Press Release: Ag + Open Space and the City of Cloverdale conserve 209-acre property and set stage for new park

September 25, 2023

Posted in: People & Places

SANTA ROSA, CA (September 25, 2023) – In partnership with the City of Cloverdale and the Lyda family, Ag + Open Space is proud to announce the permanent conservation of Soda Springs Ranch Open Space Preserve, a 209-acre property directly west of the City of Cloverdale. Soda Springs is another step in conserving our county’s invaluable natural resources, while also creating new opportunities for public recreation. Ag + Open Space purchased the ranch and then immediately transferred ownership to the City of Cloverdale upon closing. We continue to hold a conservation easement with a recreational covenant on the land in perpetuity, ensuring that it will be a natural and recreational resource for generations to come.

“This partnership represents a huge win for the public and our natural resources,” said Ag + Open Space Director James Gore. “It is a gamechanger for Cloverdale and the entire Sonoma County community. This property will complete a ridge to river nexus, connecting with City Park and River Park. We are all excited and inspired!”

Located within the Porterfield Creek watershed, portions of the North Branch of Porterfield Creek and other unnamed tributaries to Cloverdale Creek run across the ranch. Home to mountainous climbs, oak woodlands, grasslands, fir forest, and redwood groves, this land is rich in natural resources that help ensure local communities have access to fresh air and clean water. The ranch also serves as a wildlife corridor, providing open space for habitats and migration. Conserving lands directly around urban centers also helps keep our communities resilient in the case of flooding and wildfire, offering critical space to manage vegetation and stage emergency response efforts.

“The Sonoma County community has a long history of investing in land conservation,” said Misti Arias, General Manager of Ag + Open Space. “And you can see that through the Lyda family’s collaborative partnership in developing this new preserve. When we work towards this shared goal of conserving our natural and agricultural heritage, the benefits multiply.”

Visible from Highway 101, this undeveloped land was historically used for timber harvest, hunting, grazing, and personal recreation. Greg Lyda, the landowner integral in making this project a reality, has shared that his family has owned the ranch for four generations. Greg also shared that this deal is a way to honor his elders by making it available for Sonoma County residents and visitors to enjoy forever.

This ranch is just north of Porterfield Creek Trails Open Space Preserve, a park that was conserved and developed with our support. Ag + Open Space is happy to once again partner with the City of Cloverdale to conserve land that serves several local goals – protecting natural resources, creating new and dynamic spaces for residents to connect with nature, and preserving the scenic character of our county.

“We are excited and grateful to the Lyda family and Ag + Open Space to see this land conserved for Cloverdale residents, and everyone in Sonoma County,” says Cloverdale Mayor Todd Lands. “Open spaces are critical to the health of communities, as they offer us all so much – including space for all of us to get outside and experience the joy and solace of the natural world.”

About Sonoma County Ag + Open Space
Sonoma County Ag + Open Space permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. The agency is responsible for the perpetual protection of over 123,000 acres of land throughout our region. These agricultural and open space lands are protected through a quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1990 and reauthorized in 2006. For more information, please visit