Kenwood Press

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News: 02/15/2020

Funky Fridays funds go to local projects

Recently, the Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation approved $170,000 to fund a range of Regional Parks programs and improvements throughout Sonoma Valley.

The funds were raised in Sonoma Valley over the past four years through ticket and beverage sales at the Funky Fridays concert series, which has taken place weekly in the summer in front of Hood Mansion off Pythian Road

Parks Foundation Executive Director Melissa Kelley said, “We are thrilled to distribute these funds back into the community that has enthusiastically supported our efforts at Funky Fridays since 2016.”

The projects include $10,000 towards engineering for the Santa Rosa to Lawndale Road (Kenwood) section of the Sonoma Valley Trail, a proposed bike and pedestrian trail, a $40,000 jumpstart donation to execute the master plan for the revitalization of Maxwell Farms Regional Park at the border of Sonoma and the Springs, several projects at Hood Mountain Regional Park, and youth programs in Sonoma Valley.

Hood Mountain projects will receive $94,000, which includes seed funding for an acquisition to further enhance the Sonoma Valley wildlife corridor and support educational programs at the park, continued trail improvements, architectural plans for a trekking cabin on the “Lawson Addition,” bear-proof garbage bins, and a cultural and natural history research project by Glen Ellen-based historian Arthur Dawson.

Youth programs that the Foundation will fund include:

  • $11,000 for Sonoma Valley Youth Outdoors, affording underserved Sonoma Valley children the opportunity to participate in field trips and receive summer camp “camperships.”
  • $5,000 for a Youth Trail Maintenance Crew to carry out brush removal and erosion work on key trails at Hood Mountain that lack heavy equipment access.
  • $1,000 toward a pilot of an intensive educational program for tribal youth, focusing on the study of black bears and other local wildlife, including setting up wildlife cameras, learning mapping techniques, and conducting habitat assessments and field journaling.
The Funky Fridays concert series was founded by Linda Pavlak and Bill Myers of Kenwood. Due to health issues, Pavlak moved back to Ohio last October to be near family. Myers has expressed hope that the concert series continues this summer under a new name, whether with the Parks Foundation or another interested partner.

“The Foundation will make a final determination by May regarding our plans for a concert series in the summer of 2020,” said Kelley of the Parks Foundation.

There is some uncertainty, according to parks officials, due in part to the placement of an emergency homeless shelter on a parking lot which Funky Fridays has used for vehicle overflow in past seasons. The shelter is scheduled to be dismantled by April 30, and the residents moved to another housing location.

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