Apple Blossom Festival Parade, Sebastopol, CA

Cittaslow Sebastopol News and Events


Community Forum Thursday 9/15/16

What questions would you ask
a developer or new businesses?

Survey results
Based on our recent community impact survey, Sebastopol residents have strong feelings about the character of our town. Understandably!

As a community, we recognize the need for economic vitality and want to promote collaboration between our for-profit businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, schools, faith communities, and citizens at large.

Come to the Community Forum
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Thursday 9/15/16
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Vote on your favorite questions to ask
Eat good munchies. Enjoy good conversation
Enter a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards*

The Forum is sponsored by Cittaslow Sebastopol and the City of Sebastopol.

Community Impact Questionnaire

The goal of the Forum is to prioritize what questions should be on a questionnaire we ask developers and new businesses to answer.

The point of the questionnaire is to begin a conversation about:

  • The types of business residents have said they want.
  • How the business can help further Sebastopol’s General Plan (vision for the future).
  • How we can help the business to succeed.

The idea is to pilot the questionnaire for two years to see what we can learn about cultivating strong business/community relations. It will not be regulatory. We anticipate that it will help developers and businesses understand what the community welcomes and will attract projects that feel a resonance with our town goals. It will also spark a spirit of collaboration, give businesses ideas about ways to connect with the community and where they fit in the vision Sebastopol has laid out for itself in its General Plan.

How can we collaborate
to create a strong, resilient community?

Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Thursday 9/15/16
5:30 – 7:30 pm

Vote on your favorite questions to ask
Eat good munchies. Enjoy good conversation
Enter a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards*

Vote for the questions you’d like to see on the Community Impact Questionnaire.

To see the raw data from the online survey, download the following:

* Cittaslow Sebastopol is sponsoring a drawing for one of two $50 gift cards to the local merchant of your choice.

  • Must be 18 or older to participate
  • Must live within 95472

Workshop on Starting a Home Stay/Farm Stay Business - March 1, 2014

Live in Sebastopol and have an extra room to rent to travelers? Considering a farm stay business at your home in the county? Come to this Sebastopol workshop Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 8:30 – 1:00. Topics will include:

  • Financial realities
  • Regulatory issues
  • Personal/lifestyle considerations
  • Marketing resources
  • Insurance

    farm stay

home stay

Organizations offering support services will be available from 12:00 – 1:00 to answer questions.
The workshop will be held at the Sebastopol Community Church. The cost is $20. There are openings for 40 West County residents. Pre-registration is required. For more information, and to register, go to Sponsored by Cittaslow Sebastopol and the City of Sebastopol with co-sponsors: Farm Trails and the Sebastopol Entrepreneurs' Project. For more information:



Over 120 attended Eco-Tourism Open House
Community dialogue in action

Many thanks to everyone who came to the Eco-Tourism Open House October 29. What a resounding success! Download the Report summarizing the votes.

In October we launched two Eco-Tourism Internet polls: one to business and non-profits, and the other to the community at large. We asked questions about concerns regarding eco-tourism, potential solutions, and the benefits or opportunities.

The raw data from the polls can now be downloaded:

• for the Community Poll at
• for the Business and Non-Profit Poll at

Over 400 ideas were collected in our Internet polls and through discussion at our Farmer's Market booth. And that was just for the question asking about solutions to potential problems!

At the Open House we distilled the suggested solutions and invited attendees to vote on their favorites. Or to add their own. The conversations at the event were truly phenomenal.

The six top vote-getters were:

  • Increase Pedestrian Connectors between downtown, the Laguna, Ives Park and Ragle Ranch

  • Create Interactive Directories so visitors can search and learn more about what to do when they are here (Install an interactive kiosk in Plaza? Create a mobile App?)

  • Build a parking structure on the east side to ease congestion at the central intersection.

  • Expand pedestrian access between downtown and the Barlow with improved lighting, wider and complete sidewalks, banners and landscaping to keep the two centers connected. Add bicycle rickshaws? An electric shuttle?

  • Make the cement plant property into a Wetlands Museum, perhaps with a Café run by the Ceres Project.

  • Facilitate recycling by placing receptacles along streets and in parks and plaza.

Many people thanked us for a fun and participatory event. This type of crowd-sourcing is exactly how Cittaslow Sebastopol and the Slow City movement work to consciously bring forward the changes we as a community want to develop.

Thank you Sebastopol for joining us in engaged and constructive discussions!

And many thanks to our Co-Sponsors:

If you would like to be kept abreast of developments in eco-tourism, please contact us at

P.S. Check out the Sonoma Wine Shop's workshop article on their blog and Randy Coffman's article on Cittaslow Sebastopol's leadership workshop "Keeping the Conversation Constructive in Sebastopol." It's on page 38 of the November Sonoma County Gazette. Way to go Randy!

The Gravensteins are coming!


Many of you may have noticed the Gravenstein banners facing northbound and southbound traffic on Highway 116. Pam Carpenter of Plan A Design created these wonderful proclamations as part of a joint project between Cittaslow Sebastopol and Slow Food Russian River. The two organizations received a grant to raise awareness about the Gravenstein apple and support local apple farmers. It's been a community effort. Thanks, for instance, are also due to PG&E, the City of Sebastopol and Marcus Fires of the Odd Fellows' Building who all participated in the logistics of hanging these 30' wonders.


Other Gravenstein projects this summer include:

  • Development of school curriculum to teach elementary students about our apple heritage.

  • Expansion of the Apple Box Project so customers at local merchants, and visitors arriving at the airport or staying at local hotels get a chance to develop a taste for our delicious apple mascot. 

  • A social media campaign sending out weekly apple recipes: Apple Chutney… Apple Cole Slaw…Chicken Apple Salad…Apple Lime Gingersnap Pie…Yumm! LIKE us on Facebook to get your weekly apple fix.

apple box

With the collaborative grant, Cittaslow Sebastopol and Slow Food Russian River are excited to have the opportunity to work with other like-minded organizations, such as Farm Trails,  to support the local economy while promoting biodiversity.


Gravenstein Fair


Be sure to mark your calendars for the Gravenstein Apple Fair (August 10-11). Come by our booth and get a snail tattoo!



Cittaslow Sebastopol Testimonials

"Cittaslow has taken all of the ideas that have been floating around our community for a long time, and actually is getting them to finally move in the same direction, which is a lot like herding cats. That's a real service to our community. Thank you!"

John eder

John Eder

Sebastopol City Council

”Sebastopol is known for being ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability. I support Cittaslow Sebastopol because of it's priority to protect and enhance the environment.”

Marty Roberts
Marty Roberts
Co-founder of Solar Sebastopol and Solar Sonoma County




“I give to Cittaslow Sebastopol because they bring everyone to the table to find our common ground, collaborate, and get things done.”
Angie Monette, Business Consultant
Angie Monette,
Business Consultant