Petaluma – Shollenberger Park
Shollenberger Park is a 165 acre wetland park in Petaluma, California, that is open to the public. Alman Marsh and Ellis Creek, both of which are 80 acres in size and 260 acres in size, have been open to the public since July 2009, for a total of 505 acres that are accessible to the general public. The “Petaluma Wetlands” are a collective term for the entire area.
The park, which was named after Richard Shollenberger, a former park superintendent, is part of one of the last remaining wetlands of its kind in the United States. According to the most recent survey, it is a birdwatcher’s paradise, attracting 231 species of birds, many of which are endangered. Shollenberger Park has been designated as an important birding site by the Audubon Society, and the San Francisco Chronicle has designated it as a top destination for nature enthusiasts. The park is home to a number of endangered animal and plant species, including the salt marsh harvest mouse, which can be found here.
The park receives 150,000 visitors per year and serves as an outdoor classroom for children, as well as a wildlife research site for the National Park Service. In addition to habitat restoration, the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance offers bird and wildlife tours, as well as a third grade educational program that is aligned with the California Educational Curriculum. For more information, please visit their website. An adjacent non-profit wildlife conservation and research organization called Point Blue Conservation Science is located next to the park’s entrance. Cader Lane Ponds was the name of the area when it was first developed.
Common Bird Species include:
- Grebes include the Clark’s grebe, the eared grebe, the horned grebe, the pied-billed grebe, and the western grebe.
- Loons include the common loon and the red-throated loon.
- Pelicans include the American white pelican and the brown pelican.
- Cormorants, namely the double-crested cormorant
- Herons, egrets, and bitterns – American bittern, black-crowned night heron, great blue heron, great egret, green heron, snowy egret, cattle egret, and least bittern are some of the species that can be found in North America.
- Birds of prey: ibises and spoonbills, including the white-faced ibis
- Hawks and their allies include the bald eagle, Cooper’s hawk, ferruginous hawk, golden eagle, northern harrier, osprey, red-shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, sharp-shinned hawk, white-tailed kite, and a variety of other species.
- Falcons and caracaras include the American kestrel, the merlin, the peregrine falcon, and the prairie falcon.
Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
Critical Control – Restoration service