When Angela Geiger sees the bike paths that twist and turn throughout Sonoma Valley – especially the path along the lower portion of Fryer Creek – she thinks of her mom, Virginia Jones.
Jones, affectionately known by so many Valley residents as their beloved “Ginny,” died of cancer in 2009 but not before leaving behind a legacy of community outreach, environmentalism and activism.
“My mom cared so deeply about the things she care about and she had a lot of those causes. … She was involved in environmentalism before the green movement caught on, she was before her time in that way,” Geiger, one of Jones’ three children, said.
Today, a plaque sits at each end of the lower Fryer Creek trail, dedicating it to Virginia Jones. When maintenance was done on the creek in the ’70s to minimize flooding and “straighten” it, Geiger recalled, Jones was instrumental in encouraging the city to plant trees and native plants along the path. “Having a part of the trail she worked on dedicated to her is a fitting thing to do,” Geiger said.
Jones’ work on the trail came partly because her Harrington Drive home backed up to the creek and because of her experience working to create a sophisticated trail system throughout Sonoma County. Longtime Sonoma resident and a friend of Jones, Johanna Patri remembered how the two worked on the Sonoma County Trails committee to create and maintain trails throughout the Sonoma Valley. Jones, Patri said, was particularly interested in seeing bike paths built around Sonoma that hooked up to a trail network that ran to the center of town.