The Sonoma County Regional Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission is seeking a new volunteer Youth Commissioner and we encourage you to apply!

Are you interested in outdoor recreation, natural resources and park management?
Do you actively use parks and open spaces?
Do you have a willingness to learn, ask questions and provide your perspective on parks?
Can you represent a youth perspective in parks meetings about issues including climate change, and to promote equity, diversity and inclusion?
Are you between the ages of 16-24 and live in Sonoma County?

This Commission advises the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and the Regional Parks Director, in promoting, aiding and encouraging public recreation, including the development of recreation, park and open space facilities.

Apply by Oct. 23 for this volunteer opportunity to serve the community in a key youth advisory role. Submit your application here.
October outings

Adults Play, Too! Happy Hour

Rediscover the joy of playing – which has been proven to reduce stress and improve brain function! On Oct. 14, end your work week at Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol with an adults-only evening of outdoor games and activities. More info.

Parks After Dark: Star Stroll

Explore the changes and sensations that darkness brings to Laguna de Santa Rosa on Oct. 25. Watch the sun set and walk the park during this special evening excursion, view the vast expanse of stars and discover celestial constellations, learn about nocturnal animals, and more. Sign up here.

Senior Saunters

Enjoy leisurely walks with friendly, older adults on the first Tuesday of each month. On Nov. 1, join us at Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol and saunter along its beautiful, accessible trails. All abilities welcome. No registration required.
You can be a Park Pal!

Show your love for your regional parks by becoming a "Park Pal" through the nonprofit Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. A sort of VIP club for park fans, Park Pals is a monthly donor program that directly supports Regional Parks projects like new trails, fire preparedness, parkland acquisitions, school field trips, water safety, summer camps, and youth career opportunities. Join now and the Parks Foundation will send you a limited-edition Park Pals hat as a thank you.
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Sonoma County Regional Parks
(707) 565-2041