Winery Walk with Otters

otter sonoma

Not long ago, but before Shelter in Place, I spotted three adult river otters swimming in a vineyard pond behind Ram’s Gate Winery at the south end of Sonoma Valley. I was on a late afternoon winter ramble on the walking trail behind the fancy tasting room above the wetlands of San Pablo Bay. I’d never seen river otters around here. I first glimpsed them in the lower pond. Then all of… Read More

Our Commitment to Advancing Racial, Social & Climate Justice

black lives matter

We are witnessing horrific acts of senseless murders, police brutality, and racial injustice against Black people in America. Greenbelt Alliance acknowledges the heart-wrenching pain and outrage. We stand in solidarity with the Black community in the fight for lasting change to cease this country’s perpetual systemic racism, violence, and injustices. My colleagues at Greenbelt Alliance and I have been reflecting on the underlying systems that perpetuate racism—in particular in our own fields… Read More

City of Sonoma UGB Renewal in Final Stretch

Sonoma City Hall, where the future of the City of Sonoma General Plan will be decided.

The renewal measure for the City of Sonoma’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) is nearly ready to go to a vote of the people for the November 3, 2020 ballot. If passed, it will renew the existing UGB for another 20 years with stronger provisions for affordable housing exemptions. For more background information on this, click here. The Urban Growth Boundary renewal measure was fine-tuned at a recent City Council meeting when several… Read More

Defend Sonoma County’s Community Separators

Sonoma Solstice threatens greenbelt lands at the site of the old Buzzard's Gulch.

In 2016, Sonoma County voted by 81% to protect community separators, the green spaces between our towns and cities. Now, a luxury resort with hundreds of events is proposed by an out-of-town developer in the community separator between Santa Rosa and Windsor. This oversized hideout for the 1% will put the community separators we voted to protect to the test! Defend the Windsor-Larkfield-Santa Rosa Community Separator from this oversized development by signing… Read More

Wildfire & Greenbelts: Saving Sonoma County

wildfire and greenbelts

Thanks to all of you who joined our most recent webinar highlighting the role that greenbelts and smart growth played in the Kincade Fire. We learned so much from our guests, Town of Windsor Councilperson Deb Fudge and Deputy Fire Chief Matt Gustafson of the Sonoma County Fire Protection District. We don’t want you to miss any of this important content so we put together a summary of the conversation and even… Read More

Solano County Declares Outdoor Recreation Essential

Lagoon Valley Solano County

Solano County’s Public Health Officer has released new guidelines regarding outdoor recreation during the Shelter-In-Place. This is a great step to promote resident’s physical well-being, mental health, and the county’s economic vitality through the careful, limited phased reopening of the county, starting with areas for outdoor exercise and recreation. Activities such as (but not limited to) walking, hiking, biking, golfing, and running are allowed, provided that social distancing guidelines are being followed…. Read More

Climate & Wildfire Resiliency Update

Sonoma Climate and Wildfire Resiliency Update

As we face another dry winter and a long wildfire season ahead, Greenbelt Alliance is delving deeper into the ways that we can help our growing communities become more climate and wildfire resistant.  Greenbelt Alliance has been advocating for climate-healthy growth within existing cities and towns and the protection of our greenbelts for decades. We are now entering an era when the climate crisis makes this solution a matter of life and… Read More

Favorite Bay Area Spots From a Few Friends

Coyote Valley

As part of our countdown to Earth Day campaign, we heard from some of our partners and friends who kindly shared their favorite Bay Area places with us! Michele Beasley, Executive Director, San Mateo County Parks Foundation: San Bruno Mountain is one of my favorite San Mateo County Parks. I love it for its incredible views, plant diversity, and for the fog and great hikes. For urban planning nutters, it’s also fun… Read More

Go on a Virtual Outing While Sheltering in Place

Mount Diablo Wildflowers by Joe Lewis via Flickr

While we shelter in place, how about taking a virtual hike in the East Bay? Writer and editor Joan Hamilton has produced Audible Mount Diablo, featuring trails in Mount Diablo State Park as well as surrounding regional parks, open space areas, and watersheds. Joan’s free multimedia tours combine lively interviews and music with the rush of wind and the chirps, howls, and growls of wildlife. Just what we need to cheer us… Read More

Black Diamond Mines

Black Diamond Mines

Black Diamond Mines is one of East Bay Regional Park District’s larger parks. It has 2 entrances in Antioch, along with an additional western entrance in Clayton. The park features miles of hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trails. The most popular entrance is from the Somersville Road entrance, parking fees are a few dollars on the weekends and free on the weekdays. There is a free parking lot on Fredrickson Lane near… Read More