The elementary school ensemble is disappearing from public curriculum. When school budgets need to tighten belts, sports, arts and music are the first extra-curricular studies off the block. Around the nation, private charities and nonprofits are stepping up to provide children an opportunity to hold, play and practice
instruments to foster an interest for music at an early age.
“It breaks my heart to see children unable to take instruments home and practice music; there’s no opportunity to spark growth and imagination without these programs,” says Jonnette Newton, principal at Bayside Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy. “Having these loving neighbors at the Center for Excellence and Glassdoor provide rentals, teachers and tutors gives these children a real chance to explore their creative sides and find strength in these new pursuits.”
Did you know the Adobe State Historic Park in Petaluma is the least visited historic landmark in Sonoma County? Built from adobe bricks, the Monterey Colonial style structure is the largest domestic adobe building left in the United States, constructed in 1836 by General Mariano G. Vallejo.
General Vallejo was sent to Petaluma by Governor Jose Figueroa to oversee and maintain Fort Ross in
the event of an attack by the Russians. The adobe, referred to as El Palacio, or “the palace,” was the headquarters for Vallejo’s agriculture developments. More than 2,000 Indians labored on the land, working tirelessly in exchange forfood and clothes. By 1845, Vallejo’s wealth and power reached an all time high, owning 10,000 head of cattle, 24,000 sheep and herds of horses.
When the Americans occupied California, Vallejo was eventually forced to sell the adobe after years of litigation. Over the next few decades, several owners acquired the land, but were careless, leaving the adobe in poor shape and disrepair. In 1951, the State of California acquired the adobe and five acres of surrounding land. “If you’re interested in adobe structures, Petaluma Adobe State Historic Park contains the largest known adobe structure standing in California that the public can visit,” says Robert Pickett, Sonoma Sector supervising state park peace officer.
Today, the Sonoma Petaluma Parks Service is working toward the restoration of the adobe. A grant was received for the restoration of one wall, which is full of cracks and holes.
“We have re-plastered one wall (so far) with historically accurate plaster, which will help preserve the wall from degradation and the effects of nesting native bird and bat species,” says Yvonne Bowers, Sonoma Petaluma Parks president. ”It’s vital topreserve this important historic structure that is part of the establishment of Petaluma,” she says. To move forward, state approval and funding is needed. For more information or to make a donation, go towww.sonomaparks.org