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Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan - February 2017


Grassroots Graton - Heather Granahan -  January 2017

by Heather Granahan

Just Pink?

 The Women’s Marches on the Saturday following the UNauguration  (as one friend calls it) were historic in size and some say in the absence of police violence or arrests. Indeed, from the number of neighbors who added their bodies to the Santa Rosa March of about 10,000 souls, Graton must have been a ghost town that day. As uplifted as I was by all the Pink Pussyhats filling streets all over the country and world, I couldn’t help but notice the low number of other colors – in the participants.

Before we get too proud about the lack of arrests and police harassment, please remember that authorities are consistently different in the way they control and handle crowds with higher numbers of POC and that alone can be enough to keep a motivated mama away. Also know that our Latina sisters and their families are hearing a lot of scary anti-immigrant talk from the new Prezy and his cronies and may just feel like laying low. At the next action, let’s all do some outreach and extend the love; these stands need to be inclusionary AND safe. 

A Toast to Graton’s Centenarian!

 Graton’s beloved West County Notable, Louise Hallberg turned the magical 100 on January 3rd, and a celebration was held at Graton Community Club January 8th.

Many of you may know the Hallberg name from the famous Hallberg Butterfly Gardens, which may be the oldest butterfly garden in the country. A marvelous treasure of a place to learn about butterflies and butterfly plants, Louise and the volunteers open the gardens a few times a year for schoolchildren and the community (learn more at

The Hallberg family arrived in Sonoma County in 1880 and played a major role in apple processing, including running an applesauce cannery through the 1930s. During my volunteer duties at the Sturgeon Steam Mill Restoration Project on Green Hill road, I have seen some of the original Hallberg apple boxes, full of old Mill parts. They also grew hops and these days there are also some local vineyards bearing the Hallberg name. The heartbeat and family name are now centered around the amazing butterfly gardens that grace the family home on the hilltop overlooking Graton. I have spent most mornings this last decade catching the sunrise from the upstairs deck throw splendid rays out from around the Hallberg house and palm tree. As I did then, I again send a smile and thank you up the hill to Miss Louise Hallberg – and a big Happy Birthday!

Thinking Big, Working Small Graton Gallery
is presenting its popular 6th Juried Small Works Exhibition this month. Don’t forget to pop in sometime during February1- March 5 to catch this year’s selection of featured artists. Get your glad rags on or come as you are and come meet the artists at the Artists Reception Sat. February 4th from 2-5pm. 

Park Design

Graton Park Design Committee is inviting neighbors to join for monthly metings and work on a park design that everyone can enjoy. Especially sought after are anyone with grant experience, outdoor/park design experience; however anyone with time to devote to our village’s future is welcome. Please contact Stephanie at 530-354-1646.

Shifting Sights

You may have heard a rumor that our family is changing dens and moving. It’s true – we are moving a few miles West of town and will now be shifting from being a Gratonist to a Gratonite as defined by my excellent predecessor in this column, HoLlynn DLil in her April 2009 writing. 

My own heath journey into smaller income-ville as well as my gutsy mother’s* determination to stay living on her forested ridge have prompted us to set up housekeeping on the family property. This means a move into tiny house living, which I have always looked at askance but am leaping into nevertheless. I am still haunting Graton and the family and friends still there, still happily scratching out these missives at my worthy editor’s request. 

(*Gutsy mother Andrea is launching her latest book February 10th at Occidental Arts , replete with Valentines goodies and racy poetry – see what I mean? You can’t fight this stuff).

So, please keep sending any notices of upcoming happenings or other news – remember, my deadlines are the 15th of the month BEFORE the month of publication. Email me: