Greenway Facts

“The greenway will add value to surrounding properties (who doesn’t want to live, work and play next to a great park). In doing so, it will stimulate additional investment in existing developed properties adjacent and near the greenway.”

Imagine… A Greenway to Spring Lake and Beyond, AIA Communities by Design, p 11.


Mary Callahan: Addition to Taylor Mountain park in Santa Rosa secures key link in open space protection

Taylor MountainMarch 30, 2020, Press Democrat: Sonoma County parks may be closed for the moment, but there’s a new development that should bring joy to outdoor enthusiasts, even so. It’s a 54-acre addition to Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve that will expand the popular park right to the edge of south Santa Rosa neighborhoods. The land acquisition, set to close Wednesday, was made possible through a $1.35 million deal put together over the past 2½ years by the nonprofit Sonoma Land Trust, in partnership with regional parks and the taxpayer-funded Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, which put up more than half the money. Read more in the Press Democrat

Gaye LeBaron: Long the ‘land in limbo,’ Southeast Greenway may have a future

City Council HearingAugust 24, 2019, Press Democrat: It’s a rare thing for public opinion to stop a freeway once Caltrans sets sights on a route. But that’s what has happened here. And it took just 60 years to get it done. There was not a lot of public attention focused on the Santa Rosa City Council’s action on July 9. But it was, truth be told, a historic moment. What council members did was agree to negotiate a purchase from Caltrans of 47 acres — 300 feet wide, 2 miles long, from the south edge of Montgomery High School to Summerfield Road. It is a swath of open land that is (or was) part of the state’s 60-year-old plan to build a freeway from Santa Rosa to Kenwood. It was to be the section that linked Farmers Lane to Melita Road. Read more in the Press Democrat

Close to Home: Turning a freeway right-of-way to green space

August 15, 2019, Press Democrat: For more than 50 years, a two-mile trip of land in southeast Santa Rosa remained vacant and unused. Originally purchased by Caltrans as a right-of-way for Highway 12, the freeway was never built and the land remains neglected. When it was proposed to extend the freeway through Spring Lake Park, community opposition led to abandoning that proposal, and neighbors started thinking of converting this empty land into an asset, an urban greenway. Read more in the Press Democrat

Santa Rosa Greenway Design Makes Room for More Housing

March 26, 2017, Press Democrat: A subtle struggle is underway in southeast Santa Rosa between providing housing and preserving open space, and the pressure to provide housing appears to have the upper hand. The latest design for a 57-acre greenway running on Caltrans right-of-way from Farmers Lane to Spring Lake calls for about 190 units of housing. Read more in the Press Democrat

Competing Visions for Santa Rosa’s Future Greenway

October 31, 2016, Press Democrat: Three visions for how a 57-acre ribbon of land in Santa Rosa should be developed are coming into focus, with key differences in the plans over the amount of property dedicated to new housing and commercial uses. Read more in the Press Democrat

SE Greenway Advocates Report Progress

February 16, 2016. KRCB North Bay Report: Advocates for the creation of the Southeast Greenway, in the vacant strip of land running from Spring Lake Park to Farmer’s Lane in Santa Rosa, have been working on it for seven years now. But the most important steps in the at conversion may come in the year ahead. Listen At KRCB’s Website

Greenway Plan Divides Southeast Santa Rosa

Linda Davis HorseOctober 10, 2015, Press Democrat: Sorting out what types of uses should go where is a communitywide conversation that the Santa Rosa City Council kicked off last week by agreeing to come up with a general plan designation for the property, which currently doesn’t have one. Read more in the Press Democrat

Santa Rosa Signs Off on Deal for Southeast Greenway Property

July 7, 2015, Press Democrat: “Santa Rosa signed off Tuesday on a long-sought deal paving the way for Caltrans to transfer a strip of land to the city and county for what proponents hope will become a future urban greenway.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Deal in Works for Southeast Greenway Property in Santa Rosa

