About the Preserve

Many who’ve visited this land relate a feeling of healing and quiet.  As we implement the open space project through a 5-year Work Plan, we recall this with our stewardship of the land.
The Preserve is in West Petaluma, just over a mile from bustling downtown Petaluma, on Paula Lane.  The 11.22 acres was acquired for permanent open space and conservation in May 2012.  The open space project is a partnership among the Sonoma Co. Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the City of Petaluma and our nonprofit, Paula Lane Action Network. 

The conservation values on Paula Lane reflect sensitive upland habitat, multiple resident and migratory wildlife species, and a movement corridor connecting the Helen Putnam Regional Park to the south with areas north and northwest of Petaluma.  With development and loss of open space over time, the Paula Lane corridor became key for an open wildlife movement area with rich foraging opportunities. 

American Badger (Taxidea Taxus) has a 100-year-old habitat on the Paula Lane property with contiguous habitat in the corridor.  Humans and badgers have quietly coexisted in the area for many years, with badgers out in their habitat at night and asleep in burrows during day, while human patterns have been mostly the opposite.  Badgers have enjoyed complete dark and quiet on the west side of Paula Lane.  The Kim Fitts habitat survey for American Badger of 2003 documented active and extensive burrowing and foraging activity.  Our observations confirm a resident female badger each Winter and Spring (perhaps females of generation to generation, every year).  An avian survey of the land and area documented over 100 species with many special status resident and migratory birds and raptors.  One reason so much wildlife is present is abundance of prey in the area.  (This is now threatened – see Conservation Alerts). 

When the Nature Preserve implementation is complete, quiet wildlife viewing and contemplative public access are envisioned,  along with the enhancement of the land’s energy through native plant restoration and a hummingbird-butterfly-bee garden.  Habitat restoration will support cover growth for wildlife and areas of safety for their repose and residence. 

An educational program will include Badger Soundscape, with sounds of the wild upland area, as well as identification of wildlife and plants that support an upland habitat.  The Paula Lane land is the anchor project for PLAN’s conservation advocacy and action for American Badger in Sonoma County and the Bay Area.

Periodic guided walks are hosted at the Preserve by Paula Lane Action Network during project implementation.

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues. Without courage, you cannot practice
any other virtues consistently."

— Dr. Maya Angelou