Published: May 18, 2018
Sonoma County Regional Parks is preparing a master plan to develop a vision for Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach and invites the public to share feedback on potential improvements for the Russian River park.
A workshop from 6 PM to 8 PM June 7, 2018 at the park, 13839 Old Redwood Highway, is the first of several opportunities the public will have to help guide the park’s redevelopment and natural resource management. The public also can share ideas through this
New features could include a dedicated launch for kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards, and easier portage around the beach’s summer dam. Other possibilities include a wheelchair-accessible path to the lifeguarded swimming area, a “destination playground” and other family-oriented amenities, a renovated concession building, and expanded picnic areas in quieter areas of the park.
“We hope residents will help us create a vision for the park tailored to the community’s needs,” said Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chair James Gore, whose 4th District includes the park. “This beach has been a popular gathering spot for more than a century. A master plan will let us set a course for the coming decades and better support a healthy community and healthy watershed.”
Unlike other regional parks, Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach was acquired before the creation of the county’s general plan and the California Environmental Quality Act, and thus, never received its own master plan or environmental review. With the exception of accessibility improvements and minor upgrades, most of the original park facilities - constructed decades ago - are still in place.
Although the 11.5-acre park is owned and managed by the county, it is within the city of Healdsburg, which is an important partner and stakeholder in the master planning project. With support from the city, Regional Parks installs a summer dam on the river just below the beach to create a seasonal swimming area. It is the only public beach on the Russian River with lifeguard services.
The master planning process is being funded by the city of Healdsburg, park mitigation fees, and transient occupancy tax revenue awarded by the Board of Supervisors. Any new features included in the final master plan would be built when additional funding becomes available.
For more information, email Planner Mark Cleveland at