Chowder Day – January 28th

chowder_dayTickets will only be sold online beginning 12-1 on Brown Paper Tickets.  There will be two start times, 10 and noon.  There will also be 1,500 tickets sold online.

40 years after ‘Running Fence’

runningfenceThe town of Valley Ford enjoyed a bit of fame in September 1976 when fabric artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude ran their 24.5-mile Running Fence straight through the town of Valley Ford into the sea.

The “ribbon of light” included some 2,152,780 square feet of white nylon fabric hung from steel cord attached to 2,050 steel poles.

The Running Fence required of 42 months of collaboration, 59 ranchers’ participation, 18 public hearings, three sessions at the Superior Courts of California, the drafting of a 450 page Environmental Impact Report and the temporary use of the hills and the ocean. It crossed over 14 roads, leaving room for cars, cattle and wildlife on its journey from Cotati to the sea.

The complete article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat can be seen HERE along with 29 photos of historic Valley Ford.

Go birding along the coast with Yolo Audubon

marbled-godwitw-1024x766Yolo Audubon is offering two September field trips; both are free and open to birders of all levels.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, Chris Dunford will lead another trip to Bodega Bay for those who missed his August trip. Participants will look for the unexpected, like the northern waterthrush they saw in August, but according to Dunford, “Our emphasis is always on introducing birders unfamiliar with coastal birds to the regularly seen species and the places to find them.” This includes shorebirds and seabirds.

Read more…

Bodega Fire Polenta Dinner Fundraiser

polenta-flyer-fall-2016

Bodega Fire Fundraiser Saturday October 1st 5-8 PM  McCaughey Hall Bodega, CA

Tickets sold at the Door
Polenta with Beef Stew. Adults $15 Childs $8

Sunset at Bodega Bay from Crowhaven  

A beautiful video reminder why we like to go see the sunset at Bodega Bay in the summertime.
 

Minion-like sea-bots spy on fragile Pacific ecosystem

mini-bots-920x1240The five robots plopped into Bodega Bay were designed to mimic the larvae that float around in the ocean, but it was hard to imagine these canisters — which looked a bit like Minions from the computer-animated film — mingling with microscopic marine critters, let alone copying their movements.

The bright yellow gizmos that UC Davis scientists launched this week to study the sea’s mysterious underworld are as big as fire extinguishers and equipped with so many bells and whistles that no bipinnaria in its right mind would ever think they were actual larvae.

The complete story in the San Francisco Chronicle about this research project by the UC Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory can be found HERE.

New county trail links coastal communities

CountyParkSignA new trail has been dedicated at Bodega Bay. Called the Coastal Prairie Trail, it is part of the Bodega Bay Trail system and is a segment of the California Coastal Trail.

The Coastal Prairie Trail begins at the Bodega Bay Community Center on the west side of Highway 1 just past Bay Hill Road. This pedestrian and bicycle trail is just over a mile and heads north to Salmon Creek. The trail includes a beautiful wooden bridge, dedicated to Liz Burko, who had a 30-year career with State Parks.

The complete story in the Argus-Courier can be found HERE.

Tractors, Trains & Shipwrecks – Yesteryear Recollections of Sonoma County

TractorsTrainsBy (the late) Donald R. Richardson

For a variety of reasons, it took several decades to bring this collection of vintage tales to fruition as their author, Donald R. Richardson, passed away in 1983; but his daughter, Donna Richardson Robbins, was determined so Tractors, Trains & Shipwrecks – Yesteryear Recollections of Sonoma County (DRR Press, 132 pages, $18.99) is now arriving in local stores, a collection christened “Tom Sawyer-like” by leading historian/Press Democrat columnist Gaye LeBaron (her full quote appears on the book’s back jacket).

Spawned by his daughter finally receiving his handwritten stories recounting his youthful exploits while growing up in the seaside hamlet of Stewarts Point, these originals of his comprise Part 2 of the book and are accompanied by vintage black/white photos dating back to Richardson’s birth in 1914 which are sprinkled throughout—creating a memorably immersive experience for the reader of these step-back-in-time tales set in the 1920s, 30s & beyond.

