Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park spared closure

The Petaluma Adobe Stare Historic Park, the oldest structure in the Petaluma area and once the center of General Mariano Vallejo’s sprawling 100 square mile rancho, will remain open for another year.

The Sonoma Petaluma State Historic Parks Association, a non-profit organization, will pay State Parks $70,000 to keep the park open through June 30, 2013. The deal was signed last week.

The funds were raised by the “Save the Petaluma Adobe” Committee over the past five months from the generosity of many individuals and organizations, including an anonymous donor who contributed $35,000. The “Love Your Park Day” fundraiser on Valentine’s Day at the Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma raised $7000.

Over the next year the Sonoma Petaluma State Historic Parks Association will be working with State Parks to improve both revenues and visitorship to the park adding special events. These include an open air Shakespeare production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” in August renamed “Two Gentlemen of Sonoma” and set in 1840s California, with Sonoma and Petaluma replacing Verona and Milan. Shakespeare’s first comedy has been adapted and will be directed by Lucas McClure alumni of Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Marin Shakespeare. The production will be co-produced by the Parks Association, CAPS Productions and the Sonoma Theatre Alliance.

Although the initial goal of fundraising has been accomplished, ongoing philanthropy is likely to be part of the long term financial health of the park. Long term underwriting for the popular Fourth Grade “Environmental Living Program” is being sought. The program plays host to almost 3500 students each year but runs in the negative by $25,000/year as many students receive scholarships to attend. A team representing the Parks Association will be riding in the Sonoma/Napa Echelon Gran Fondo on May 12. Donations can still be made to that event online.

In the meantime the Sonoma Petaluma State Historic Parks Association has formed two Committees to develop a long term Business Plan whose goal is to make the Adobe a more sustainable park, and a Long Term Funding Committee to explore funding opportunities.

For more information contact Philip Sales at 707.592.1601 or email savethepetalumaadobe@gmail.com


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