A Walk in the Park: Shollenberger Park in Petaluma

Meg has a J.D. in Urban, Land Use and Environmental Law. She focuses on maintaining the balance of community and environmental health, healthy lifestyles, and encouraging sustainable living.

This past weekend we decided to take Lily and Cousteau for a walk around Shollenberger Park on the south end of Petaluma. The park is a 165-acre area with a two-mile trail surrounding wetlands and mudflats. On the north end of the park, another trail juts off toward the marina that goes a mile through a marsh. The park also abuts the Petaluma River, which is a beautiful sight to see. To give you an idea of the flow of things, the river flows downstream to San Pablo Bay, which connects into San Francisco Bay, which connects, of course, to the Pacific Ocean.

Shollenberger is a great place to go for a walk, run, or casual stroll. The whole park is filled with different kinds of birds. There are ducks, geese, swans, vultures, avocets, gulls, doves, plovers, falcons, crows, hummingbirds, and more. And that’s just a list of the commonly seen birds in the wetlands! There is a great list of birds on the Petaluma Wetlands website, the organization that oversees the protection and operation of the park. You can see the list at www.petalumawetlands.org.

As we walked around the trail, I could not help but think that this is exactly the type of park that both provides a healthy place for people to visit and a safe haven for local wildlife. It is a place of balance. People can enjoy the trails and the scenery, and the birds and other creatures can live relatively undisturbed. What a wonderful environment.

We continue to explore wonderful places like this in and around our new stomping grounds. Let the adventures continue!