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Forestville - The Good Life - October 2015


Forestville - The Good Life - October 2015

by Richard Naegle


A recent article in the Chronicle Travel Section highlighted our little Town—and reminded me why I love this place so much.  Of course, I am biased.  But I also have the wisdom to live here.  

I have long thought that of all the unincorporated towns in Sonoma County, Forestville is the only real small town (i.e. that holds all the necessaries:  gas station, pizza parlor, hair cutter, dentist, health center, pharmacy, coffee shop, hardware store, supermarket, bar, deli, a variety of restaurants, etc.  While the town itself is small, “Forestville” is actually the whole 95436 zip code (23 square miles with a population of about 5400).  Well, actually, it’s a mind-set and a way of living—“Forestville, the good life.”  

We like small town living.   We like our “terroir”—a winemaking and foodie term that refers to the unique environmental qualities of a specific habitat.  We love the Russian River and the redwoods.  We enjoy the socioeconomic mix of our residents.  There is a good blend of working class contractors, farmers, and small business people, along with artists and craftspeople, along with PhD’s and professionals.   You can dine at a Michelin Star restaurant with a fabulous wine list (Farmhouse Inn), or dig into fish tacos and a cerveza at Rosa’s Market.  You can sample fine Russian River Valley vintages at Tasting Rooms and wineries, or belly up to the bar at the Forestville Club and dance your ass off.   You can hike in the redwoods, canoe down the Russian River, lie on beaches, play with your kids in the Youth Park, or nurse a cup of locally roasted coffee on a bench in our Downtown Park.   You can grab a burger at Carr’s drive-in, pick up won-ton soup at Tahoe Chinese Restaurant, have a draft beer and pizza at Forestville Pizza, or feast on locally sourced and moderately priced gourmet food at Twist, Cork’s, Backyard, or Canneti’s.  

Forestville is low key and anything but “pretentious.”  It does not emulate “the refined nature” of a wine country destination.  In fact, the Chamber of Commerce decided years ago to make the town logo read, “Where the river meets the redwoods,” rather than “Where the river meets the grapevines.”  We welcome travelers.  But we tenaciously hold onto our small town traditions and charm.  

Aren’t we glad we live here?!


I’ve enjoyed this; perhaps you will too.  Every Monday morning there is free yoga in the Downtown Park from 7:30-9 a.m.--open to all ages and abilities.  Drea Moore begins each class with a short walk down the trail to get our juices flowing; we then gather under the oaks for breathing exercises and a series of gentle opening stretches.  All you need is your interest, an open mind, and a decent pair of shoes. 


Report It:  a new website and app allow tracking of non-emergency issues in unincorporated areas of the County 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  Reportable issues include potholes, street light outages, slides, trees in the roadway, and litter: 

Free Chipping:  To aid fire prevention, the County is offering free residential chipper service to help residents create defensible space around occupied homes and reduce vegetation along access routes.  3 hours of free chipping through mid-November:


El Molino:  After school tutoring is up and running and open to all students on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday @ 3pm in the Library. 

The High School is on the cutting edge of concussion management. After being one of the first high schools in Sonoma County to require baseline concussion testing of athletes three years ago, this year El Molino has also begun requiring all athletes to attend a one-hour class taught by a concussion expert.

Hollydale Club: Saturday October 10th for the Hollydale Harvest Pasta Feed, featuring the THUGZ...dinner at 6:00pm, music at 7:00, raffle at 8:00.  ($13 suggested donation, kids under 10 free).  …10/25 “Last Sunday of the Month” Breakfast, 9-noon:  Eggs Benedict!   ($10 suggested donation, kids under 10 free).   Spend the morning at the Clubhouse—good food, good friends, for the good times.  …The Club is ¼ of the way to its goal of $4000 for a new vinyl plank floor in the main room.  …Reserve the Clubhouse, a special place for a small Holiday gathering.  Weekends of 12/12 and 12/19 are still available: contact

Youth Park:  Great news!  Fred von Renner writes, “…I am happy to report that, after the proceeds of this year’s Golf Tournament on September 18th, we will be able to build the new Youth Center.  After five years of dedicated community fundraising the new facility is being built this fall/spring.”  Hooray!!