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Colgan Creek is an urban and rural stream that is within the Russian River watershed.  The creek originates on the north side of Taylor Mountain in the uplands east of Santa Rosa in the Kawana Springs branch and is joined by storm flows originating around the Sonoma County fairgrounds where it is mostly confined in storm drainsLower Colgan Creek, below the convergence of the two branches at the Colgan Box Culvert near the Costco store, is completely channelized.figure 1fixed

The creek flows southwesterly through Santa Rosa, past Colgan Creek Park, a 2.6 acre urban park.  The creek continuesadjacent and under the Santa Rosa Marketplace on the creek’s southerly side.  The Colgan Creek Trail is a 1.2-mile paved accessible trail running along a portion of the creek between Bellevue Avenue and Todd Road in southwest Santa Rosa.

Our watershed-wide youth environmental education and action water quality improvement project seeks to engage youth from the under-respresented southwest area of Santa Rosa, where some neighborhoods are 60% Latino, and we will be utilizing bilingual messaging. The engaged youth will be encouraged to "take action" in the waterhed and help carry the water quality protection message deep into their community.

The stream exits the urban landscape and passes through rural and semi-rural agricultural lands continuing southwesterly toward the Llano Road regional wastewater treatment plant, before joining the Laguna de Santa Rosa downstream of Llano Road.The Laguna de Santa Rosa empties into Mark West Creek and thence the Russian River.

This project is the initial phase of a planned five-year education, outreach and action project for conservation and environmental protection of the Colgan Creek watershed.  Many homes, businesses and schools surround the creek and present an opportunity for a community approach to the protection of this important watershed, building on local efforts already underway in the watershed.  Everyone in Santa Rosa lives in a watershed, and many people live and work in the 7.8 square mile watershed of Colgan Creek. Do you live in the Colgan Creek watershed?  If you live in southwest Santa Rosa, you very well might!

This urban creek has been identified as a stream that has the potential to again be a robust salmonid fishery in the future, with a healthy riparian corridor supporting abundant wildlife and providing people with outdoor recreational opportunities.

Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about this project or to volunteer with us.