Protecting Lands and Providing Open Space
The City of Healdsburg, the Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District, and LandPaths are partners in providing close-to-home open spaces for residents of Healdsburg and our neighbors and visitors. Through this partnership, Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve on the north side of the city opened in November 2008 providing just over 150 acres of natural lands for habitat and outdoor recreation. In late 2017 Fitch Mountain Park and Open Space Preserve will add another 170 acres of open space to the system.
Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District
In 1990, Sonoma County residents created the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District to permanently protect the greenbelts, scenic viewsheds, farms and ranches and natural areas of Sonoma County. Situated on the northern edge of the rapidly urbanizing Bay Area, and facing the loss of the natural and agricultural landscapes that define the county’s rural character, the visionary voters of Sonoma County recognized the need for proactive local funding for agricultural and open space protection.
Sonoma County voters approved Measures A and C to create the District and enable a quarter-cent sales tax to fund District operations until 2011. In 2006, with 76% of the vote, Sonoma County residents approved Measure F to extend the quarter-cent sales tax through 2031. As one of the first organizations in the country established to protect both agricultural and open space lands, the District has protected over 106,000 acres to benefit people and wildlife.
LandPaths' mission is to foster a love of the land in Sonoma County. LandPaths creates ways for people to experience the beauty, understand the value, and assist in healing the land in their local communities.
Experience the Beauty. LandPaths' public outings visit open spaces, farms and parks-in-development throughout Sonoma County that have been protected by your Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District. Diverse by design & offered at no charge or sliding scale donation, these outings create opportunities for all residents to enjoy the outdoors.
Understand the Value. LandPaths' In Our Own Backyard (IooBY) program works with 17 schools, including many schools serving low-income students- often those least likely to experience the outdoors. Students explore and learn about the land through 4 theme-based field trips- Discovery, Watershed, Wildlife Habitat, culminating in a Stewardship project.
Heal the Land. LandPaths' ongoing volunteer stewardship projects include: removing non-native plant species to improve natural wildlife habitat, repairing old logging and ranch roads to increase and improve steelhead spawning habitat, planting native plants, tending the community garden at Bayer Farm, and working with public agency partners to prepare newly protected properties for future public use.