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Sonoma County Gazette
Downtown Oaks Park, facing north toward downtown. Photo:
Downtown Oaks Park, facing north toward downtown. Photo:

What’s Your Vision
for Forestville?


Jun 29, 2019
by Lucy Hardcastle


We all have one.  Some would like to see Forestville become a Mecca for bicyclists from around the world like me and Brian Borchers from Russian River Cycle Service.  Others have a vision of Forestville not changing one little bit, thank you very much.  But we know where we put our vision is where we put our energy, and where we put our energy is what tends to happen.  

Downtown Oaks Park, facing west. Photo:

One local vision that has manifested into something quite tangible is the Downtown Oaks Park.  For example, that space started as a vision years ago as a place for people to congregate and have fun.  That’s happening this 4th of July at the Chamber’s Chicken and Oyster BBQ Party at the park. Yum. It’s Thursday between 1-5 pm and will replace the usual Tuesday Farmer’s Market that week.  You’ll get to hear live music, get your face painted, have your kids burn off energy in the jumpy house and of course have the opportunity to purchase amazing local produce and fun crafty things.   4th of July in your hometown park with beer and wine, a hot dog from Russian River Weinery and more. 

Farmers market offering local foods.Did you know most of what is offered at the Tuesday Farmer’s Market is local?  Each farmer has something special to offer.  For example, Mary Rand from Hidden Lake Farms grows her produce within walking distance from the park. You can find local jeweler, Kelly Coffee, there with his hand cut and polished stone jewelry. It’s amazing. In fact, Kelly can be seen from time to time during the week with his set up in the parking lot. Super cool items for sale. It’s hard to pick just one. 

Andrea Sarnataro worked with owners of the famous Beaujolais Café in Mendocino and had a vision of taking over making their granola and Panforte.  A Forestvillian herself, Andrea makes several kinds of both.  I warn you, one taste of Beaujolais Panforte and you could be hooked. 

The offerings from Canneti Roadhouse Italiana are mouth-watering too.  It’s a treat. 

Canneti Roadhouse desert.

Something fun the Chamber has added on the third Tuesday evening is a “Flea Market”.  If you have things you’d like to sell, and attracting people to a garage sale isn’t your thing, bring it to the downtown park those nights from 4-7.  For only $20 you get a 10’ x10’ space and a ready- made audience from the folks there shopping, listening to the music and getting their produce for the week.  My neighbor brought stacks of her used DVDs to sell. It was fun going through them and picking out some great movies I’ve been meaning to see.  I hope she does it again.

I know it’s been a long time coming, but by the time you read this, sections of the West County Trail will finally be completed through the Oaks Park.  The paved section should be done already and the “boardwalk” section through the lower wetlands should be in before winter.  Another vision actualized by hard work from the County Parks Department in conjunction with our own FPA.  Thanks to everyone who hung in there.  It completes a 13- mile section of the regional trail linking Santa Rosa to Sebastopol, Graton and us.  Patience was required as this idea was hatched in 2010 with a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan along the former Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad right of way.  It took lots of configuration and re-configuration, but it happened, and we are beaming.  Vision accomplished!  Visit the FPAs website, to learn more.

Food for Thought

30 years ago, five people sat around a kitchen table and had a vision.  Provide food for those ill with the effects of HIV, andFood For Thought Food Bank was born.  They have grown to be one of the most respected nonprofits in Sonoma County.  Recently they expanded their mission to provide groceries and nutrition counseling to those with other illnesses as well.  To celebrate the anniversary of their long and successful path, they invite you to a wonderful evening Sunday, August 11 from 4:30 to 8:30.  Expect wonderful summer wines, dinner by Michele Anna Jordan, music and an auction at their “One Long Table” event at Vine Hill House.  Get your tickets here  A special night.

What’s your vision for Forestville?  What is it for yourself? As you can see, visions can become reality.  It takes energy, it takes effort, it could take time, but just ask yourself or others, was it worth it? 






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