Man Tree SmJune 22, 2015, Press Democrat: “Community activists who have sought for years to transform a 55-acre strip of vacant land in southeast Santa Rosa into public open space are heralding what they are calling a milestone in their quest to create a new linear city park that could include paths for pedestrians and cyclists. Plans for the so-called Southeast Greenway are being advanced under a new deal that would pave the way for transferring ownership of the state property — once envisioned for the Highway 12 extension — to the county and city of Santa Rosa.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Pushing Forward with Southeast Greenway in Santa Rosa

Linda Woman SmJuly 20, 2014, Press Democrat: “A long-envisioned proposal that would turn a narrow plot of land in southeast Santa Rosa into a public open space with bike paths, walking trails and other recreational amenities is expected to gain additional support Tuesday, when a coalition of community and environmental groups as well as government agencies will for the first time present to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors a formal proposal to take ownership of the 55 acres.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Supervisors Unanimously Back Southeast Greenway Project

Greenwaypd SmJuly 22, 2014, Press Democrat: “Proponents vying for a 55-acre strip of land known as the Southeast Greenway won unanimous support Tuesday, when the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors endorsed a plan to transform the property between Farmers Lane and Melita Road into a public park.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Campaign for Santa Rosa’s Southeast Greenway Gets Boost

May 15, 2014, Press Democrat: “Supporters of a plan to build a park and bike path network on a strip of vacant land through southeast Santa Rosa — property once eyed for a Highway 12 extension — were buoyed by developments in Sacramento this week that could accelerate the transfer of the 55 acres from the state highway system to the Southeast Greenway Campaign.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Close to Home: Converting a Santa Rosa Eyesore into a Greenway

Tony WhiteSeptember 25, 2013, Press Democrat: “What if Santa Rosa had the opportunity to convert a blighted and a long neglected area of the city into an attractive open space for exercise, recreation and alternative transportation?

That opportunity has arrived.

Caltrans recently announced that it does not plan to develop the extension of Highway 12 through southeast Santa Rosa. This has opened a window of opportunity for the conversion of the designated highway easement into a 2-mile greenway from Farmers Lane to Spring Lake.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Greenway Dreams: Residents Buoyed as State Says it Has No Plans for Highway 12 Corridor

September 4, 2013, Press Democrat: “Supporters of a plan to create a greenway across southeast Santa Rosa are buoyed by a report suggesting the state is willing to part with the 2-mile ribbon of land that had been designated for extending Highway 12.

The draft report on the future of the Highway 12 corridor clearly states that the State Department of Transportation has no plans to extend the highway east of Farmers Lane over Spring Lake and therefore doesn’t need the 50 acres long set aside for the project.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Santa Rosa Council Gives Boost to Southeast Greenway

August 8, 2012, Press Democrat: “Supporters of plans to acquire a 2-mile swath of vacant land once eyed for a highway and transform into an urban park cheered a move by the Santa Rosa City Council supporting their efforts Tuesday.

The city will ask that 50 acres of land once eyed for the extension of Highway 12 over what is now Spring Lake Regional Park instead be set aside for bicycles, pedestrians, parks, gardens, public places, environmental restoration, and limited development.” Read more in the Press Democrat

A New Vision for Greenway

May 8, 2011, Press Democrat: “A narrow ribbon of green stretches over two miles in east Santa Rosa, the remains of a failed plan to extend Highway 12 east from Farmers Lane to Spring Lake. It sits behind chain-link fences in a heavily developed neighborhood, so most people don’t even know it exists.” Read more in the Press Democrat

Clearing Space

Spring Lake Arial MapApril 6, 2011, North Bay Bohemian: “An empty Santa Rosa swath of land, once slated for a freeway, finally moves into a second life.” Read more in the Bohemian

Specter of Bridge Fades to Green

Jan. 9, 2011, Press Democrat: “The ghost of the proposed Highway 12 freeway along the southern edge of east Santa Rosa has risen from the grave where it has languished for 52 years.

The good news is that it is not (as one editorial writer put it in the 1990s) “the bony-fingered specter of a bridge over Spring Lake.” Today, it is more like a cheery wave beckoning citizens toward a rosy future.” Read more in the Press Democrat