Regional Parks Foundation
What is the Parks Foundation?
The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation is a nonprofit that raises money, builds partnerships and advocates for projects benefitting the parks. The Foundation is supported by individuals, groups and businesses committed to preserving and expanding Sonoma County's park system.
Join the Parks Photo Contest!
The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation is sponsoring a parks photography contest from now until June 30. Contest judges are seeking images highlighting the many pleasurable activities individuals, families, dogs and horses enjoy in the parks. All photographs must be taken in one of the regional parks.
The contest has five categories: a teen and children’s category for photographers 17 and under; wildlife; pets and horses in the parks; family fun in parks; and outdoor recreation. Entries cost $25 for adults and $10 for teens and children, with discounts for three or more entries.
Grand prize is a package consisting of a weekend at the historic Petaluma Coop Guest House, a backpack and $25 gift certificate donated by Sonoma Outfitters, and a one-year membership to Sonoma County Regional Parks! The luxurious coop is a delightfully remodeled 1930s chicken coop, furnished with a hot tub, featherbed and original art and set among the wildflowers.
Runners-up will enjoy prizes such as Camelbak hydration backpacks, Lowepro camera bags, a gift certificate to the Bay View Restaurant or the Tides Wharf Restaurant (both at the Inn at the Tides in Bodega), and more.
The deadline for photo submissions is June 30. Participants will join the Foundation's Flickr group, www.flickr.com/groups/sonomaparks, and add their photos to the contest page. For complete details and instructions about how to enter, please download the entry form (184 kB) and contest rules (203 kB).
The Parks Foundation thanks Shutterbug Camera Shops and the Sonoma County Gazette for their sponsorship of this contest
Contributing to the Regional Parks Foundation is simple:
- Donate online
- Donate by phone with your Visa or MasterCard by calling the Foundation at (707) 565-2041.
- Donate by mail, sending checks to:
Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation
2300 County Center Drive, Suite 120A
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
What Do Foundation Contributions Pay For?
Donations to the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation provide direct support to the parks and their programs. You can designate contributions for unrestricted use and they will be applied to the most pressing needs or you can direct your contributions to the following fundraising priorities.
Environmental Discovery Center
The Environmental Discovery Center at Spring Lake Regional Park provides science education to thousands of school children each year and offers free family activities on weekends. Your donation will support class field trips to the Environmental Discovery Center as well as other parks. Ongoing contributions to this fund are greatly needed.
Ongoing renovations to the historic Watson School near Bodega mean the building is now structurally sound, but several important improvements are needed before restoration is complete. Donations may be designated for a specific improvement or for the benefit of Watson School in general.
Tree Planting and Habitat Restoration
The Foundation purchases trees for many park planting projects and helps pay for activities like creek and trail restoration and nonnative plant removal. Contributors to this fund receive a certificate acknowledging their donation.
For a donation of $1,200, the Foundation can fund a new park bench with a standard plaque. This is a wonderful way to honor the memory of a loved one or recognize a special person or event.
You also can dedicate a new picnic table to the memory of a loved one or recognize a special person or event. For a donation of $1,300, the Foundation can provide a new picnic table with a standard plaque.
Board of Directors
The Parks Foundation is governed by a 15-member, all-volunteer board of directors. Ten directors are appointed by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, and five are appointed by the Foundation's board of directors.
- Ramona Turner, President
- Carol Orme, Vice President
- Ginger Kelly, Treasurer
- Barbara Cooper, Secretary
- Steve Barbose
- Lee Bartolotta
- Thomas Culligan
- Mary Jo Delos
- Jeff Edmonds
- Liz Ellis
- Jocelyn Lin
- Kristin Thigpen
- Michelle Whitman
- Gary Wilkening
- William Trowbridge – ex officio
Want to Get Involved?
The Foundation encourages individuals interested in joining the board or one of its committees to contact Executive Director Melissa Kelley at (707) 565-2041 or Melissa.Kelley@sonoma-county.org. Current committee openings exist for people with experience in banking, finance, event planning, fundraising and marketing.
Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation
Backpacking and Bubbly: Gloria Ferrer – Tolay Lake Regional Park
Sunday, May 5, 2013, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Parks and Recreation Advisory Commissioner Karen Collins has organized a spectacular outing this spring to raise funds for the parks. Participants will gather at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, 23555 Carneros Highway, where they will be picked up by bus and transported to the trailhead at Tolay Lake Regional Park. With Tony and Nancy Donnell Lilly and Regional Parks rangers as their guides, they will hike across Tolay Park, over the ridge and onto the historic El Novillero Ranch, for on a knoll with 360 degree views of the Carneros. After lunch, the hike continues to Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards for sparkling wine and light hors d’oeurves.
Approximately one-third of the route will be over well-defined trails in the park. The remaining portion will cross onto the ranch that has been in Nancy Donnell Lilly’s family almost 75 years. Formerly owned by the likes of General Vallejo and Senator James Fair, it was acquired by Nancy’s father, Dewey Donnell, in 1940. The ranch is accessible by invitation only; this is a one-time only event! Tickets are $150 per person and proceeds benefit the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. To register, email Pam McBride at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (707) 565-1355.
Wine Country Escape to Bella Vineyards and Oliver Ranch
Friday, May 17, 2013, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The Regional Parks Foundation invites you to participate in an unforgettable Wine Country afternoon. Proceeds from this event will benefit our spectacular Sonoma County Regional Parks. The afternoon will begin at Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves, where you will enjoy a seasonally inspired three-course luncheon and wine pairing from Michelin-starred Chef Bruce Frieseke. Selecting the freshest local and organic ingredients, accompanied by Bella’s award-winning zinfandel and syrah wines, Chef Bruce will create a world-class meal for your dining pleasure. From Bella Vineyards, you will travel to the incomparable Oliver Ranch. Nestled in picturesque Alexander Valley, this 100-acre property features site-specific installations by renowned artists such as Andy Goldsworthy, Ann Hamilton, Bruce Nauman, Martin Puryear and Richard Serra. The owner of Oliver Ranch, Steve Oliver, will personally guide you on an exclusive tour of the property. Reservations are limited; tickets are $210 for members of Sonoma County Regional Parks or $250 for non-members. Please email Pam McBride for reservations or more details at email@example.com, or call (707) 565-1355.
Saturday, June 8, 2013 from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Foothill Regional Park
Give your well-behaved dog an opportunity to go for a swim and enjoy off-leash play at “Pond A” in Foothill Regional Park. Cost is $5 per dog and proceeds benefit the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation. Parking is free for Regional Parks members or $7 for non-members. Please note: This event is at Foothill Regional Park and not the Spring Lake swimming lagoon, where the Water Bark usually takes place. The Water Bark will return to Spring Lake in fall 2013.
PastaPalooza at Taylor Mountain
Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve
Last year's successful PastaPalooza moves to a new venue as the Pasta King and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly once again generously donate dinner and drinks for this fundraising event, and the band Cahoots returns to provide the music. Come learn about and explore our newest regional park. More details coming soon.