The grandson of Herbert Archer Richardson who arrived in Sonoma County from New Hampshire in 1876 with 40¢ in his pocket and went on to amass 25,000 acres, Richardson was one of nine students attending the one-room schoolhouse in Stewarts Point, rode the train from the coast to Santa Rosa High and back weekdays, and modern conveniences were decades away – for example, they stored their ice packed in sawdust while he was growing up.

Having served as Stewarts Point Postmaster along with running the family’s longtime general store there, Richardson was also County Supervisor, president of the Farm Bureau and Wool Growers Association, and a professional forester in addition to holding other agricultural leadership roles, both locally and on a statewide basis. A rancher by trade, Richardson was also an early and avid environmentalist and dedicated steward of the land. He spent his entire life in Sonoma County and the book includes reflections on his later years as well as he penned this collection after falling ill a short while before his death.

His firsthand anecdotes include memories, yarns, and tall tales and provide a truly unique backward glimpse into a bygone era right here in our coastal backyard. The new title is being retailed at four Copperfield’s Books locations, the Sonoma County Museum, and the Classic Duck in Montgomery Village et al.—nearly 30 locations in Sonoma and Mendocino counties thus far. For more information on Tractors, Trains & Shipwrecks – Yesteryear Recollections of Sonoma County and to see the growing roster of retailers, please visit:  www.DRRpress.com

Click HERE to buy on Amazon.Com

22nd Annual Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival

BodegaSeafoodHeld on a rugged, rural ranch, a few miles inland from the spectacular Sonoma Coast, the Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival is both sophisticated and down-home. It has garnered the reputation for being one of the premier art, wine/beer and food festivals in California. This annual benefit attracts thousands of foodies, art aficionados, wine and beer connoisseurs and music lovers to picturesque Watts Ranch in the village where Alfred Hitchcock once filmed his classic thriller, “The Birds.”

A bevy of restaurants and catering companies offer a bounty of seafood dishes and other edibles. Options like barbecued oysters, crab cakes, Key Lime calamari, fish tacos, albacore wrapped in bacon, grilled salmon, fish and chips, fresh crab cocktails and crab Louies are just a few delicious items on vendors’ menus. The festival focuses on seafood, but there are plenty of meat, chicken, and vegetarian options to please all pallets, as well as sweet treats, so this is a food lover’s dream event.

The Wine and Microbrewed Beer Tasting is always a huge draw and this year will be the largest tasting yet: with over 35 wineries and 20+ microbreweries. The tasting is a wonderful mix of known companies, as well as many small boutique wineries and up and coming breweries. Previous participants, such as Alexander Valley, Cline Cellars, Jacuzzi Family, Korbel, Frey Vineyards, Lagunitas, North Coast, Bear Republic, Sierra Nevada, and Speakeasy will be joined by many newcomers to our tasting such as Kobler Estate, Kelley & Young, Full Sail Brewing and Founders Brewing, to name a small handful. The tasting is $20 for a commemorative wine or beer glass and 6 tastes. The festival also has a Wine & Microbrew Store where wines and beers sampled in the tasting are available for purchase.

The quality of the art and fine craft is unrivaled in Sonoma County and beyond. This juried show attracts artisans from throughout California and other parts of the country. The festival aims to appeal to a broad range of attendees, by providing a mix of higher end fine art and craft and more moderate ranged craft work. The event producers are artists themselves, and know the ins and outs of doing shows from both sides, having each traveled to do festivals for over 30 years.

3 stage of entertainment give festival goers a full day of musical and non-musical diversion. This year the Main Stage headliners are blues legend, Tommy Castro on Saturday, and Motown rockers Pride & Joy on Sunday. The Waybacks are an exciting addition to the line-up as are the Bootleg Honeys, John Allair, and many more. Non-musical entertainment includes the hilarious Captain Jack Spareribs, Calvin Kai Ku and Merry Mary.

