SANTA ROSA -- Redevelopment funds totaling $128,500 will finance the construction of 3,500 square feet of trails, educational facilities, and an interpretive center as well as provide native plant revegetation and landscaping and complete construction planning for adjacent properties in need of improvement.

On Tuesday, April 5, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to fund the final phase of improvements for The Riverkeeper Stewardship Park in Guerneville. The Riverkeeper Stewardship Park Project was launched to transform a physically and economically blighted property at the gateway to downtown Guerneville into a public riverside park featuring walking trails, interpretive facilities, and restored wildlife habitat.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Efren Carrillo, commented, “The property has been transformed from a major blight anyone could see as they drove past,  with mounds of garbage and refuse in plain sight, to an area asset.  These funds will help finish this public park with interpretive facilities to educate and entertain students, residents, and tourists about river history and ecology. Riverkeeper Park also offers an outdoor experience to complement the active recreational facilities at Johnson’s Beach and the Sonoma County Regional Park.  This park will be both an economic and environmental benefit for the entire community.”

Don McEnhill, program director for The Russian Riverkeeper, commented, “We are so excited to receive the final piece of funding. These new County redevelopment funds combined with $114,665 in previous redevelopment funding as well as $50,000 in Open Space funds will be leveraged with $281,804 in state Department of Resources grant funding and hundreds of volunteer hours.  We thank the Board for their active partnership in this project.  With this type of project and collaboration, everyone wins!”

Russian Riverkeeper has been working since 2005 to clean up and establish a public park on an approximately 5-acre parcel of river front property located between the Highway 116 and pedestrian bridges on the north side of the Russian River in Guerneville.  The partially developed Riverkeeper Stewardship Park is now open to the public and, when completed, will feature a walking trail with river access, a demonstration re-vegetation project with interpretive signage, and wheelchair access to a section of Park and River overlook.