Save a park, save 15 percent

The Sonoma/Petaluma State Historical Parks Association, which supports the Petaluma Adobe and the Sonoma Mission and Barracks, has kicked off its 2012 membership drive, perks included.

“The drive is in progress and has additional urgency now that state government wants to close 70 State Parks, including our Petaluma Adobe,” said Robert Alwitt.

To sweeten the deal, members will receive a card good for deals and discounts at area businesses. The group hopes that civic spirit – plus 10 to 15 percent off at restaurants, boutiques, bikes and more — will boost membership beyond its current roster of 160.

“The goal is to keep pressure on Sacramento and make sure state officials are aware of the strong public support for the local state parks,” Alwitt said.

The non-profit organization supports educational and historic activities of the Sonoma State Park including the Mission San Francisco Solano, the Soldier’s Barracks, the Vallejo Home and Petaluma Adobe.

The historic Adobe and 41-acre park, once the center of General Mariano Vallejo’s vast ranch, is slated for closure on July 1, 2012. The immediate goal of the S/PSHPA is to keep the Adobe open four days a week: Tuesday and Wednesday for schools and Saturday and Sunday for the general public.

Additional support would fund the plan to keep the Adobe open for a year beyond the July 1, 2012 closure date set by the state.

Paying the state to keep the park open for a year will give the S/PSHPA time to develop a business plan and identify new revenue streams to offset the costs of the operating the park. The group would then be well positioned to take over management, in July of 2013, as non-profits have done with Jack London Park and other state facilities.

And although the Sonoma properties are not on the current hit list, a continued state budget crunch could threaten them as well. The S/PSHPA would then be the logical partner to take over managing those facilities.

For more information send an email to SPSHPAmember@comcast.net with “membership” in the subject line.


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