Taylor Mountain Natural Play Area

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Project Overview

The Natural Play Area project was originally envisioned in the Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve Master Plan, completed June 2012.  Sonoma County Regional Parks is planning to build a Natural Play Area at the western base of Taylor Mountain in the area of the Petaluma Hill Road entrance to Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve.  The project site is situated adjacent to the trailhead and will use landform, features constructed of natural materials, and vegetation to create a diverse and exciting landscape for children to explore and engage in physical activity while fostering a connection to the natural world.

Conceptually, the sloping site will be organized into terraces with an accessible pathway providing access to various play and learning elements situated on each level, and along the sloped areas in between.  Narrower, winding trails and passageways will offer a diversity of ways for kids of all ages to move through the site with opportunities along the way for exploration and observation, physical challenges, and interpretation of the natural environment of Taylor Mountain.  Additional project features may include interactive elements, in addition to other amenities such as shelter, shade, and sitting areas with views of the more expansive park landscape.  Picnic tables will be installed nearby to facilitate picnicking and accommodate families visiting the area.

The link below provides additional information about the project and some representative imagery from other Natural Play Area projects to get a sense of the design intent.

Project Cost and Funding Sources

The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation is partnering with Sonoma County Regional Parks to create this play area.  Regional Parks estimates that the Natural Play Area will cost about $90,000 to design and build. Additional features may be added to the play area in the future as funding allows.

The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation is actively raising funds to support the construction of this play area. Funding has been contributed by the Finley Foundation, Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Bread for the Journey and generous individual donors. Additional funding has been provided by the State of California through Proposition 84.

Background and Next Steps

Regional Parks planners had the opportunity to collaborate with Sonoma Academy, a local high school adjacent to Taylor Mountain. Sonoma Academy hosts a free one-week summer camp for students from Taylor Mountain Elementary School and Kawana Academy of Arts and Sciences. Park Planner Scott Wilkinson met with 5thgraders and began to envision the features that will populate the future Natural Play Area.

Regional Parks planning division will host two community meetings to invite additional input from interested area residents. The first meeting will take place on Feb. 3, 2016 to explore preliminary concepts. A second meeting will follow to review and comment on the preferred plan. Following these community meetings, park planners will finalize the play area design. Construction is anticipated to begin summer 2016.

Anticipated Overall Project Timeline:

February 3, 2016 Community Workshop #1
Explore preliminary concepts
March  –
May 2016
Design Development, Engineering and Bidding
Summer –
Fall 2016

Other Opportunities to become involved:

If you are interested in donating to the Natural Play Area or helping to raise funds for the project, please contact Melissa Kelley, executive director of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation, by phone at (707) 565-1830 or by email at melissa.kelley@sonoma-county.org.

For more information about the project, please contact Scott Wilkinson, Project Manager, by phone at (707) 565-2734 or by email at scott.wilkinson@sonoma-county.org.

Public meeting dates and other planning information will be shared on this website. To get the latest news, please sign up for “Planning Updates” in the upper right of this page.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Project Manager:

Scott Wilkinson
Call:  (707) 565-2734
Email:  Scott Wilkinson

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