A Celebration in Guerneville for Riverkeeper Park
On Saturday, Oct. 18, celebrate the Russian Riverkeeper Park at a free open house from 2 to 4 p.m. Expect refreshments by Vintage Valley Catering and live music the Bad Apple String Band. Riverkeeper’s Executive Director, Don McEnhill, will talk about the park at 3 p.m.
The five-acre property — with 800 feet along the Russian River — was once choked with non-native plants and trash. That’s all in the past. Today, thanks to enthusiastic volunteers working with Victoria Wikle, park manager, and Julie Cross, noxious weed specialist—both of Russian Riverkeeper, an advocacy organization that helps protect the Russian River — the property has witnessed an amazing rebirth.
In the last six years, the park has been cleaned up, including removing 20 tons of invasive plants, replaced with about 2,100 new native plants. At this point, approximately 60 percent of the land has been restored.
When its transformation is complete, the park will become a hands-on outdoor classroom, offering 10 interpretive educational stations on various topics (for example, the importance of native plants to maintaining local fish and wildlife populations; water conservation; fish ecology; and more).
In addition, the park’s six distinct ecological zones — redwood forest, upper riparian plain habitat, native meadow, bioswale, shoreline habitat and lower shoreline habitat — will be enhanced and used for educational purposes (and, needless to say, enjoyment).
Other future improvements include permanent trails with handicapped access, an interactive watershed model, picnic tables, a river overlook, a naturally tiered outdoor classroom, rain gardens, and more.
If you’re interested in volunteering, show up at the park any Wednesday morning, 9 a.m.-noon. Bring water and gloves, and wear sturdy shoes. More info about volunteering, or contact Victoria Wikle at [email protected] or 707-865-2474.
What you need to know:
What: Open House at Riverkeeper Stewardship Park
When: Saturday, October 18, 2-4 p.m.
Where: Riverkeeper Park is located at 16153 Main Street, Guerneville, between Highway 116 and the pedestrian bridge at the east entrance to Guerneville. (find the location on a map).
Parking: Available in the county lot next to the pedestrian bridge on Main Street.