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landscaping

Coffey Strong Receives United Way of the Wine Country Grant for Entryway Landscaping

Coffey Strong Receives United Way of the Wine Country Grant for Entryway Landscaping

Coffey Strong is grateful for the support of United Way of the Wine Country’s Wildfire Recovery and Resilience Neighborhood Grants Program (WRNGP), which has awarded ten grants ranging from $4,000 to $25,000 for projects to help residents rebuild and recover from the October 2017 wildfires and build the resiliency necessary to address future disasters in some cases.  The funds received from this grant will be applied to the restoration of landscaping work at the corner of Hopper Avenue and Coffey Lane, a community hub and entryway to our neighborhood.

Coffey Strong applied for the grant after months of working with Firma Design Group, who donated their services to create a landscape plan that would be beautiful, easy to maintain and provide a space for five memorial cherry trees to grow in memory of lives lost in Coffey Park on the night of the Tubbs Fire. Three of those trees were planted in time for the one year remembrance, with the others to come when the land is ready. The United Way grant provides a great foundation for the project, which still needs an additional $50,000 to reach full funding.

Hopper and Coffey NW corner
Recent view of the corner of Hopper Avenue and Coffey Lane

About the Grant Program

United Way of the Wine Country (UWWC) had $100,000 available for grant funding and received 35 applications totaling $1.6 million dollars. A volunteer grants review committee made up of UWWC Board members and community partners ranked the applications and made funding recommendations based on criteria such as need, impact, and ability to leverage other resources. Based on committee recommendations, the UWWC Board of Directors approved the allocation of an additional $48,100 for the grant program, raising total allocable grant funds to $148,100.

Some of the needs and projects identified by the residents and approved for funding include: rebuilding community spaces, fences, and walls; regreening neighborhoods; and paying for the cost to facilitate community meetings and events (e.g. space rentals, food, communication, etc.).

Recipients of UWWC’s WRNGP grants are: Larkfield Resilience Fund; Mark West Estates Owners Association; Coffey Strong, Inc.; Berry Brook Homeowners Association; Wilshire Heights Mutual Water Company; Glen Ellen Forum; Alexander Valley Citizens League; O’Donnell Lane Community Group; Journey’s End; and Dover Court Chain Gang. The WRNGP was a competitive grants program of UWWC in partnership with Sonoma Clean Power. Any resident- or community-led group made up of five or more households in Sonoma County was eligible to apply.

For more information about United Way, please visit unitedwaywinecountry.org, and for more information about Sonoma Clean Power, please visit sonomacleanpower.org.

Help Us Reach our Funding Goal

Coffey Strong is a group of volunteers from our neighborhood who are helping rebuild the community of Coffey Park with information sharing, mutual support and collaborative initiatives like this one. To help close the funding gap for the Entryway to Coffey Park landscaping project, make a donation to Coffey Strong on our website: www.coffeystrong.com/fundraising

 

rainwater and greywater workshops

Save Water, Save Money by Designing Home to Retain Rainwater and Use Greywater

Save Water, Save Money by Designing Home to Retain Rainwater and Use Greywater

Are you interested in saving on your water bill while keeping your landscaping healthy? Would you like to learn how to take advantage of simple strategies for conserving natural resources in your home and garden? If this sounds good to you, take advantage of these FREE upcoming events!

Free Workshops

Local non profit Daily Acts will present two events focused on incorporating sustainable landscape practices like rainwater harvesting and graywater reuse into your rebuild, in partnership with the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership. At these informative evening workshops, we will provide access to resources, products and designers who can help you plan for and install these systems at your site.

Each event will provide a brief presentation followed by a panel discussion with local experts and a mini expo to share resources, products, and connect with designers. These events will build on the optional features outlined in the scalable, easy-to-permit landscape templates found at Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership.

Retaining the Rain in Your Rebuild
Thursday, October 4, 6-8 PM, Free
Register to Attend

Did you know that a 1,000 sq ft roof can catch over 600 gallons of water from only 1″ of rainfall? If you’re thinking about taking advantage of this free resource from the sky, then this is the event for you!

Growing with Greywater in Your Rebuild
Thursday, October 18, 6 – 8 PM, Free
Utility Field Office, 35 Stony Point Rd., Santa Rosa, 95401
Register to Attend

Did you know that the average American family does 600 loads of laundry every year?  At 25 gallons per load, it means the average family uses 15,000 gallons of water a year to wash their clothes. Capture that laundry waste water for reuse is greywater. Water from baths and showers can also be captured as greywater and diverted to provide lots of water to irrigate the landscape of your home.  This workshop will provide all the information you need to get started on a greywater plan.

In addition to reducing your water bill, the potential ecological benefits of greywater recycling include:

  • Reduced freshwater extraction from rivers and aquifers
  • Less impact from septic tank and treatment plant infrastructure
  • Reduced energy use and chemical pollution from treatment
  • Groundwater recharge
  • Reclamation of nutrients
  • Greater quality of surface and ground water when preserved by the natural purification in the top layers of soil than generated water treatment processes.
Event Panelists include:
Jesse Savou from BlueBarrel Rainwater Catchment Systems
Tom LeBlanc from Community Soil 
Sherry Bryan from Ecology Action
Damien McAnany & Patrick Picard from Equinox Landscapes
Chris Reamer from Go to the Garden
Christina Bertea from Greywater Action
Patty Hamilton from Harmony Farms Supply
Brock Dolman from Occidental Arts and Ecology Center’s WATER Institute
Erik Ohlsen and Sebastian Bertsch from Permaculture Artisans

We hope to see you at these informative events!

Landscape Design Workshop Sept 29 Offers Hands-on Help

Landscape Design Workshop Sept 29 Offers Hands-on Help

Are you picturing your new home surrounded by beautiful trees and plants, arranged in an easy to maintain, drought tolerant yard? Looking for an affordable solution to getting an attractive landscape design?

If you are one of the hundreds of homeowners who are using one of the smaller contractors or custom builders, the landscape design might not be included in your builder contract, or your agreement might provide an allowance toward the landscaping, but you need to still plan the landscape design and engineering. Every home will need at least a front yard landscape plan, approved at the city or county planning office. Thanks to the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership, FREE scalable front yard landscape templates are available, offering eight attractive layouts in several different styles.

The templates are not ready for submittal to the permitting agency until you mark them up with your site specific details and your material and design option selections.

Not sure how to use the FREE Landscape Design Templates?

Attend the Pathways to Rebuilding Landscapes Workshop on September 29, 2018 offered by Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership to learn how to use and adapt the templates.

  • The session will begin with a review of the Landscape Design Templates and explanation of how to modify the templates to suit your specific site needs.
  • Then, trained landscape advisors, design professionals and permitting staff will be on-hand to provide guidance as you participate in the Hands-On Breakout session, where you can mark up the designs to your own site’s needs. Be sure to bring a 24″ x 36″ printed copy of the landscape template you want to use and a site plan if you have one. (Get large format copies printed at a local copy shop)
  • After the workshop, if you need further assistance, the FAQ page will have a list of trained professionals that are available for hire to assist with any landscape design or installation needs.

Space is limited, register for the workshop and get your FREE event tickets here.

template includes plant images and names
Templates include fire resistant and drought tolerant plant selections. Resource lists for alternative low water and moderate water plants are also provided on the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership website

The workshop will have two components:

8:00am to 9:00am The Overview of Landscape Templates – Learn about the Landscape Design Templates, how they are designed to be scalable, optional elements, and more.
8:00am to 9:00am

The Hands-On Breakout Session* – make plant substitutions, select optional elements and make simple markups to your Landscape Design Template. (Get tickets for one of two sessions.)
Session 1 – 9:00am to 10:30am
Session 2 – 11:00am to 12:30pm

*The Hands-On Breakout Sessions are not design consultations. If more complex modifications are desired, design assistance is available through your local landscape professionals.

Register for the workshop and get your FREE event tickets here.

Location: City of Santa Rosa Utility Field Office, 35 Stony Point Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

*Please bring these items if you will be attending a breakout session so we can help guide you on your path to rebuilding your landscape:

designing a friendly neighborhood

Designing a Friendly Neighborhood

Designing a Friendly Neighborhood

3-3-2018  I love to envision our new, friendly neighborhood with beautiful homes and new, even stronger community connections.  I asked town planner Lois Fisher for some things we can do in the design of our homes to foster that friendly atmosphere. Stay strong neighbors and keep your eyes on the future! pvh


Have you ever wondered why some neighborhoods seem to be full of people that are connected, whereas other neighborhoods feel like residents are on their own?

There is a branch of urban design called “The Social Aspects of Environmental Design” that has some answers. It turns out that

Neighborhoods with strong social ties, mutual assistance and non-profits can increase life expectancy by 5 years and reduce fatality rates by a factor of 10 during disasters”.

~ from Eric Klineberg

What are the things that you can do while selecting or designing a floor plan to increase neighborliness in Coffey Park?

One of the most important qualities of cohesive neighborhoods is that the structure of the street allows them to comfortably interact. Looking at the photos below, which street scene looks friendlier? Which one would contribute to letting the residents get to know each other?

street with garages prominent
Street with garages prominent
Street view with porches in front
Street with porches in front

Most people would say that the street in the second image, with the porches in front of the houses is the more socially connected street. That is because the active areas of the house, with people in them, are behind the porch. It is more likely that you will informally meet a neighbor if they live in a house with a porch that is close to the street, instead of a house with a hidden entrance to the side of the garage.

The Santa Rosa city zoning code allows buildings in residential districts to put the porch 15’ behind the sidewalk, 4’ closer than the garage. (Your particular zone may allow it to be even closer to the sidewalk.) Have you thought of adding a large porch to your rebuilt house? It could be your contribution to making your whole neighborhood safer and more neighborly.

If you have the good fortune of having a corner lot, you might consider a wrap around porch. That way your new house will be connected to both streets.

house with wrap around porch
Wraparound porch faces both streets

Another feature of resilient neighborhoods is that people have a chance to meet on foot because walking around the neighborhood is an enjoyable activity.  Which of the streets below look most inviting to go for a walk?Comparing streets with and without street trees in the planter strip

Comparing streets with and without street trees in the planter strip

If you previously paved over your planter strip, how about opening it up again and planting a street tree getting your neighbors to do the same?

These are ideas are some ways for you to help make Coffey Park even more safe and neighborly in its new incarnation- because of the way that you design your new house and lot.


Lois Fisher

Lois Fisher, CNU, LEED-AP and LEED-ND is the president of Fisher Town Design and an Urban Designer. Her firm specializes in creating walkable downtowns and neighborhoods as an alternative to suburban sprawl. Her approach combines an understanding of the unique assets of a site with the timeless principles of urban design. The result is healthy, socially and economically vital places that are sustainable. Her Theatre district project in downtown Petaluma is a very successful urban design redevelopment project. The successful relocation of the North Santa Rosa SMART station from Frances Drive to Guerneville Road is another example.

She is an adjunct faculty member and teaches Urban Design at Sonoma State University. Lois Fisher has served for many years on the Planning Commission for Windsor and helped to spearhead the development of the downtown there. She regularly writes ‘Close to Home’ pieces for the Press Democrat on urban design topics.

Tree News

News about Trees, Tree Removal and Chipping

News about Trees, Tree Removal and Chipping

About trees

Tree Chipping

The City of Santa Rosa will hold a free chipping event for residential property owners in the fire-impacted areas. City residents with fire-damaged green waste on their property are encouraged to bring that waste to be chipped at the following designated times and locations.

February 24 & March 10, 2018
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Nagasawa Park
1313 Fountaingrove Parkway

February 25 & March 11, 2018
9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Coffey Park
1524 Amanda Place

Eligible green waste materials include burned and partially burned brush and felled trees up to 12” in diameter on residential property and adjacent sidewalk areas. The materials cannot be contaminated with fire debris, and residents are responsible for transporting their green waste to the chipping sites. The green waste will be chipped at no cost to residents, and the resulting wood chips will be used by the City of Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks Department for various projects throughout the City.

No permit is needed for tree removal within the wildfire burn areas of Santa Rosa city limits. However, residents should photograph the tree’s condition prior to its removal. The photographs will later need to be presented during rebuilding permit or entitlement application submittal.

For more information, visit www.sonomacountyrecovers.org/damaged-tree-removal/

Removing Burned Trees from Your Lot

The City of Santa Rosa now allows residents to remove any burned trees that pose a threat to safety and property, without getting a permit.  In order to capture the value of the old trees that are being removed and to mitigate for their possible replacement, the City is asking residents to include photos of trees to be removed with every permit package.  This is much simpler than the traditional tree-removal process that requires an arborist’s examination, a written report, a tree-removal permit, and payment of a fee.  The details of the photo-submission process are TBD.

Replacement of Burned Planter-strip Trees

In collaboration with FEMA and the In a meeting with representatives from the Santa Rosa City we heard that residents will be required to remove and replace burned trees in the planter-strip.  But we also heard (The “planter strip” is the land between the street and the sidewalk.)  This is because the residents own that land (and the trees on it!), and the residents have only given an easement on that land to the City.  Santa Rosa City is going to reconsider the types of trees that should go in the planter strip, in order to minimize future damage to underground utilities.  While the burned trees should be removed fairly soon, planting replacements should probably be held off until after houses are rebuilt.  Beautiful, tree-lined streets certainly enhance property value!

Listen to the Director of Transportation and Public Works Jason Nutt speak about sidewalks and tree removal from the recording of the February 15  Town Hall event (~ 56:00 minutes in the video)

Video Recording of Sonoma County/City of Santa Rosa Community Forum held on February 15, 2018