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The Petaluma Grounds


SRJC's Petaluma Center is located in the east side of Petaluma on the Sonoma Mountain Parkway. Up until the past couple of years this part of Petaluma was open grassland, used for grazing cattle and hay production. Even though much has changed since then, it still retains an `out in the country' kind of atmosphere. The western side of Sonoma Mountain rising up behind the campus is a particularly scenic backdrop for the campus.

If you ever have the chance to visit Petaluma Center you will quickly notice that it doesn't really look like the Santa Rosa campus at all. The buildings have a Spanish mission look. So far, about seven of the forty acres have been developed with more expansion planned in the next five years.

If you were to take a quick tour of the campus you would first drive in one of the two entrances and immediately notice plantings of both annual and perennial flowers. There are also large groups of Pink Seville Roses growing near each entrance, with a total of over three hundred plants. During spring and at other peak blooming periods they can put on quite a show. Farther into the campus, especially in the parking areas are extensive plantings of Coast Live Oak and Cotoneaster groundcover. Western Sycamores, Alders, `Dark Star' Ceanothus and other species of Oaks add to the `nearly' native plantings in these areas.

Closer in, around the campus buildings, the landscape begins to take on a more luxurious personality with mass plantings of Star Jasmine, Day Lilies, Compact Escallonia, Agapanthus and Mexican daisies. White Birch, Red Maples, Purple Leaf Plum, and Ornamental Pear trees grow along the walkways around the outside of the classrooms.

The central feature of the Petaluma Center is the center courtyard and clocktower. A completely different landscape is found in here with plenty of Japanese Maples, Grecian Laurel, African Iris, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Dwarf Pittosporum. There are also some mass plantings of perennial flowers that grow in the central circle and in some of the other beds in and near the courtyard.

The irrigation system here is run by a state of the art computer system. It has its own weather station, located here on campus, that feeds minute by minute weather information into the computer. The computer uses this information to adjust watering times daily so that each planting, depending upon their specific watering needs, receives only the required amount of water. This makes our irrigation very effecient and conserves a great amount of water compared to conventional systems.



Questions or comments about the GROUNDS section of the CWIS may be sent to:
Violet Wilder

vwilder@santarosa.edu

Santa Rosa Junior College is officially accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges