Saturday, May 16, marked the kickoff to the iWalk Sonoma campaign. I had planned to lead a hike in Annadel State Park for the Sonoma Co. Trails Council that was to loop from the Lawndale Rd. trail head in the southeast corner of the park to Ledsen Marsh and back via Schultz Canyon. Since I had no takers, I joined the Sebastopol Walks! event instead (I previewed the Annadel hike last weekend and would like to note that everyone who didn’t sign up missed a terrific wildflower display at Ledson Marsh, including abundant naked Mariposa lilies (Calochortus nudus)).

Richard Nichols leading the way down Main Street

Richard Nichols leading the way down Main Street

About 25 of us gathered at the Sebastopol Plaza at 9 and Sebastopol Mayor Sarah Gurney said a few words before we began the 6.3 mi. progressive walk around the town. I had my son with me and expected to walk only the first segment or two, but we made it most of the way bef0re his feet hurt too much due to worn-out shoes. The cast changed slightly over the course of the walk and different leaders took different segments, including Jim Corbett — aka “Mr. Music”, accompanied by several members of the Love Choir, who regaled the walkers with sing-along songs.

Mr. Music, the Love Choir and walkers

Mr. Music, the Love Choir and walkers

Author of Sebastopol Walks and former Coast Walk director Richard Nichols helped all the leaders and even offered to lead anyone joining midway around the entire circuit again, though I don’t think he had any takers. He wrote the following press release:

On Saturday the Sebastopol Walks Committee conducted a successful 6.3 mile loop around Sebastopol to celebrate the start of IWALK Sonoma, a fitness program initiated by the Sonoma County health Department. The walk was  divided into 5 starting points and six segments. The public was invited to join the group at any point. 50 people joined the walk.
The segments were led by local people including Mayor Sarah Gurney, City Manager Jack Griffin and family, Director of the Sebastopol Charter School Susan Olson, 2009 Citizen of the Year Jim Corbett, Principal of Pine Crest School Liz Schott, and Chamber Board member Carla Swartz. Richard and Brenda Nichols acted as escorts, and along with mayor Gurney and graphics designer Kathy Oetinger planned the event.
The features included a warm and sunny day, the friendly company of the walkers and leaders, a stop at the Peace Garden, flowers all along the route, lemonade at Libby Park provided by the City Managers daughter Shay, and a singing walk-along (or a walking singalong) led by Mr. Music Jim Corbett and several members of the Love Choir.
Thanks to all the planners, leaders, the City, Chamber, O’Reily Associates for use of the bathroom, and Apple Valley Rehabilitation for funding signs and banners, and to County Health Dept. for starting this important health initiative.
The walk was a fun event for everyone and I appreciated being able to finally join a Sebastopol Walks event. I’ll be leading my own Sebastopol Walk on June 27 with “The Grand Tour of Sebastopol” that takes in all the parks and hidden corners along the way.

On the Railroad Forest Trail

On the Railroad Forest Trail

Advertisements