Providing places for people to hike, bike and enjoy nature contributes to a healthy community. Recent studies have shown that having access to open space and parks reduces health costs – including mental health costs, and expenses related to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The opportunity to be outside is especially important for children and young people; research shows an increase in educational attainment, mental and physical health in children who regularly spend time outdoors.
Since 1990, the District has protected nearly 20,000 acres of publicly accessible open space — adding significant acreage to Sonoma County’s network of City, Regional and State Parks. In addition, the District has actively partnered with cities, other public agencies, and non-profits through its Matching Grants Program to enhance open space in and around Sonoma County cities and towns.
Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve
Forming the backdrop to Santa Rosa, Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve offers limitless opportunities for public recreation on the urban edge. Its 5.5 miles of multi-use trails provide an outstanding playground for hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders alike, allowing them to take in spectacular vistas in every direction. Disc golf enthusiasts can also enjoy the park’s 18-hole course. Situated right on the edge of Santa Rosa, the park is easy to access for residents in the adjacent neighborhoods, as well as over 200,000 residents in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park.
Taylor Mountain is also just up the hill from Kawana Elementary School, where over 90% of the students receive free or reduced-price meals. The school’s close proximity to the park means that young children who may otherwise not have access to parks and open space can easily visit this natural gem right in their backyard. Further, Sonoma County Regional Parks offers education programs to local students, which not only connect the students to the natural world, but also offers a way for them to get exercise during the school day.
Clover Springs Park & Open Space Preserve
Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve
Montini Open Space Preserve
North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve
Sonoma Coast State Park
Tolay Lake Regional Park