Santa Rosa, CA – December 30, 2020 – The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space), a special district dedicated to protecting our working and natural lands forever, transferred ownership of a 335-acre coastal property to Sonoma County Regional Parks. This land, known as Carrington Coast Ranch, will eventually open to the public as a regional park and open space preserve just north of Salmon Creek.
“This project has been a long time in the making, so it is extraordinary to see the vision become reality and soon our community will be able to enjoy the rolling grasslands and beautiful vistas that make this property such a gem,” said Sonoma County 5th District Supervisor and Ag + Open Space Director Lynda Hopkins. “The conservation of our working and natural lands, including this new park and preserve, provides so many benefits to Sonoma County’s diverse communities. These include addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation, offering a place for all people to enjoy nature, and showcasing stunning scenic landscapes that define our region.”
Ag + Open Space purchased Carrington Coast Ranch in 2003 for $4.8 million. At the time, it was anticipated that the property would be transferred to and operated by California State Parks. However, due to budgetary constraints, State Parks was unable to accept title to the property. Ag + Open Space then began to work with Regional Parks on a potential park and open space preserve that would protect the ranch’s scenic and natural resources, while also providing for public recreation.
Carrington Coast Ranch hosts a diversity of natural habitats, including coastal prairie, coastal scrub, freshwater and saltwater wetlands, and tidal marsh. Several special-status species, such as the Townsend big-eared bat, California red-legged frog, and American badger have been identified on the property. The ranch is primarily open grassland, which affords spectacular views of the ocean, and sequesters carbon to help mitigate the effects of climate change, ensuring this area will adapt to sea level rise. The future park and open space preserve will provide a critical segment of the 1,200-mile California Coastal Trail and link to public lands to the north and south.