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Forestville - The Good Life - June 2015


Forestville - The Good Life - June 2015

by Richard Naegle

The Little Town that Could! 

We are an unincorporated town—with no elected City Fathers/Mothers to take care of us. So we take care of ourselves… There are very few parks west of the Rockies that are privately owned and operated by non-profit organizations. And we have two! Forestville Park Development, Inc. established the Youth Park in 1960 as a center for youth and youth groups. It has enjoyed over 53 years of success in serving young people in the West County area. The second park, still to be officially named, was acquired by the Forestville Planning Association in 2014 to create a Town Square and Open Space Park. Both projects are operated by devoted community volunteers and funded by local donations. Amazing! Truly, we are “The Little Town that Could.” See Youth Park news in the section below, and read about the progress of the Town Square in the Town Meeting article adjacent to this column.

The Big Apple 

Local restaurant, The Backyard, has been invited to New York to cook at the James Beard House. The invitation is considered quite a coup in culinary circles.  The entire cooking staff is going for a week at the end of May. In support the trip, Backyard had a wonderful paella feed fundraiser on May 20. Speaking of the Big Apple, one nomination for the name of the new downtown park is Central Park. Not a bad idea. 

Youth Park 

Even as the dust is settling over this year’s fabulous Barbeque and we’re still savoring the taste of garlic fries, the big push is on for the creation for a new Youth Center to replace the dilapidated meeting room. Fred von Renner writes, “Donations from local contractors are paving the Davis Street entrance and parking lot, adding a sidewalk, and putting up new fencing. Thanks go to Jeff Leyden at Von Renner Construction and Excavation, Mike Smith at Argonaut Construction, Gwen and Wendel Trappe at Canyon Rock, Bill Williams at BoDean Construction, John Grill at Aaction Rents, and Bohan and Canelis Ready Mix. Thanks also go to those who helped with the BBQ pit restoration: Luis Solano and Modesto Alvarez from Ironwood Builders, Ken Guerinoni and his crew from KG Masonry and Dan Northern, our former fire chief. Other important supporters and volunteers have been Alfonso Robles with Davey Tree, Bruce Witt ASAP Plumbing, Albie Nebel of Nebel Plumbing, and Eric Norby of Norby Electric. The Youth Park also would like to thank Russian River Rotary for awarding a grant for the new Youth Facility and to Farmhouse Inn for their “Good Night” contribution for the new Youth Facility.

And the feisty loyal volunteers at the Barbeque are just too many to be named—thanks and praise go to all of them.

Farmers’ Market  

The Forestville Certified Farmers Market, at Corks Restaurant, 5700 Highway 116, Forestville, reopens Tuesday, June 2, 2015. This is the third year of the market. Fresh fruits and vegetables are offered from local growers. There’s a picnic area, overlooking Russian River Vineyards and an occasional excellent sunset, where you can sit and enjoy some of the market specialty foods, and even sip a glass of RRV’s award-winning wines... while listening to live music from an assortment of talented local musicians. Local crafters offer jewelry, health and beauty products and other handmade gifts.

I enjoy the lovely walk there from the new Town Square, along the West County Trail, and then through an obvious gate at the rear of Russian River Vineyards. It’s a delightful outing. 


Grant applications to the Forestville Community Fund must be received by June 15. See (click the Community Fund tab) for important guidelines, further information, and a list of past projects. Applications can be filled out online or downloaded at; paper copies are available at Forestville Pharmacy and The Service Station.

Historical Society

Megan Chestnut, FHS Secretary, writes, “Thanks to the support of the Forestville Community Fund, the FHS now has an active website that can be accessed by people interested in the history of Forestville, worldwide. For the second phase of our project, we are focusing on encouraging the youth of Forestville to become involved in the documentation of our town’s history.

“A partnership has been created between founding FHS members and Seth Friesen, El Molino Media Arts Teacher and his students – young high school filmmakers who will help create oral histories. There are also student opportunities to join the FHS Board and/or manage the website. One high school volunteer will be given a $500 scholarship; small stipends are also being given for students doing oral histories and working on the website.” 

Check out the website at to see marvelous old photos as well as read Town history and interesting local stories. Consider joining! Make a contribution and help preserve the history of our Town.

El Molino 

El Molino is being awarded a Gold Ribbon Schools Award, formerly called California Distinguished School. According to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, “These schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching. They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right – embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.”

Students Forest Murnane and Cade Van Stone’s video, “Waiting for the Storm to Pass,” was chosen as the regional winner for suicide prevention in the Directing Change Student Film Contest. They are advancing to the statewide round of judging in Sacramento. Great work and congratulations!

El Mo is again offering its Summer Mini Camp series, June 12 through July 24, with sessions on football, baseball, basket ball, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, fitness training, tennis, and track and field. Go to and look for the Bulletin section for more information. 

High School graduation is on Thursday, June 4 at 6:30 pm. Way to go, graduates!