Hiking for your good health

A simple walk in nature shows measurable health benefits, physicians say – so much so that a new nationwide initiative called “ParkRx for Health” has doctors literally writing prescriptions for walks in the great outdoors.

ParkRx is a collaborative program between health-care providers and park professionals designed to improve the well-being of Sonoma County’s residents through regular exercise, fresh air and closeness with nature. Through the program, local health care professionals “prescribe” low-impact outdoor activities, such as nature walks.

Participating health care providers include Sonoma Valley Hospital plus Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Health and St. Joseph Health (Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital).

The Sonoma Overlook Trail is one of the featured hiking trails in the ParkRx program. We love hiking the Overlook Trail for our good health. . .hike to the top and celebrate your good health. . . .like this hiker!

For more information about the ParkRx program, go to http://parkrx-sonomacounty.org/about/

Fencing Volunteer Project at Montini Preserve

Sonoma Ecology Center is setting up deer friendly fencing at Montini Preserve to allow for the continuation of historic grazing on the property. Bill Montinis herd will be let out for some seasonal low-impact grazing to help keep our Oak Woodlands healthy and remove some of the non-native grasses within the park. The grazing will help to reduce invasive species and wildfire fuel loads in the park.

We are looking for extra hands to work with SEC Restoration staff on the installation. Open workdays every Wednesday and Friday from 8-12:00pm starting July 19 through August 4th or until the fence is complete. Volunteers will meet the crew in the morning at 8:00am by the Montini Water Tanks and do work nearby at the Spotted fawn trail. Bring a waterbottle and sunscreen and some good boots, staff will provide all the tools and training.

Many hands makes light work! Come out and join us for a day (or 3!)

We’re Winning!

endofseasonFor the last five years we have been trying to eradicate the Yellow Star Thistle (YST) from the Sonoma Overlook Trail. For the the last three years we’ve also been trying to do the same for the Montini Preserve. Today I ranged all over the SOT upper meadows and emerged with about half a bag of YST. This is a great improvement, and demonstrates that our campaign is making a difference. There is now so little on the Overlook that searching for it may almost be a waste of time, so now I will switch to the Montini, which is likely to still have serious infestations of YST.

This year we also started tackling the purple thistle, which has overrun the Montini but hasn’t yet done so on the Overlook. We focused on getting it off the sides of the trail, as that is a primary way that it spreads. Next year we will begin earlier in the year fighting the purple (YST comes on later in Spring than the purple).

If you want to help out, let me know. I have contractor bags and the only other things you need are a glove and persistence.