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Picnic area at the regional park gets an update

Park improvements; local angle on historic Supreme Court case; funds for Ukraine

By Ann Q. Peters

If you’ve been to the Sonoma Valley Regional Park lately you may have seen that the picnic area near the dog park is in decidedly better shape than it used to be. Instead of picnic tables perched on the uneven, grassy slope, there is a new path leading up to the three picnic areas, level pads for the tables and barbecues, and low rock retaining walls. The work was done by the Redwood Trails Alliance, the California Conservation Corps, and the Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood, which contributed $4,800 toward the $11,400 project. The Rotary Club would like to thank the Jack London Yacht Club for its $750 grant towards the club’s picnic area renovations.

On Sunday, March 20, eight Glen Ellen-Kenwood Rotarians, working under the supervision of Ken Wells from the Redwood Trails Alliance, along with the very capable Brice, finished the last pad, including hauling and spreading gravel, building the retaining wall, and filling the gaps between and under the stones with gravel to stabilize them. It was very satisfying work, and almost as soon as we were finished park-goers began using the tables.

Oak trees provide shade, and the views are spectacular this spring, so be sure to pack a picnic and check out the Sonoma Valley Regional Park.

Women in Rotary

The incoming president of Rotary International is Jennifer Jones, from the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada. It’s nice to see women in positions of leadership, but it’s a bit shocking to realize that Jones is the first female president of Rotary International. Maybe you know that Rotary started admitting women in 1987. And maybe you even know that it was the result of a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court (Board of Directors of Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte). But did you know that the lawyer who took the case and argued it all the way up to the Supreme Court lives right here in Glen Ellen? His name is Sanford Smith, and he’s a member of our club!

Sanford will be the keynote speaker at the Rotary District 5130 Convention in May, up in Fortuna (District 5130 is very large and goes from Sonoma to the Oregon border). As a warm-up, Sanford will be speaking about this historic case at the next meeting of the Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood on April 20 at the Kenwood Depot, and all are welcome. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and socializing, followed by club business at 6 p.m., and Sanford’s talk from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.. Cost to attend is $12. Please let us know you’ll be coming so we can have enough food and drink; email [email protected]

Ukrainian relief funds

In March, the club made a $10,000 donation to Rotary International’s Disaster Response Fund to help victims of the war in Ukraine. As of April 7, the fund had received more than $7.3 million in contributions. Funds will be used for Disaster Response Grants to provide relief to refugees and other victims of the crisis, including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine, and clothing. The fund has awarded 38 grants already, totaling $1,075,000. You can find out more by going to rotary-responds-ukraine-crisis.