The , on the chopping block as a result of California’s ongoing budget crisis, got a boost last week toward its goal of staying open to the public.
The Sonoma/Petaluma State Historic Parks Association launched a campaign to raise $70,000 before July 1 to allow the general public to use the park on weekends for 2012/13.
On Jan. 18, it was announced that the Petaluma Parlor of the Native Daughters of the Golden West stepped up and contributed $1,500 toward a to the Save the Petaluma Adobe campaign. A matching grant is a grant that can only be used if contributions equal to that amount are made from other sources.
Tax-deductible donations to supplement the matching grant and support the Petaluma Adobe may be made online at this link.
"We're absolutely thrilled to have the $1,500 grant from the Native Daughters of the Golden West," said fundraising committee chair Philip Sales.
Other grants and pledges, according to Sales, mean Save the Petaluma Adobe is more than half way toward matching the $35,000 grant. The combined total would give them the $70,000 they need to underwrite state operation of the park for the coming year.
A fundraising event is planned for Feb. 14, , to be held at the . Admission to that event is $40 and covers live entertainment, food, beverages and silent auction.
The annual operating budget foreseen by , which includes $20,000 in services that would be supplied by the state if the $70,000 goal could be reached, plus $20,000 in revenue from school trips and public admissions, according to Sales.
Currently, Petaluma Adobe State Park is open only Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. As part of the terms the anonymous donor has requested, according to Sales, the state would be obligated to keep the park open four days a week, including both weekend days.
Located at 3325 Adobe Road in Petaluma, the site served as the center of Gen. Vallejo's 100 square-mile working ranch between 1836-1846. Made from adobe brick and redwood, its design is typical of Hispanic architecture.
The Native Sons of the Golden West purchased the Petaluma Adobe in 1910 and preserved it until the State bought it in 1951. The Adobe was officially registered as California State Historical Landmark No. 18 in 1932 and in 1970 became a registered National Historic Landmark.
In May, 2011 California State Parks announced that, as a result of the budget crisis, it is planning to close 70 state parks, including Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park. Unless adequate funds are raised before July 1 the park will be closed, and the artifacts and displays moved to a Sacramento warehouse.
"We're hoping the Feb. 14 event puts us over the top," Sales said. "Then the real work will begin over the next 18 months — to get a business plan and a creative stategy in place for taking over park operations ourselves."
Founded in 1886, Native Daughters of the Golden West is a charitable and fraternal organization involved in multiple causes such as California lighthouse preservation, mission restoration, environmental issues, education and scholarships.
The organization is open to membership from any native-born, current or former resident of California origin. For more information on Native Daughters of the Golden West, visit www.ndgw.org or contact Karen Johnson of the Petaluma Parlor at 707-527-8525.