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What's Up in Windsor - January 2016 - Tina Castelli


What's Up in Windsor - January 2016 - Tina Castelli

by Tina Castelli

This year seemed to fly by faster than normal, yet looking back, January of 2015 seems so long ago. Old Redwood Hwy. had already been closed for 3 months and the new roundabout and street improvements were really starting to take shape along this old original 101 Highway. It truly is historic that this State Highway was able to be closed at all, let alone for over a year’s time. The Town of Windsor is to be commended for coming up with a good plan for traffic detours, new stop signs and as little as possible disruption to the normal lives of those who drive through Windsor every day. The first leg of the road improvements were completed just two weeks after the season opening of the Sunday, Windsor Farmers Market in April. The grand opening of the first roundabout was held mid-May. Joe Rodota Drive opened up in November as the finishing touches were being put on the second round-a-bout at Windsor River Road. A public committee of volunteers made recommendations that were accepted by the Council for new public art that will be displayed in the center of the roundabouts. One piece from a local artist is constructed from 3 old growth redwood trees, a nice touch to be displayed along Old Redwood Highway.

In the summer we saw the new Vintage Oaks shopping center construction begin and a new Oliver’s Market was included in the plan with the opening set for spring of 2016. Speaking of plans, in 2015 Windsor opened up communication with the community for a new Parks & Recreation Master Plan to take us through 2020 and a new Town of Windsor General Plan to take us through 2040. Town staff and consultants have held several survey sessions with citizens of all ages and cultures in hopes of making changes that most of us want. There are more workshops planned for February and March to collect public information. If you want to get involved in the process and have feedback to share, visit

In early 2015 serious attention had to be payed to our drought situation. Windsor officials like many cities made the decisions to ration. Windsor would allow watering 3 days a week, with 3 days of each week designated for watering on the east and west sides of the freeway. Many homeowners opted for City programs to replace their green lawns with low water use landscaping choices. This changed the look of our neighborhoods, no more postage stamp green lawns, but instead a natural countryside feel. The drought affected many of our local farmers with most paying twice what they had in past years for water and some unable to water their crops and animals with wells that ran down to dangerous levels. Some saw a big increase in gophers and raccoons, now travelling closer and closer to civilization for water and food. A couple farmers saw loads of ripe fruits and vegetables ruined just a day or so before being picked for Market. The drought brought an early harvest season with grape growers picking almost 2 weeks earlier than last year, which was 2 weeks earlier than the year before and the year before that. It was a good year for tomatoes and peppers in Sonoma County as the Markets saw tomatoes through mid-November and peppers into December.

The rains started coming in late November and we had the nice wet ending to 2015 we were hoping for. Threats of El Nino brought several weekend rains in December and cold temperatures that got down below 30 degrees for some evenings. The rains brought with them warm weather and we had a nice sunny day with high temperatures for Christmas. The rainy weather didn’t get anyone down in Windsor, everywhere you went people were happy to put on their hoods and bring out the umbrellas. This may not be the end to our drought, but for now, I can say I think everyone got what they wanted from Mother Nature for the Holidays. Happy New Year!   

The Windsor Certified Farmers Market on Sundays is now closed for the winter and will be reopening on Sunday, April 3, 2016. Save the dates below for more events coming up in Windsor for 2016.
Sunday, April 17th Town of Windsor Earth Day & Wellness Fest
Saturday, April 30th Windsor Day Parade sponsored by the Windsor Kiwanis
Sunday, May 1st Town of Windsor Cinco De Mayo Celebration
Sunday, July 31st Windsor Antiques & Collectibles Show, Car Show, Farmers Market.