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Possible Funding for Sonoma County Parks

Sonoma County Regional Parks Have Grown, But Funding Has Not Kept Pace

Over 50 years, Sonoma County's Regional Parks system has grown to over 11,000 acres and 150 miles of trails in 56 parks, open spaces and marinas. In the last 10 years, the park system has doubled from 5,648 acres to 11,071 acres. We now face critical shortfalls for maintenance, park openings, fire recovery and natural resource protections. We do not have a dedicated funding source to support all of Sonoma County’s parks.

One Option Under Consideration

Park staff are discussing with local leaders a one-eighth cent sales tax (0.125%) collected countywide over 10 years. This long-term investment would provide a stable source of funding, with significant opportunities to further leverage grants, private funding, and state bonds (Prop 68.)

Additional Sonoma County Regional Parks Funding Could:

  • Maintain parks, trails and open spaces
  • Help protect water quality
  • Protect wildlife habitat and fisheries
  • Improve access and increase attendance
  • Support local neighborhood parks and recreation
  • Reduce risk of future wildfires

Regional Parks and Open Spaces Help During and After Fires

During the devastating 2017 wildfires, we saw the 860-acre Shiloh Ranch Regional Park act as a buffer between the Tubbs Fire and the town of Windsor. The park's open space allowed crews to react and prevent the fire's spread. 

About 2,600 acres of Sonoma County parklands were impacted by the wildfires. Because some habitats are naturally adapted to wildfires,  we already see regrowth and flowering in areas that experienced low- to moderate-severity burns. Other areas were severely impacted by more intense fire or the firefighting itself, and it may take years for us to determine the full damage and recovery period. 

In the aftermath of the wildfires, residents are coming to parks for healing and restoration. 

Planning for the Future

We are committed to seeing parks play a vital role in the health, safety and economy of Sonoma County for decades to come. Residents love their parks. Now, as we recover, we know we can work together to improve the entire Sonoma County parks network for all to enjoy.

Take the Parks Survey

Tell us your priorities for Sonoma County parks and stay informed. Take the survey

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