March 29, 2017
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Cotati fetes expansion of new park

By: Irene Hilsendager
February 24, 2017

As the clouds parted a ray of sunshine came through and a very colorful rainbow showed up, Cotati Mayor Susan Harvey spoke a few words on the expansion of the new Veronda-Falletti Ranch Park that is now open to the public.

A few sheep with their baby lambs trailing behind and frolicking in the pasture, listening to the small speech with city council people, chamber members and just friends walking by, the Verona Falletti Park ribbon cutting took place Feb. 21 on the north end of East School St.

The City of Cotati dedicated the completed public access improvements on the ranch, which included a 4.4-acre property that has been in continual agriculture use for 100 years in the middle of Cotati. This was typical of the Cotati area as being a small family agriculture operation.

The property was purchased by the Veronda family in 1938 and became the home of Jennie Veronda and Al Falletti as a newly married couple. Jennie still lives in the home next to the new park. Al was a member of Cotati’s very first city council.

This property, located across from city hall, is at the corner West Sierra and East School Street. In 2008 it was purchased by the city with assistance from the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.

The partnership between the district and the City of Cotati ensures that the property will be preserved in perpetuity as an example of the area’s agricultural past and its many hard-working families. Future improvements will include the expansion of agriculture operations and refurbishment of barns and other structures still standing on the property.

The area now includes walkways, picnic tables and water fountain. Interpretive signage about the heritage of the ranch will shortly be installed.

In the Photo: Several elected officials and other dignitaries take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for Cotati’s newest park, Veronda-Falletti Ranch Park. Pictured, from left, are Craig Scott from the City of Cotati, Jennifer Kuszmar of the Sonoma County Open Space and Preservation District, Cotati Planning Director Vicki Parker, Yvonne Van Dyke of the Cotati Historical Society, Erin Armstrong of the Cotati Chamber of Commerce, Cotati City Manager Damien O’Bid, Cotati Councilman John Dell’Osso, Susan Kashack with Cotati Chamber of Commerce, Cotati Mayor Susan Harvey, Ashley Wilson with City of Cotati, Cotati Vice Mayor Mark Landman, Cotati Historical Society President John Allred, Cotati Historical Society Board Member Velma DiMeola, Cotati City Clerk Lauren Berges, Dave Wasson with Cotati Chamber of Commerce and Gisele Rue with Cotati Chamber of Commerce. Robert Grant