Regional Parks Newsletter
January 2021
New year, new parkland on the Sonoma Coast!
Have you heard the news? We've officially acquired 335 coastal acres north of Salmon Creek for a future regional park and open space preserve.

Transferred to us by our partners at Sonoma Ag + Open Space, the historic ranchland along Highway 1, is known as Carrington Coast Ranch. The property is primarily open grassland with spectacular ocean views and also is home to several protected species.

The parkland will provide a critical segment of the 1,200-mile California Coastal Trail and link to public lands to the north and south. We will soon begin planning for the park's design and opening, and in the interim, we'll arrange opportunities for you to visit the site. Read more about this property and its potential – and see the article in The Press Democrat.
Regional Stay-Home Order extended
As Sonoma County remains under the state's regional Stay-Home Order, we've extended the closures of campgrounds and in-person group programs.Your parks, playgrounds and trails remain open for physically distanced recreation, which we know is essential for your well-being during this stressful time.

We are seeing record numbers of visitors during the pandemic, as documented by this recent news article, so we appreciate all you're doing to keep yourselves, other visitors and our staff safe.

  • Avoid crowded parks and beaches.
  • Stay 6 feet from visitors you don't live with.
  • Wear a mask when you can't keep your distance on trails, at playgrounds and in other park settings.
  • Do not gather in groups. Gatherings between members of different households are discouraged under the order.

The regional Stay-Home restrictions will remain in place until projections for the Bay Area’s ICU capacity improves..
Winter grazing returns: Tips for hiking, biking in parks with cattle
We graze cattle seasonally at Taylor MountainCrane Creek, and North Sonoma Mountain regional parks and preserves – and year-round at Tolay Lake Regional Park

Grazing in these parks has many benefits such as reducing wildfire risk and promoting native biodiversity. (Read more about why we graze your parklands.) 

We realize that sharing trails with cattle might be a bit intimidating at first, so we've compiled a few tips for feeling more comfortable when hiking or biking in grazing parks.
When will Hood Mountain Regional Park reopen?
We're continuing to repair Hood Mountain Regional Park and Preserve after last fall's Glass Fire, and we don't yet have a set timeline for reopening the park.
After putting erosion controls in place for winter, we're focused on clearing trails, removing hazardous trees, repairing access roads, and replacing signs, trail markers, retaining walls, steps and other infrastructure. With about 80 percent of the park's 2,000 acres burned, it's a big job, and winter weather and other variables can affect our progress. 
We'll keep you updated as we get closer to at least a partial reopening. Meanwhile, just as we saw after past wildfires, rain is spurring new growth in the park, and wildlife have returned, making daily (and nightly) cameos on our trail cameras (above).
Virtual field trips – New programs added
Did you know Regional Parks provides environmental education to elementary school students throughout Sonoma County?

Even though we can’t come together for in-person lessons at this time, students can still have fun learning about nature in our new virtual field trips, which we've expanded to include two favorites: "Only Rain Down the Drain" and "Climate Change Agents".

Just like our traditional field trips, our virtual programs encourage students to engage with their classmates, reinforce Next Generation Science Standards and connect families with outdoor spaces in their communities. Teachers and parents can learn more on our field trip page.
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