The Graton Green Group, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization that created and maintains a small community park at the center of the Graton village is conducting a fund drive to raise $5,000 to cover annual insurance and maintenance costs.

The modest campaign is seeking 100 donors to contribute $50 each to reach a goal of $5,000. Several donations have exceeded this individual amount and just over $3,000 has been raised so far. Funds also will be used to install a playground area, a community garden and a bridge over a small creek and three picnic tables will be installed soon, according to HolLynn D’Lil, a Graton Green member. The project was supported by Manzana Products and the tables were constructed by the Sonoma County Probation Camp detainees.

Donations can be made via a GoFundMe internet campaign or by submitting checks or donations to Graton Green Group. P.O. Box 858, Graton, CA. 95444.

“In these crazy times, it feels good to be a part of a local effort to sustain our open space,” said Liz Junge, current Graton Green Group president.

The Graton Green, a ½ acre site located between Bowen and Edison streets, near the West County Trail, was dedicated in June 2019 after nearly 10 years of community rallies and volunteer work.

Volunteers meet at the park the first Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. for a routine cleanup and maintenance day. Several Graton Fire Protection District firefighters volunteered at a recent Nov. 8 workday.

The passive open space area features walking paths, outdoor seating, special native plantings and ample room for small group gatherings or community ceremonies. The property was previously owned by local builder Orrin Theissen, who deeded the property to the nonprofit at a minimal price.

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Graton residents D’Lil and Dewey Watson led a small army of Gratonites to achieve their “green dream.” Sonoma County Agriculture and Open Space allocated $103,124 to the project and Graton Green raised $60,000 to complete the site purchase. The Open Space grant was written by Catherine Sharp and Richard Retecki.

Graton Green is open free to the public. No alcohol, fires, pets, bicycles, skateboards or amplified music is allowed.

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