Why didn’t the Parks Department purchase that land for the trailhead for the West County Trail?
It has resources available for the completion of the Trail and the development of a trailhead but not for the outright purchased of the property. It has pledged $300,000 for the trail completion and $75,000 for its maintenance.
What’s in it for me?
Pride in knowing you helped create a lasting legacy for the town for those to come (your children and grandchildren perhaps?). There will be a sign erected with your name as a founder for certain levels of donations (see the Financial page.)
What about the liability of a community park?
Because the land will be dedicated to public/recreational use, there is very little liability exposure to the nonprofit owner (FPA).
Who will maintain the land?
There would be no immediate need for maintenance different than what the County Parks will provide with the trailhead aside from volunteer efforts to remove the blackberry bushes. Volunteer efforts to improve and maintain the property are valued into the matching grant and count towards its purchase.
At this juncture, high weed mowing and trash removal seem to be the primary maintenance tasks. Improvements such as grading or adding gravel to the parking lot come under the in-kind donations, which are being counted towards the matching grant over 5 years.
Is there money and/or labor for maintenance of the land?
Besides money set aside for maintenance, the FPA also has these very generous contributions:
- $50,000 in-kind contribution by Corks and Russian River Vineyards: “monthly gardening and landscaping services by the garden and vineyard crews for 5 years — planting, weeding, mulching, and general grounds maintenance.”
- $50,000 in-kind contribution by Fine Tree Care over 5 years for tree health and maintenance.
- $30,000 in-kind contribution by Sonoma County Gazette for Graton Labor Day Center maintenance work on property for 5 years.
- Several smaller in-kind contributions by individuals towards ongoing maintenance work.
Is there money and/or in-kind donations for design and plans for the land?
The Park design and plans continue to benefit monetarily from an agreement that our local quarries – Bodean and Canyon Rock – and the County made to mitigate their impact on and make enhancements to the Forestville community. We also receive occasional generous donations from community-minded citizens. Some of these funds are targeted specifically for Park planning and design as we move toward developing the property into a more structured leisure and gathering space.
And, we have been very fortunate to receive many in-kind donations from a variety of sources, including generous area businesses and citizens who have donated many hours of expertise, services, and labor. These in-kind donations were instrumental in allowing us to purchase, and now maintain, the land. One very large portion of those in-kind donations – the extension of the West County Trail by Sonoma County Regional Parks — is now in the final stages of completion.
We will continue to need and seek additional monetary and in-kind donations to realize the several aspects of our park design, including such projects as: a defined gathering space; sidewalk; parking lot; landscaping; restroom facilities; and ensuring ADA compliance.
How will the park design and plan process work?
The Open Space District requires that the FPA create a plan within 6 months of acquiring the property. This will be done through Town Meetings and other forms of community input.
FPA also already has the design for the Town Square (planned by Orrin Thiessen with advice by the FPA Downtown Planning Committee) which holds many elements endorsed by Town Meetings (e.g. trails, benches, tables, raised platform/gazebo for music, etc.).
The Open Space District will allow us to build 3000 sq. ft. of structures on the land. Such structures can be used for commercial purposes related to the recreational purpose of the open space, e.g. bike shop, smoothie/coffee/sandwich concession.
FPA has several thousand dollars of in-kind donations for construction and painting work.
Why are you asking individuals and businesses to support this idea?
Forging a partnership with Open Space and the bank by having committed Forestville and West County support is the only viable way to move this project forward. Both cash and in-kind donations are needed.
Where should I send my check, make a pledge or offer my services?
You can donate here: Park Donate Form.
How do I find out more?
Please feel free to attend one of FPA’s monthly board meetings which are the 1st Tuesday of the month, 5:30 – 7:30 PM. They are held at Food For Thought at 6550 Railroad Ave., Forestville (Railroad Ave. parallels Front St. in downtown). Or, you can contact us: Contact.