This is a fun family event so there are jumps, slides and rockwall, face painting, as well as ceramic painting for kids. New this year is the giant trampoline-ride Wake Attack. We also have the “color-in giant mural” for all ages. It depicts many favorite photographs shot at the festival over the years which have been converted into black and white images to fill in with washable paints: an art project for all our visitors. Our beneficiary, Stewards of the Coast & Redwoods, have wonderful, interactive, environmental displays for the whole family as well.

A portion of the proceeds from the event supports two vital non-profits — Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods, which works in partnership with the California State Parks in the Russian River/Sonoma Coast region, as well as the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department.

Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 27, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 28. Admission is $15 in advance for adults, $20 at the gate. There are discounts for teens, seniors and military, and the festival is free for children less than 12 years of age. Watts Ranch is located at 16855 Bodega Highway in the village of Bodega. For additional information, go to www.bodegaseafoodfestival.com.

Sonoma County, State Officials to Dedicate Bodega Bay Trail Extension on Aug. 19

BikeTrailBridge Will Honor Late State Parks Superintendent

Community members, parks staff, and elected officials will gather in Bodega Bay on Friday, Aug. 19, to dedicate the newest segment of the Bodega Bay Pedestrian & Bicycle Trail and to name a trail bridge in honor of Elizabeth “Liz” Burko, the late State Parks superintendent who oversaw the Sonoma Coast.

The public is invited to explore the .55-mile trail by joining a 10 a.m. bird walk led by Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods. The dedication will follow at 11 a.m. and will feature remarks by U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson, State Senator Mike McGuire, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart, California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat, and Burko’s family.

The new trail adds to the ongoing California Coastal Trail network and connects the Bodega Bay Dunes campground at Sonoma Coast State Park to Keefe Avenue, improving pedestrian and bicycle access to the Salmon Creek neighborhood and south Salmon Creek Beach. The trail segment features an 8-foot-wide aggregate surface and a 120-foot-long bridge over an annual creek. That bridge will be known as the Liz Burko Bridge. Construction was funded by the National Park Service, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Sonoma County Transportation Authority and Sonoma County Regional Parks.

“On this special day we are not only celebrating increased coastal access for the public, we are here to honor our dear friend and colleague, Liz Burko,” said Sonoma County Regional Parks Director Caryl Hart. “Liz dedicated her life to parks, and she bridged relationships between agencies in order to increase opportunities for people to enjoy them.”

Burko was a Bodega Bay resident who managed California State Parks’ Sonoma-Mendocino District for the last eight years of her career. She passed away unexpectedly in August 2015 following a vehicle accident. Known by many as the quintessential ranger who loved people and parks, Burko was highly regarded for her leadership, including her ability to overcome complex challenges and to mentor staff.

The new trail segment connects to a .47-mile trail linking Bodega Dunes campground to the Bodega Bay Community Center and Children’s Bell Tower. That trail was completed in late 2014 and dedicated by Burko and many of the officials who will attend the Aug. 19 ceremony. Together, the two trail segments are referred to as the Coastal Prairie Trail.

 “It’s so fitting that we honor Liz’s legacy with the extension of the Coastal Prairie Trail,” said Fifth District Supervisor Efren Carrillo. “The trail is crucial to our larger mission of connecting people to the beauty and wonder of the Sonoma Coast. Liz was devoted to that mission, and we miss her dearly.”

The Coastal Prairie Trail is part of the larger Bodega Bay Bike & Pedestrian Trail project, which will give residents and tourists a safe and scenic alternative for traveling Highway 1 between Salmon Creek and Doran Beach. The project will include 3.4 miles of bike and pedestrian pathway and a boardwalk with access to shops and restaurants along Bodega Harbor. The next segment to be constructed will link the Coastal Prairie Trail to Bay Flat Road. Design and engineering studies are underway, and construction will begin as funding becomes available.

The first Bodega Bay Trail section to be completed was the Cheney Creek crossing, which linked Doran Beach to Birdwalk Coastal Access Trail in 2008.

The Bodega Bay Trail project is part of the larger California Coastal Trail, a planned trail to run along the state’s 1,200-mile coastline.

For more information, contact Regional Parks Community Engagement Manager Bethany Facendini at 707-565-2041 or bethany.facendini@sonoma-county.org.

©2010