Dreams for Petaluma River Park Take Flight

Close to Santa Rosa, a rare piece of riverfront land in downtown Petaluma called the Petaluma River Park is set to become a vibrant and welcoming public space for residents of Petaluma, Sonoma County, and beyond. This park is a Greenway we admire!

With support from the California State Coastal Conservancy, Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund, and many others, Petaluma River Park is being designed from the ground up with deep and meaningful engagement from surrounding communities. The goal is to restore riverfront habitat and provide a shared space for people, art, and nature.

Creative Community Engagement

Greenway Partner Sonoma Land Trust played a pivotal role in facilitating the Petaluma River Park’s inception by raising funds to create the Community Engagement Blueprint. This blueprint is the design for an inclusive and participatory park planning process that started in 2023.

Seair Lorentz, executive director of the Petaluma River Park Foundation noted, “The park team and community engagement consultants Kimzin Creative are focusing special attention on community members whose voices have historically been excluded from the planning of public spaces and parks. And there are fun, art-centered ways for people to engage. Coloring books for kids, live performances by a master hip hop artist and storyteller, and creation of a community mural are among the projects underway.”

In the spirit of co-creation, 15 Community Park Designers are actively collaborating with the park’s team of landscape architects over a series of months. Representing populations often at the margins of park planning, these individuals bring valuable insight and feedback to the project.

You are invited to see and share your thoughts on three initial park concepts at one of the open houses to be held this summer. A final Concept Plan will lay the foundation for the next project phase, in which the park design team, CMG Landscape Architects and Prunuske Chatham, Inc., will create an artful and inspired site plan. A grand celebration to mark the park’s transformation is slated for 2028. For more information, to follow progress or get involved, go to the Foundation’s website at www.petalumariverpark.org.