OpenRoad with Doug McConnell

Spreading the word about Sonoma County conservation

Ag + Open Space is thrilled to have hit the airwaves with local conservationist, outdoorsman, and TV host — Doug McConnell! Now in its fifth season, OpenRoad explores the natural, historical and cultural treasures of the Bay Area and Northern California focusing principally on parks and open spaces protected by the public.

Season 5 — The Legacy of Ag + Open Space

This season, Doug devotes an entire episode to exploring the history, current work, and long-lasting legacy of Ag + Open Space. During the show, Doug chats with long-time supporter Ted Eliot and Advisory Committee youth member Halei Trowbridge at Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve, before moving on to Colgan Creek where he interviews Oscar Chavez, Assistant Director of Human Services for Sonoma County, and a group of students from Elsie Allen High School. From there he heads to Open Field Farm in Petaluma to talk with owners Seth and Sarah James, and wraps up the episode with a chat with Supervisor Lynda Hopkins at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail in Sebastopol.

Season 4 — Lessons from the Fires

Ag + Open Space Stewardship Planner, and fire ecologist, Monica Delmartini joins Doug and our partners from Sonoma Land Trust at Glen Oaks Ranch and Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve to see the effects of the Sonoma Complex Fires and observe how the land is recovering.

Season 4 — Sonoma County Coast

This episode features three coastal properties protected forever by Ag + Open Space — the Kashia Coastal Reserve, Jenner Headlands Preserve, and Pole Mountain. Doug explores these properties with each of its landowners and wraps up with an interview with General Manager Bill Keene about places to get outside and savor agricultural delights in Sonoma County.

Season 3 — General District overview

This segment features an interview with District General Manager Bill Keene about the work of the District, focusing on a few properties from previous episodes: Bianchi Dairy in Valley Ford, Taylor Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve in Santa Rosa, and McNear Peninsula and Alman Marsh in Petaluma.

Season 3 — Urban Open Space

This episode highlights the District’s work with local partners to protect the iconic Taylor Mountain on the urban edge of Santa Rosa and open it up to the public as the Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve. The episode also features Prince Gateway Park and Prince Memorial Greenway — two Matching Grant projects completed in collaboration with the City of Santa Rosa.

Season 2 — Russian River Watershed

This episode features a handful of District-protected properties in the Russian River Watershed. The segment starts with District General Manager Bill Keene exploring the 19,000-acre Cooley Ranch — where Dry Creek flows into Lake Sonoma. By protecting this expansive property, the District protected over one quarter of the headwaters of the Dry Creek watershed, which supplies drinking water for over 600,000 people in Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties. Doug and Bill also check out the Windsor Town Green — a District Matching Grant project, Riverfront Regional Park, and the Jenner Headlands Preserve. Here is the segment:

Season 2 — Sonoma Village

Airing in the summer of 2016, this episode’s segment features a District Matching Grant project — Sonoma Garden Park — where Doug savors Sonoma’s agricultural bounty in the community garden designed to grow ecologically sustainable produce and native plants. He then meets up with District Stewardship Planner, Leslie Lew, to burn a few calories and delight in the beautiful vistas at Montini Open Space Preserve — a 98-acre preserve purchased by the District and transferred to the City of Sonoma for natural resource protection and public recreation.

Season 1 — Sonoma County Road Trip

In summer 2015, the District was featured in a segment that included a visit to Mountain View Jersey Dairy – a District-protected dairy owned by the Bianchi family and home to the Valley Ford Cheese Company, maker of the award-winning Estero Gold and Highway One cheeses. After touring the facility and fueling up on delicious cheese, Doug meets up with District General Manager Bill Keene at North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park & Open Space Preserve – the result over a decade of District work including six acquisitions, trail and bridge construction, access road improvements, and the transfer of ownership to Sonoma County Regional Parks.

About the show

OpenRoad with Doug McConnell takes viewers on journeys to explore the natural, historical and cultural treasures of the Bay Area and northern California focusing principally in parks and open spaces protected by the public and made accessible to all people for all time. The central goal of the series and its associated media is to put the spotlight on crown jewels that belong to all of us and encourage viewers to learn more about them, visit them if possible and perhaps come to support them as volunteers and in other ways.

The Bay Area and northern California have led the nation for many decades in preserving open space and maintaining and restoring environmental and historical legacies. We’ve all been given a great gift that’s now ours to enjoy, enhance and pass to future generations in better shape than we found it. OpenRoad reminds viewers of this grand heritage of ours and we hope inspires them to discover all it has to offer to enrich their lives.

OpenRoad is made possible in part by support from these public and non-profit institutions that are committed to caring for our special environmental and historical legacies and inviting us to join them.