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Forestville - The Good Life - November 2015


Forestville - The Good Life - November 2015

by Richard Naegle

Ah, Forestville...II

Last month I wrote about the wonders of living in Forestville—the natural beauty, the variety of local businesses, the diversity and creativity of our small population, the mindset of “Forestville the Good Life.”  

Forestville is unincorporated, with no city government; we do what’s needed and take care of ourselves and our neighbors.  We are the “Little Town that Can.”  A crucial element in this mix is the willingness of locals to identify community needs, get involved, and help out.  Forestvillians step up to the plate.  It’s amazing what goes on behind the scenes. 

Just a few examples: Our local firefighters put up decorations on the annual Holiday Tree and on downtown telephone poles …as well as help with the annual children’s Easter egg hunt, and help clean/maintain the local cemetery; all seven firefighters at the Forestville Fire Department are graduates of our local El Molino High School. Earl Stephens assists in setting up the Holiday Tree every year.  Hal Woods and Russian River Utilities install festive flags downtown throughout the year.  Dozens of volunteers staff the Youth Park Barbeque and parade.  Over a hundred local donors contributed towards the purchase of the new Downtown Park, Dan Northern coordinates its maintenance and mowing, Heather Robertson donated a doggie refuse station, Robert O”Connor put it up, Shannon Wesley regularly changes the garbage bag.  Not to mention the dedicated and tireless members of the Boards of the Youth Park, Chamber of Commerce, and Forestville Planning Association.  Volunteers staff the Food Pantry at the United Methodist Church.  Many parents and friends of children help out at the local schools.  Then there’s the Hollydale Club, the Teen Clinic, the scout packs, 4 H, and on and on.

In the country, we value privacy and independence; we also highly value community.  What we take for granted as “the good life” is supported and maintained by caring individuals who do not seek the limelight.  As Bilbo once said, “It’s the little people who turn the wheels of the world while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”  It’s all about community spirit and a sense of belonging.

As we begin the holiday season with its emphasis on family, friends, and good will towards all, you might want to consider how else you can actively participate in Forestville, in making “the good life” a reality for all.  Check with local organizations, or, if you are not sure where your interests and efforts would best fit, feel free to contact me for suggestions., or 887-1985.


One Forestville tradition that annually celebrates our community is the Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony--Sunday, 11/29 (the Sunday after thanksgiving), 4 pm-dusk in the Downtown Park.   Bring your favorite cookies to share.  Santa Claus arriving by fire truck, singing by school choirs, caroling, hot cider, cookies, the Bookmobile, hanging out with neighbors, meeting new friends, and lighting our tree as the darkest night approaches—what could be more wonderful?!   Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce and the many volunteers who make this event possible.  

Hopefully, the lighted Holiday decorations will be up again on downtown power poles this year.


Saturday, November 14th from 9am to 2pm at the Forestville United Methodist Church at 6550 Covey Road, Forestville.  Always a delightful event, all items are priced to sell, including homemade pies, fudge and jams! Pies are also available by the slice with coffee. YUM!


Taxpayers Against Unfair Taxes (TAUT) is promoting a petition to allow local voters to choose whether or not to detach from the Palm Drive Health Care District due to the changed landscape for the provision of health care services in the Russian River Corridor.  For more info go to the top of the page, under “Search Articles,” enter “taut campaign.”  

If you would like to sign the petition, go to Sequoia Properties, across from the Downtown Park.  


Passed by county voters 20 years ago, “community separators” have protected 17,000 acres of precious green spaces from becoming housing tracts and shopping malls.  But the law expires next year, and the County Supervisors need to develop a ballot measure for next year’s general election that will protect, strengthen and add priority greenbelt lands to the community separator designations.  For more info and actions you can take, go to


Matt Dunkle, Principal of El Molino High School, spoke to the Principal of Middletown High School, and found that about a third of Middletown High School's staff, and many of the students’ families have lost everything to the fire.  

Many student athletes also lost everything - several of the football players took their gear home with them after their Friday game only to have it destroyed by fire. When Mr. Dunkle asked Bill what we could do to help, he requested help with replacing a wide variety of athletic gear (shoes, shin guards, shoulder pads, etc.) that was lost.

The El Molino Boosters have stepped up to help with contributions.  If you are interested in contributing, you can do so online at or send donations to (make a note that it is for Middletown Mustangs): El Molino Boosters, 7050 Covey Rd, Forestville, CA 95436.

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving! There is much to be thankful for! How might you contribute more to "The Good Life" in Forestville?



By Richard Naegle 707-887-1985, or