who we are
Mission & Vision
The Sonoma Valley Health and Recreation Association (Sonoma Splash) is a 501(c)3 dedicated to providing a sustainable, state of the art, multi-use aquatic and recreation facility accessible to all Sonoma Valley residents for aquatics education and safety, recreation, fitness, physical therapy, and family fun.
The goal of Sonoma Splash is to create a community space that inspires residents from across the Valley to come together. Sonoma Splash envisions a day when Sonoma Valley boasts a multi-use, recreation facility that is accessible to all residents of the Valley for fun, fitness, education and recreation.
The key to our community pool vision is its accessibility to all residents of Sonoma Valley, with a wide variety of aquatic programming to suit our diverse community’s needs.
sonoma splash is...
The quintessential childhood moment
A pack of kids on bicycles cruising to the local community pool on a summer morning, heading to a day of exercise and community-building disguised as fun in the sun.
The classic Olympics montage
Early mornings at the aquatic center, mothers and fathers drop off their high schoolers for pre-dawn workouts.
The emotional breakthrough
A special needs adult who has been taking swim lessons all winter swims his first full lap.
A family coming together
Mom and Dad train for a triathlon, the second grader takes her first swim lesson, and the teenager works her first shift as a lifeguard.
Sonoma Splash will help make it possible for moments like these and many more to happen every day in our community. For the first time ever, the Sonoma Valley High School Aquatic Center is within reach for the students and residents of Sonoma Valley. Dive in, and join us as we support this important community initiative!
a STATE-OF-THE-ART, MULTI-USE FACILITy
Sonoma Splash’s partnership with the Sonoma Valley Unified School District has created a new high school aquatic center, modeled after the country’s premier aquatic and recreation facilities. The aquatic center will provide Sonoma Valley’s students and residents with a multi-use facility that incorporates a 25-yard pool with 14 lanes and a smaller warmer-water instructional pool.
The aquatic center will meet student needs while providing a dynamic programming package offering a wide variety of aquatic education, safety and fitness programs. Maximizing use is the key to success for any community pool – this facility will be designed to accommodate physical education for students, competitive swim programs and events, learn-to-swim programs, lap swimming, aquatic recreation, water safety, physical therapy and much more.
The high school aquatic center provides meaningful access to the water for Sonoma Valley residents of all ages while creating a diverse revenue stream to ensure long-term sustainability.
board of directors
Mary brings business, education and non-profit experience to the Sonoma Splash Board, as well as great enthusiasm for bringing a community pool to Sonoma Valley. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation before handing over the reins in 2021 to focus her efforts on nonprofit board work. Prior to her work at the Ed Foundation, Mary was a Middle School STEM teacher at The Presentation School in Sonoma, and a business consultant in locations throughout the US, UK, South America and Australia. She received her Masters in Teaching from National Louis University, and earned her MBA from Stanford University. Mary and her husband Paul have four children, and have lived in Sonoma since 2007.
The Sonoma Valley Health and Recreation Association was founded in 2000 by a group of Sonoma Valley residents who shared a dream of qualifying a local ballot measure to build a community swimming pool in Sonoma. When their efforts fell short, the organization dispersed the funds they raised to various athletic projects in Sonoma Valley, including building a fifth tennis court at Maxwell Park and resurfacing the Schantz Track at Sonoma Valley High School.
In 2011, city council members Ken Brown and Tom Rouse brought together a small group of dedicated residents to develop a new plan to build a community aquatic facility in Sonoma Valley. This new group dubbed as Citizens United for a Sonoma Pool (CUSP) quickly realized that the best model for realizing this dream was to form a privately funded nonprofit organization.
In 2012, the SVHRA board and the CUSP board merged and formalized their effort to build a multi-use, community pool. The first action of the new board was to commission a survey to gauge Sonoma’s interest for such a facility. The results were overwhelmingly positive and spurred SVHRA to further action.
In 2013, the prestigious, United States Swimming Association (USSA) chose SVHRA for an in-house “Build-a-Pool” conference, providing an enterprise business plan to build and operate a modern aquatic facility. In September 2013, SVHRA launched Sonoma Splash, a collaborative effort to build a broad base of support for a local, Sonoma-based multi-use aquatic facility.
2014 continued that momentum going into contract on a unique piece of property at 175 Verano Avenue in Sonoma. The community rallied behind the project to raise enough funds to close escrow on Halloween. Local architecture firm, RossDrulisCusenbery came on board as master architects, coupling with Aquatic Design Group as the aquatic designers for the project. With design input from USSA and the local community, they developed a two-pool approach that maximizes potential use while ensuring economic sustainability.
In 2018, SVHRA and the Sonoma Valley Unified School District agreed to combine efforts to build a joint pool complex located at the Sonoma Valley High School rather than building a separate community pool on the Verano Avenue site. Using combined District and SVUSD funds to serve both student and community aquatic needs, we are able to realize the dream of a first-rate Sonoma Valley aquatic complex. The groundbreaking at the high school was held on September 24, 2021 and the center is scheduled to open in summer of 2022.
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