Subscribe

Tolay Park on track to open by end of year

Work is underway both at Tolay Lake Regional Park and in Sonoma County Parks planning offices to open by year’s end what will become the county’s largest public park on the outskirts of Petaluma.

Workers will be paving the park’s access road and adding improvements through the fall as park planners finalize the environmental report for Tolay, a 3,426-acre park that has been planned since 2005. Currently, public access is on a limited basis to those who have obtained special permits, and during the Tolay Fall Festival.

Supervisor David Rabbitt said he hopes this year’s Fall Festival can also serve as the opening ceremony for the park.

“I really pushed parks last year and said it’s got to be open this year,” he said. “The Fall Festival, I’m optimistic we can make that.”

While the park may open for complete public access, it may not include many amenities, said Karen Davis-Brown, a county park planner working on Tolay. A sales tax measure that would have provided a dedicated funding source for county parks failed at the ballot last November, meaning many of the improvements at Tolay may have to wait until after opening day.

“We’re working hard to get the park open by the end of the year,” Davis-Brown said. “Many improvements will have to come next year. Most of our focus is on CEQA,” the California Environmental Quality Act.

Rabbitt said Tolay has been one of the toughest park projects the county has undertaken, beset for many years by environmental challenges, state permitting, Native American sensitivities and a opposition from neighbors.

Parks officials have discussed another attempt next year at passing a tax measure for parks, according to Carol Eber, chair of the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation board.

(Contact Matt Brown at matt.brown@arguscourier.com.)

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette