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Upgrades coming to Cloverdale open space preserve

A hiking and wildlife haven on the western edge of Cloverdale is set to become a little more accessible to the public.

Sonoma County supervisors last week authorized $345,000 for construction of almost two miles of new trails, a parking and staging area and other improvements for the Clover Springs Open Space Preserve.

“These dollars will open up the western hills to public access. It's all about getting Cloverdale residents to the new park and enjoying it for generations to come,” north county Supervisor Mike McGuire said Tuesday.

This property is absolutely beautiful. It has a gorgeous creek running through it, conifers, oaks and madrones. Visitors often see foxes, coyotes, deer and raccoons,” said McGuire who makes a point of hiking the property every Christmas Day, weather permitting.

Originally, there were plans for estate-style homes on the 250 acres of land, which was purchased for $7.5 million by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District in 2007

“Rightfully so, the community sounded the alarm and the Clover Springs open space preserve and public park was born,” McGuire said.

The county transferred title to the city in 2011. It came along with $275,000 to fund improvements. The additional money allocated last week by the Open Space district will enable Cloverdale to conduct an environmental analysis for further work; obtain permits; construct a bridge crossing; build 1.8 miles of new trail; design and install interpretive signs.

McGuire said construction is expected to start in the next 12 to 14 months. He said he will conduct a town hall meeting in September for the public to comment on the proposed trails and other improvements.

Located off Skyview Drive, next to the Del Webb-designed retirement community of Clover Springs, the preserve is already accessible to the public with some informal trails.

The south branch of Porterfield Creek runs through it, fed by a natural spring.

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