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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Parks & Playgrounds

Mission: The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation raises funds, fosters partnerships and advocates on behalf of Sonoma County Regional Parks.

Results: -- Helped build the new Red Tail Trail at Taylor Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve in collaboration with the Sonoma County Trails Council -- Raised $100,000 to revitalize Helen Putnam Regional Park, including repairs to the trail system, control of poison oak and invasive plants, oak restoration, improved signage and pond restoration -- Sponsored hundreds of children to participate in Vamos a Nadar -- swim lessons to help prevent drowning deaths -- Purchased thousands of life vests that are loaned for free on the Russian River to vulnerable swimmers through the Water Safety Patrol -- Funded interpretive displays and educational materials at the temporary Doran Visitor Center.

Target demographics: educate children about the environment, bring teens on their first visit to the ocean, protect the environment, prevent drownings on the Russian River and much more!

Geographic areas served: 56 parks and trails throughout Sonoma County

Programs: field trips in county parks, the Water Safety Patrol, Vamos a Nadar swim lessons and water safety, support for natural resources management in Sonoma County Regional Parks and more.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

With my 17 years of experience with Regional Parks I am amazed each year at the amount of support the foundations not only gives back to the parks but to the community that enjoys and uses the parks. Each year they exceed the amount of money raised to give back to the community through programs like environmental education, water safety programs, the restoration and amenities within the parks, and events like the Funky Friday, Water Carnival, Water Bark and many more. Thank you Regional Parks Foundation for doing such an awesome job!!!

LizEllis

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the Owner/President of Green Valley Consulting Engineers, I have had the privilege of working directly with the SCRP for the past twenty years (and counting)! Our cooperative work has developed new scenic coastal trails, created walkable and bikeable communities, transformed gravel pits into recreational lakes, and restored native habitats. There is a reason "googling" any Sonoma County Park (there are 50-plus) will yield 4 and 5 star user reviews!

We can't think of a better way to use our time and talents - supporting the SCRP's mission of creating healthy communities and contributing to the economic vitality of our beautiful Sonoma County home! And when not improving a park, we are using it - below is my "significant -dog - other" Hannah and I enjoying an afternoon outdoors at Crane Creek Regional Park.

KTezla

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family and I have spent countless afternoons hiking the beautiful Sonoma County Trails. They offer us a fun way to get physically fit while always reminding us of how lucky we are to live with such natural beauty. My children have also developed a deep appreciation for "the great outdoors". Thank you SCRP for all the wonderful work that you do to build, maintain, and preserve our parks so that we can continue to get up close and personal with our environment!

SebastopolParks

Donor

Rating: 4

I spend time in Sonoma County parks every week, and I am a donor to the Parks Foundation. As a Sebastopol resident I consider Ragle Ranch like my second home! There are a lot of needs in our parks that simply cannot be funded through the County budget alone, and sometimes there are also needs that are time sensitive, to which a government agency is not agile enough to respond in time. That's where the Parks Foundation comes in. I love the fact that the Foundation helps the staff of Regional Parks buy important equipment that makes their jobs easier and makes them more efficient! And I like that the Parks Foundation provides matching funds to Regional Parks which provide leverage to secure millions of dollars in grants every year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation
Supports our wonderful parks , Continuing the Funky Friday at Hood Mansion.
The new Visitor Center at Doran Beach , Helping provide the needs of Park staff
Our Parks would not be as wonderful as they are without the Foundation.
Thank You Parks Foundation

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Parks Foundation plays an excellent and vital role in supporting our 56 regional parks and programs. As a pediatrician, I find that the parks are a cherished resource for us all to share as they support getting children and their families outdoors and active. The parks and the foundation sponsor programs that help decrease childhood obesity together with promoting love for nature and the outdoors as we unplug our children and help prevent "nature deficit syndrome". From building new trails to teaching water safety to our youth (Vamos a Nadar) to providing nature education (Environmental Discovery Center), the Foundation is instrumental in supporting and enhancing our precious Sonoma County Regional Parks System.

Board Member

Rating: 5

In 2017 every member of the board of directors is engaged in the work of the SCRP Foundation - thanking donors, volunteering at events, contributing financially, advocating for regional parks. The Foundation provides environmental education programs for schools, raises funds for county parks (trails, benches, habitat, etc.), offers water safety programs for families, and responds to the recreation interests of diverse populations. Board members represent the 5 supervisorial districts of the county.

Donor

Rating: 5

In the four years I have been contributing to Sonoma County Park Foundation I have been consistently wowed by the they do in support of our Regional Parks. They are there for regional parks in so many different ways. Raising money to allow the parks department to leverage those amounts many times over in grants. Reaching out as an exceptional advocate to bring more residents to the parks, providing flexibility that allows the department to nimble and responsive beyond what governmental agencies can achieve. And finally find ways and resources to enhance the effectiveness of the day to day operations.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation has been giving scholarships to students in need in order to strengthen their knowledge of the natural world through empirical experiences at the education center. What an amazing foundation!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This board is doing an excellent job supporting the Regional Parks. It is a pleasure working with such like minded individuals. The goals and mission statement are what the foundation is focused on completing

Client Served

Rating: 4

The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation has grown substantially over the 10 years that I have been a donor and beneficiary of their generosity and compassion when it comes to providing valuable resources and support to the community and the department.

I have been part of projects that helped to restore Watson and Fort Ross School's to help preserve our local history and culture. As a tennis player, my crew benefited from the community and Foundation fundraising for resurfacing the Occidental tennis courts when parks department funding was not available. As an avid hiker and trail designer, the Foundation has sponsored many fundraising events and trail construction projects throughout the County that provide recreational trails for residents and visitors everyday.
In addition, the Foundation is a primary sponsor of the programs that serve the residents, and especially children, in the north bay. This gives many of them an opportunity to experience nature in a fun and educational environment, many for the first time.

The Foundation continues to grow and evolve into an integral part of the parks department and the community, and everyday I am thankful for their efforts.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation is the best! They not only help staff to obtain tools and services that are needed to improve efficiency, but they also provide funding to recreation, education and lifesaving programs. Recently the Parks Foundation wrote and received grant funding to provide 12 scholarships for a Rushing Down the Russian River summer camp to underserved youth. 12 campers were able to have a life-changing experience due to the work of this foundation.
Annually the Parks Foundation provides scholarships to environmental education field trips, provides summer camp scholarship, funds swim lessons for Vamos a Nadar (Let's Go Swimming), purchases life jackets and finds funding for the Water Safety River Patrol. These are all programs that educate and save lives and would not be available in Sonoma County without the Regional Parks Foundation. The Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation is the Best!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

I worked with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation Board and I found the organization to lack focus, goals and specific objectives. They do a great job approving funding requests by Sonoma County Regional Parks with little or no investigation.

The committees rarely if ever meet and the group does not accomplish very much other than approving funding requests by Sonoma County Regional Parks. Their financial ratios are poor and they have very high turnover and poor communications among the board members.

Sonoma County Regional Parks Directors are very well paid and have excellent salaries and benefits. All of which is at the expense of the tax payer and the park system. The Regional Parks has the resources to make the parks in Sonoma County best in its class, but perspective donors would be best advised to provide other organizations their resources.

Review from Guidestar