Public invited to shape future of new north county Russian River Parkway
Input sought on river access, parking, other amenities
Published: May 14, 2021
Santa Rosa, CA – May 14, 2021 – Sonoma County Regional Parks is requesting community input on its proposed plan to create a Russian River access park near Cloverdale. The Russian River Parkway’s draft master plan will guide the development and management of the future 19-acre north county river park. Regional Parks invites the public to review the project presentation at russianriverpkwy.com and provide comments through June 30, 2021.
"The future of a vibrant Russian River is one that belongs to the people of Sonoma County," said Supervisor James Gore, whose 4th District encompasses the north county and Cloverdale. "If you are excited about the idea of greater access to the river, please let us know your thoughts about this project and how we can best improve and protect an area that has so much potential to benefit our community.”
The proposed parkway is comprised of three individual parking lots and river access points, located along an approximately 1.75-mile stretch of Geysers Road, just south of the Mendocino County line. Although only recently under the management of Regional Parks, the area has long been known as an informal swimming spot during the summer months. However, due to the lack of public amenities, such as trails, signs, restrooms or trash facilities, this use has impacted the environment and community. With cars parked along narrow shoulders and pullouts, traffic hazards are high and car break-ins are common.
The Russian River Parkway project aims to provide safe, welcoming and environmentally friendly access for fishing, picnicking, paddling, and other water activities, while addressing the environmental and public health concerns exacerbated by years of unregulated use. All three river access points include safety and parking improvements, miles of new access trails, restrooms, trash and recycling bins, navigational and educational signs, and amenities like picnic tables, benches and scenic viewing areas. Additionally, natural resource management will address erosion and drainage issues, water quality enhancements, and native habitat restoration concerns.
Funding for the planning, development and construction of the $1.2-million parkway comes from a grant made possible through State Proposition 68, county park mitigation fees, and revenue from the Measure M parks sales tax approved by Sonoma County voters in 2018. In July 2020, Sonoma County Regional Parks secured the necessary fee title to the property underlying a 2-mile section of Geysers Road, thereby allowing the project to move forward.
All three river access areas will ultimately be linked by a separated, multi-use path, paralleling the existing west shoulder of Geysers Road. Construction on this phase of the project will begin as additional funding becomes available.
This 45-day initial public input period kicks off a multi-step process of environmental and site suitability analysis, and community and neighbor outreach. A final draft master plan will be presented to the Board of Supervisors in fall 2021, with construction to begin in spring 2022, and an anticipated opening by fall 2022.
To learn more about Russian River Parkway project, visit russianriverpkwy.com. There you can access a presentation and interactive map, read related project documents and submit comments. Comments can also be mailed to Sonoma County Regional Parks, Attn: Mundo Murguia, Park Planner, 2300 County Center Dr. Suite #120A, Santa Rosa CA, 95403.
About Sonoma County Regional Parks: Sonoma County Regional Parks manages nearly 60 parks, beaches and trails throughout Sonoma County. Regional Parks is committed to preserving irreplaceable natural and cultural resources and offering opportunities for recreation and education that enhance the quality of life and well-being of county residents and visitors.