Accomplishments at a Glance

Here are just 15 of Susan’s many accomplishments for our City and Community

With vision, follow-through and collaboration for our Petaluma community, Susan:

Co-founded in 2000 and leads the nonprofit, Paula Lane Action Network (PLAN), the original ACTION network in Petaluma to achieve open space conservation, preserving the Paula Lane open space land, exceptional habitat and located in a wildlife corridor. This land has been seriously damaged by the City of Petaluma and current elected officials have done nothing to support the changes we need to restore the habitat and provide the promised amenity to our community.

Persevered with PLAN for 12 years to achieve a $1,000,050 open space grant in 2012 to acquire and conserve the land on Paula Lane, regionally recognized for both PLAN’s integrity and efforts as well as the special habitat and wildlife saved.

In 2022, incorporated a new land trust, Conservation Trust of the North Bay, which will help acquire and conserve open space, protect habitat, preserve wildlife corridors, offer opportunities to under-represented communities, support plant-based agriculture, and support animal and wildlife sanctuaries. The trust is Conservation Trust of the North Bay.

Graduated back in 2010 from the Inaugural Leadership Academy of the Center for Ecoliteracy (!) – focusing on nutritious food from school gardens, healthy and whole lifestyles, and habitat protection and education.

Was one of the first women to teach in the Undergraduate Business School of Golden Gate University in San Francisco – Communication and Organization Development. A skilled organization and meeting leader and manager – remember this for better dynamics of our City Council meetings.

Is a five-time President of Madrone Audubon Society, one of the longest established conservation organizations in Sonoma County with a membership of 3000 and many members in Petaluma. Contributed significantly to the Sonoma County Renewable Energy Ordinance in Wind Energy – how to provide wind energy and also protect our environment.

Achieved for our Petaluma Wetlands the international honor of Ramsar Wetland of International Importance – 2014-2018.

Has been a representative to litigation to support Petaluma’s environment, including the anti-Dutra asphalt lawsuit and the migratory Cliff Swallow deaths at Petaluma River Bridge lawsuit.

Is currently working with the State Route 37 Technical Work Group – Environment – to plan for the reconstruction and better service of SR 37 for all.

Participates in the Policy Committee of the regional open space coalition, Together Bay Area – for collaboration and funding to support open space, habitat protection, parks support and healthy living for all.

Is working with a statewide Wildlife Corridor Work Group to collaborate on policy, legislation and funding to protect our wildlife corridors and crossings in California.

With input from hundreds of observers over 20 years and direct observations, is completing a Wildlife Corridors and Crossings Mapping Project for the Petaluma Valley, Sonoma County coast and inland, and Marin County coast and inland. This land use tool will guide decisions by our City Council for land to save, habitat to protect, and where to focus our housing and transportation systems. If we ignore this important information, we will lose rural character of Petaluma. This is a primary tool to guide us to save it.

With a small group, Friends of Tolay, advocated tirelessly to achieve the Cardoza Ranch open space sale, to become what we now enjoy as Tolay Lake Regional Park.

Has consistently given input to the City’s Climate Action Framework, to include the High Use-Low Impact design for new parks and open spaces, for enjoyment by people while elevating awareness about habitat and not encroaching into the home of our wildlife. “We in Petaluma will benefit from increased awareness about where we are and who lives in our parks and open spaces – now we must become more considerate and understand we are smaller than the natural world, and show that with appreciation and respect.”

Served on the Board of Directors of Rebuilding Together Petaluma for four years and was involved in multiple work days and projects.

“…We have never had a Mayor who prioritized our Natural Environment as #1 with caring for community and quality of life. This means first in review of housing and commercial developments, in creating parks and open spaces, in planning for transportation, and in knowing how to give feedback to be certain we do NOT lose our rural character, which is quickly disappearing. She has integrity and will lead our City Council to make best decisions for our entire City and community…” (Kirsten Gilstrap, property manager and long-time resident of Petaluma)

“Environmentalists approach issues and resolve problems through a process that ALWAYS elevates our Natural Environment and ALWAYS seeks to provide the best solutions to plans for transportation, transit, location and design of housing, water quality and affordable living. I will bring leadership to our Petaluma City Council as Mayor and coordinate our actions to ensure decisions are in the best interest of all Petalumans.”
– Susan Kirks, requesting your Vote and your Confidence for what YOU want for Petaluma’s future.

Vote for Susan Kirks for Mayor on Nov. 8th!