$1.7 Million Grant Expected for Taylor Mountain Trails
January 8, 2016
Grant Will Pay for 8 Miles of New Trails at the Santa Rosa Park and Preserve
Sonoma County Regional
Parks anticipates receiving a $1.7 million grant to build 8 miles of trails at Taylor
Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve in Santa Rosa. The trail
expansion will offer the first public access to the northeast section of the
1,100-acre park and will be one of Sonoma County’s single-largest trail
Regional Parks learned in
December that its application for the Federal Highway Administration’s
Recreational Trails Program will be recommended for funding in late 2016. Trail construction could begin in early 2017 and
continue through 2018.
“This recommendation is a
significant achievement,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Caryl
Hart. “The funding is crucial to fulfilling the community’s vision for a larger
trail network at Taylor Mountain, and we’re pleased our state and federal
partners recognize the potential.”
suggested in the park’s master plan, the multi-use trails will be built as
stacked loops that lead visitors through oak woodlands, across ridges with
sweeping views of Santa Rosa and Bennett Valley, over the headwaters of Colgan
and Cooper creeks, and past the site of a historic hot springs resort.
Trailheads on Kawana
Terrace, Linwood Avenue and Panorama Drive will make it easier for southeast
Santa Rosa residents to walk or bike to the park.
funding will create a tremendous health resource for our community,” said
Supervisor Shirlee Zane, whose 3rd District includes much of the
park. “Last summer, we added a Petaluma Hill Road entrance that improves access
for residents of Rohnert Park and the south county. Now, we can build
trails and neighborhood connections that make Taylor Mountain even more
“Taylor Mountain is a
wonderful example of how we can provide opportunities to play and learn in
protected landscapes,” said Supervisor Susan Gorin, whose 1st
District takes in northern and eastern sections of the park. “Most of Taylor
Mountain will be open to the public when these trails are built, yet the land will remain an important agricultural
resource and urban buffer.”
The grant award is
contingent upon Congress reauthorizing funding for the Recreational Trails
Program later this year. Once that occurs, California State Parks intends to
administer the $1.7 million grant to Regional Parks sometime after Oct. 1. Regional Parks must contribute
$316,000 in matching funds. The match will include $80,000 from the Sonoma
County Regional Parks Foundation, $25,000 in maintenance funds, $20,000 in
mitigation fees, $7,000 from the Sonoma County Trails Council, and $184,000
worth of volunteer labor, donated materials and in-kind equipment and services.
1,400 feet, Taylor Mountain is a Santa Rosa landmark. The properties comprising
the park and preserve were purchased by the Sonoma County Agricultural
Preservation & Open Space District and deeded to Sonoma
County Regional Parks. The park opened in 2013 with an entrance off of Kawana Springs Road and 4 miles of trails.
A second entrance and trailhead on Petaluma Hill Road opened in June 2015,
extending the trail network by 2 miles. A disc golf course built and managed by
a nonprofit organization opened in 2014.
Immediate plans for the park include the construction of more picnic areas, a
restroom, and a play area. Planning is ongoing for the nature-focused play
area, with a design workshop scheduled for Feb. 3 and construction tentatively
scheduled for summer 2016. Longer-range plans include
walk-in campsites, an education and visitor center, and additional trailheads
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