History of Prince Memorial Greenway

Santa Rosa Creek was the center and namesake of the original settlement. The first hotel and stage stop, and Luther Burbank’s homes were all on its’ banks. However, as the City grew in the 20th century, floods along the creek in the 50’s, motivated the US Army corps of Engineers to recommend and ultimately build a flood control system which included a tunnel for the Creek from E Street to Santa Rosa Avenue and a concrete and rock sided trapezoidal channel to the west as far as Pierson Street. By 1962, in the downtown,  all vestiges of a natural creek and a thriving habitat for fish and birds was gone.

In the 1990’s, growing dissatisfaction with the condition of the Creek gave rise to a citizen group with the purpose of naturalizing Santa Rosa Creek from Mendocino Ave  west from City Hall. Public pressure, and a gift of $3 million dollars from the estate of the Prince’s, an early Santa Rosa mercantile family, started the design and construction in the late 1990’s. Completed by 2008, and named Prince Memorial Greenway, the project restored a natural creek habitat and provided a pedestrian and bike path through center city.

At this point, time, social problems, and cutbacks in City funds, have resulted in poor conditions and reluctance by many citizens  to visit this treasure. The Friends plan to change that situation!