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After the Fire: Neighborhood Park Gets New Life

Kaiser Permanente continues its commitment to helping Santa Rosa recover from a devastating fire 2 years ago. Pictured, an artist rendering of new playground equipment for Coffey Park.

A $500,000 Kaiser Permanente grant is helping rebuild Santa Rosa’s 5.85-acre Coffey Park, which was destroyed when the 2017 Tubbs Fire tore through the community.

Two new playgrounds are scheduled to open by the end of the year, and the entire park should reopen by summer of 2020 at a cost of $5 million, according to Santa Rosa city officials.

“Kaiser Permanente is proud to catalyze the rebuild of Coffey Park,” said Alena Wall, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Community Benefit manager in the Marin-Sonoma area. “The park not only provides a safe place to gather and engage in healthy physical activities, but it represents the strength of our local residents coming together to rebuild.”

The Kaiser Permanente grant was made to Coffey Strong, a nonprofit created after the fire to help the neighborhood. The organization emerged as a driving force in the effort to rebuild its neighborhood park alongside the city of Santa Rosa and the Santa Rosa Parks Foundation. The Kaiser Permanente grant is part of $10.5 million in fire recovery the organization has provided to the Santa Rosa community since 2017. 

About 320 acres of the Coffey Park neighborhood were incinerated in the fire, along with 1,300 homes.

“We are definitely very excited and super grateful for Kaiser Permanente and its generosity,” said Michele Rahmn, who lost her home in the fire and who is director of fund development for Coffey Strong, “We are going to be very happy to get our park back.”

When completed, the park will have a walking trail, 2 new playgrounds with equipment from Landscape Structures installed by Ross Recreation Equipment, barbeque and picnic areas, community native plant gardens, a small dog park, fitness stations, and open grass space.

“While the timeline for rebuilding is extremely aggressive and weather-dependent, we are all excited for the children and families of the Coffey Park neighborhood to once again enjoy their park,” said Santa Rosa Deputy Director of Parks Jen Santos.

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