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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - July 2016


Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  July 2016

by Heather Granahan

Thank You, Readers

The readers who continue to reach out with such sweet support are a powerful part of my healing team. For many writers, we launch our contributions into thin air and rarely hear anything back. I forget about it and move on, often picking up the issue to remind myself what I wrote, if I haven’t bumped into a reader at the store who reminded me! Well, readers, it has been lovely to hear from you and your support is on my mind every day. And just as lovely to report: My newest regime is showing very positive results, so hopes are on the rise, with even the oncologist smiling! Every bit of time bought gets me closer to upcoming treatments emerging from testing for us to try.

Road Trip!

I noticed the positive developments while on a little road trip we stole away between chemos. On our camping-and-visiting-friends loop, we saw a dear old friend in Ashland, OR; and walked through the amazing Lithia Park. Near the entrance of this 93-acre wonderland of both wildness and more manicured areas is a drinking fountain built in 1927, constantly bubbling its weirdly tasty lukewarm, fizzy mineral and lithium-laced water – hence the name of the 100-year-old park. 

What struck me most were the little things about the park – thoughtful placement of private “smooch-benches” along the Ashland Creek bank, easy places for little ones to dip their toes on hot days, plaques identifying old trees, a simple bandshell available for rentals and performances, enough lawn areas for kids to loll around and I even saw a private wedding going on. Deer ambled by an author’s photo shoot featuring a sprightly fellow in a linen suit perched barefoot on a looping tree branch. Though this is a huge park, it was clearly an essential heart of the town and made me eager to see our own Graton Park come to be. 

So, What about OUR Park?

As I have relayed earlier, we have an unprecedented chance to purchase the park site at a very good price that will include a lot of infrastructure and even some initial plantings. Thanks to the generosity of the lands’ developer, Orrin Thiessen, the permits and environmental conditions are also being met. “All I have to do is about 110 special adjustments”, he laughed wearily when explaining it at a recent gathering. The Graton Green Group (GGG)’s “burning soul” leaders have been tirelessly filling out stacks of forms to obtain a matching grant from the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and we should hear the news in July. We will need to raise another $14,000 to have enough to match the grant, and we have a couple more months to do so. We can do this!  GGG organized in 2007, and became incorporated as a non-profit in 2010.  As HolLynn D’lil points out. “It’s been a long struggle, and that we’re really this close to actually having a community park is so exciting and rewarding”. Remember that no park in this County exists in a vacuum – we all frequent many parks in other towns as do our visitors and bike path users. Don’t be shy to ask your friends in other towns to pitch in! Help birth the park by donating on this fund site that also tells more about the park – see link here or go to and put “A Community Park For Graton” in the search bar.  Link:

Local Author Moment

Speaking of Ms. D’lil, it has been one year since the launch of her book, Becoming Real in 24 Days, detailing 1977 historic 10-city protests that helped secure some basic disability rights,with a focus on the Bay Area. She was doing a story for Ms. Magazine, and interestingly Gloria Steinem’s new book talks about the simultaneous New York protests. HolLynn’s advocacy work continues after 40 years, especially as the CA Chamber of Commerce is resistant to disability rights and is threatening to undo much progress. Learn more:

Workshops and Outings

This month, an interesting workshop is being offered at our Graton Community Clubhouse. Mosaic Class: July 15, Friday 9:15 – 4 pm. Learn how to decorate stepping stones, bird houses or other fun items. Materials available; just bring are gloves, goggles, tile cutters and E6000 adhesive. $25 for newcomers, $18 for those with prior classtime. Class offered quarterly. Contact Charlene at 542-0797.

Another Club sponsored event is a Field Trip to Western Hills Garden 06/28/2016 from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm. Meet at Clubhouse at 10:30 to carpool to Occidental. Call the Club: 707.829.5314.

Remember, all notices need to get to me no later than the 15th of the month before publication, Email to me at