Supervisors will protect Paulin Meadow in Santa Rosa as open space


The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve this week the transfer of Paulin Meadow, a 10.42-acre property adjacent to the Chanate campus owned by Sonoma County, to the Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space). The transfer of the county general service department will ensure the protection of the wooded area as open space in perpetuity.

This collection of plots consists of Paulin Meadow, Ag + Open Space’s Paulin Creek Preserve (8.89 acres), and Sonoma Water owned land (26.57 acres). These properties function together as an informal urban nature reserve and recreation area, with approximately 1 mile of informal trails on Paulin Meadow connecting the Sonoma Water plot to Ag + Open Space’s Paulin Creek Preserve, as well as the surrounding neighborhood.

“It is a long-standing goal of the community and a promise of the county to protect this particular property for the benefit of the surrounding neighborhoods, as well as the wildlife that inhabit the prairie,” said supervisor Chris Coursey, whose district includes Prairie Paulin. “We are happy to find a solution that ensures that this beloved open space remains protected forever and will be part of the largest nature reserve along Paulin Creek.”

“Paulin Meadow is a wonderful nature reserve; a community gem, ”said Caroline Judy, Director of Corporate Services. “We are so happy to have an agreement that will guarantee its protection. “

Paulin Meadow contains a mosaic of habitat types including oak forest, open oak savanna, riparian forest, grasslands, stream channel habitat with relatively intact riparian cover, seasonal streams, and wetlands. seasonal. Paulin Creek, a tributary of Santa Rosa Creek known to be home to rainbow trout, is the predominant feature of the area and runs through part of the property. In addition to their intrinsic value, the natural resources of the property provide important ecosystem services such as water filtration, storm and flood water management, improvement of air quality and sequestration of the land. carbon.

“The beauty of Paulin Meadow is that it is an undeveloped natural land located in a highly developed urban area,” said Misti Arias, CEO of Ag + Open Space. “The open space character of this land provides visual respite to our community, as well as residual habitat for fish and wildlife. Protecting this prairie will provide vital open space for residents and visitors to this particular area of ​​Santa Rosa, as well as critical habitat for wildlife movement within the urban area.

The transfer of ownership will allow Ag + Open Space to incorporate the prairie into the adjacent Paulin Creek reserve and protect its natural and urban open space resources while enabling passive public recreational and educational uses. Ag + Open Space intends to eventually transfer ownership of the reserve to an appropriate government or non-profit entity, subject to a conservation easement protecting its natural resources, urban open spaces and recreational values. and educational.

“We know that Paulin Meadow has long been loved by the public for its walks, bird watching and other outdoor activities. The conservation of this urban oasis is therefore a priority ”, added the Coursey supervisor. “We are pleased that Ag + Open Space can take over the management and operation of the property as an extension of its existing reserve, as we continue discussions with stewards or experienced non-profit organizations. regarding the future management and / or ownership of the resulting larger Paulin Creek reserve. “


Chris B. Hall

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