News from Regional Parks
Sonoma Valley Regional Park is open
By Bert Whitaker, Director, Sonoma County Regional Parks
More than a month has passed since the wildfires, and as we all move toward recovery, we want to update you on park conditions and our efforts to stabilize and reopen burned parks.
Nearly 2,600 acres of regional parkland were impacted by the Tubbs and Nuns fires. Six regional parks experienced fire at some level, and the most affected were Hood Mountain, Shiloh Ranch and Sonoma Valley. Nearly all of Shiloh and about 60 percent of Hood Mountain burned, and those parks remain closed. Sonoma Valley is now open.
Thanks to help from Cal Fire and California Conservation Corps crews, we are making good progress stabilizing the fire-impacted parks for winter. We [were] able to open Sonoma Valley Regional Park [on Thanksgiving Day] and we are evaluating Shiloh Ranch for opening before Christmas. We expect the Pythian entrance of Hood Mountain to remain closed through the winter, but we will also be looking into a partial park re-opening from the Los Alamos entrance to the un-burned areas at Hood Mountain in the next month.
Our work is focused on infrastructure damage and safety hazards because we know the landscapes will heal themselves. Our recent blog post, “Seeds & Squirrels: Nature’s Approach to Fire Recovery,” explains how trees and shrubs will re-sprout over time, seeds will germinate, and wildlife will return. It is already happening!
We appreciate the outpouring of interest and support for the burned parks. We’ve received many inquires from volunteers, and when the parks are safe for entry, we’ll host workdays and welcome all helping hands. We’ve also received financial donations to the Regional Parks Foundation’s Response and Recovery Fund. Thank you. Your generosity is crucial to our fire-renovation projects.
We’re happy to have resumed our regularly scheduled fall outings, and we’re ready to lead a full calendar of winter activities as well.
Like our community, we know our parks will heal with time, and we look forward to sharing updates about what we see and learn during their recovery. We hope that we all will find an opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty that continues to surround us.
[This was originally a Sonoma County Regional Parks’ member email.]