Things are blooming in Glen Ellen. Poppies, milkmaids, wisteria, Dunbar daffodils, lupin, all are in blossom. A new restaurant is opened with lines out the door. Old restaurants have re-opened with a new look. Dunbar’s stage is underway, and the school garden is about to go in. Onward.

Glen Ellen neighbors are reminded that in December of this year, a mere eight months from now, the Sonoma Developmental Center will be closed by the State of California. The last residents will be safely housed in the community at large, but the question remains what will happen to this magnificent property and its historic structures. Consultants have been hired, meetings have been held. One thing is sure: Glen Ellen will be changed forever by what happens here, and the State of California is asking for community input. That means you and me.

A community workshop is being held Monday, April 16, 6:30 pm at Dunbar School, 11700 Dunbar Road, to discuss the role our community can play in the SDC transition.

Here’s what’s happened so far. An SDC Community Advisory Committee (CAC) – comprised of local stakeholders such as the Sonoma Land Trust, the Ecology Center, SDC parents, the Glen Ellen Forum and others - has been meeting and offering comments to the State’s private site assessment firm called Wallace, Roberts & Todd (WRT). WRT has examined the architectural and engineering issues and prepared an analysis of the site. Problems include infrastructure deficiencies, potential reuse programs, establishing the transition process, not to mention the reassignment of 900 full-time employees. It is now time for community input and our chance to affect the changes.

What happens to these acres of rolling hills, hiking trails, campgrounds, wildlife corridors and historical buildings will change the face of Glen Ellen forever. Check out Transform SDC, a website maintained by the Sonoma Land Trust. For more information, contact Forum Committee Chair Alice Horowitz at

And if that doesn’t keep you busy enough, join the Glen Ellen Historical Society and Glen Ellen Forum for a Fun-raising Fundraiser, a meal with live music, silent auction, historical exhibitions and great food by chef Sam Badolato. The party happens Saturday, April 21, at Valley of the Moon at Madrone Estate Winery, 777 Madrone Road, Glen Ellen. $25 at the door.

Not partied out yet? Come the next day to Tidy our Town: a Glen Ellen Earth Day event. Meet at the post office parking lot at 10 a.m. We’ll fan out in teams to pick up those nasty Styrofoam cups, cigarette butts and candy wrappers by the roadsides. Supplies provided.

Email BJ at