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  • Tolay sunrise on east ridge

The History of Parks

The Board of Supervisors on Jan. 30, 1967 created what was then called the Sonoma County Parks and Recreation Department. The Department had just one park -  Doran Beach in Bodega Bay.

Our name was changed to Sonoma County Regional Parks in 1974 to differentiate us from city parks and recreation departments. 

Over the years, we've grown as we purchased land directly (e.g. Hood Mountain and Helen Putnam parks), accepted lands dedicated by individuals and developers (e.g. Gualala Point and Foothill parks), assumed smaller park districts in places like the Sonoma Valley (e.g. Kenwood Plaza and Larson Park), and managed lands owned by partners such as the Water Agency (e.g. Spring Lake and Riverfront parks.)

We've also grown due to the success of the voter-funded Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District, which acquired and transferred to us parks like Taylor Mountain, North Sonoma Mountain and Tolay Lake.

Regional Parks now includes more than 11,000 acres and hosts more than 5 million annual visitors at 56 parks, trails and beaches.

This expansion has occurred under Director Joe Rodota (1967-1990), Director Jim Angelo (1990-2004), Director Mary Burns (2004-2010) and Director Caryl Hart (2010-2017).

Celebrating 50 Years

Parks badge 50 years

Join us as we celebrate 50 years of parks with a year of special outings and events. 

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