What & Why?
The Regional Parks Department is planning a regional park on stunning wildlands stretching from ridge to ridge along lower Dutch Bill Creek just south of the community of Monte Rio. Regional Parks acknowledges the Southern Pomo as the traditional inhabitants and caretakers of the land and value the knowledge of their surviving continuous culture in the community. The park will preserve and protect the open space and scenic value of the property, plant and animal habitat, while providing valuable recreation opportunities in the lower Russian River area. This project will protect inspiring vistas, natural resources, habitats, watersheds, and forests.
Regional Parks took title of 515 acres in October 2020, establishing wildlife habitat preservation and recreational opportunities like hiking, nature study, and picnicking. Future development will improve public access to protected lands in Sonoma County and expand open space recreation areas.
Work has begun to protect, preserve, and manage the property. Parks staff has initiated or completed work surveying, marking parkland boundaries and cleaning up extensive garbage and debris on the property. The team is developing and implementing strategies to secure and protect the property, its wildlife habitat and important natural resources.
A community engagement workshop is being planned. The meet and greet will provide the community an opportunity to get to know the Regional Parks team and the unique Monte Rio Redwoods Regional Park & Open Space Preserve property. The workshop will also provide time and opportunity for the community to ask questions and voice their interests and concerns.
Beyond cleanup and property security, Regional Parks will begin to make minor improvements to provide interim public access on existing trails, to parking areas, and will install informational, directional and regulatory signage. The interim access will be provided to acquaint the public with the property consonant with protecting intact resources and restoring any impacted natural resources on the property including: site cleanup; repair or replacement of existing facilities such as fencing, gates, benches and trails; minor fuel management, and habitat protection and restoration. Regional Parks looks forward to sharing this magnificent property with the public.
Regional Parks will also begin the Master Plan process by requesting, accepting and evaluating qualified consultants to provide support in development of the Master Plan and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) studies. They are the governing documents required to make significant improvements, manage resources, and develop new recreational park facilities. This process will include extensive community engagement in developing a vision for the property while considering opportunities and constraints.