The Downtown Park as it looked when it was acquired in 2013. As you see it was pretty much a grassy field peppered with beautiful oak trees and wildflowers.
While the road toward a more refined version of the park since 2013 has been slow and fraught with a variety of speed bumps, there has nonetheless been very significant progress as evidenced by the above photo taken at the end of October 2020. It shows the extension of the West County Trail system through the park.
The trail now ends at the trailhead established at the Northwest edge of the park abutting Front Street in Downtown Forestville.
One of the bumps in the road to that progress resulted in a complete rework of the original park development design, worked out in 2014. That bump was the declaration of wetlands in the park. If you’ve been on the trail in October/November 2020, you will have likely been confronted with this scene. The construction here is the last piece of the trail – a section of a elevated walkway that raises the trail over the wetlands in that section of the park and beyond, and which is scheduled to be completed in December 2020.
In addition to the trail extension, FPA procured and installed – with gracious volunteer assistance from Doug Wood – two new picnic tables on either side of the trail, one of which is shown above. These tables were crafted for the downtown park at the Forestville Probation Camp.
There is much more to the new design, which is now in the process of County approval. More of the details can be seen at this display board in the park. The concept is simpler than the first design, and includes an elongated gathering space which connects to the trail and includes a stage and natural amphitheater setting. The design, shown at the bottom of the page, also features a paved parking lot, sidewalk along the highway, and a restroom facility.
This is a community park, managed by a very small staff of volunteer FPA Board members, with a very small budget. The FPA and all of its volunteers are so very delighted to have been able to bring this place of peace and tranquility to Forestville. Hopefully you have attended the Farmer’s Market, which was brought to us in 2020 through the herculean efforts of Mary Rand, who overcame so many hurdles in the middle of the pandemic and orchestrated a much-needed community gathering spot this summer.
The park is there for all of us to enjoy; please help us keep it safe and clean for everyone.
The new design, when approved, is still contingent on FPA’s ability to raise funds from throughout the community. At some point in the process, all those who value this park and Forestville will be asked to pitch in. In the meantime, use the trail, the picnic tables and just enjoying the oak-filtered sunshine.
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