Sonoma County Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District began its efforts to protect the lands that now make up Healdsburg Ridge from development in 1996. As part of this effort, the District secured conservation easements across several of the key parcels. In 2003, the District was given the opportunity to purchase these lands outright allowing for the creation of the Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve.
The Preserve consists of a wide array of plants and animals including wetlands and oak woodlands, rocky serpentine chaparral and open grasslands. Deer and rabbits are scattered throughout drawing top predators like bobcats and mountain lions. For an area of only 155 acres, the diversity it supports is quite impressive including over 40 bird species and rare plants like serpentine rye grass and a species of Ceanothus that has yet to be described by scientists.
The City and the Open Space District have an agreement to transfer the property to the City with the District holding a conservation easement on the property that will protect it forever.
The Management Plan for the property recommends low-intensity public recreational uses that allows the public to enjoy the land while avoiding impacts to sensitive natural resources. Existing trails have been improved and new trails constructed. City staff, LandPaths, and local volunteers coordinated through LandPaths provide management and stewardship services.