The Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery is volunteer-operated and maintained. While the Recreation and Parks Department provides specialized assistance and limited funding for maintenance, the continuing care of the cemetery relies on tax-free donations and funds raised by tours, programs and special events. If you too would like to support this historical gem, here are some ways to get involved.
Learn everything you need to know about being a Recreation & Parks Rural Cemetery volunteer with our volunteer handbook.
Join a Community Meeting
Community meetings are currently held the first Monday of every month at Steele Lane Community Center (415 Steele Lane) at 5:30pm. To participate in these meetings, please email [email protected].
- Third Saturday Workdays: Join the Rural Cemetery every third Saturday of the month from 9am-noon for a volunteer work party (work party not hosted in September). Projects include the cemetery beautification efforts such as mowing grass and landscaping projects, painting, repairing borders, restoring plots, and various maintenance work.
- The Rose Brigade: Consider offering a bit of your time to join the Rose Brigade, a small group of volunteer gardeners who care for the Rural Cemetery's extraordinary collection of vintage roses.
- Adopt-a-Plot: Select a specific plot (20 x 20 ft) and sign up to maintain it in good condition by doing necessary weeding, raking, planting (if desired) 3 - 4 times a year.
- Docent: Serve as a docent for various tours, including student tours and Lamplight Tours.
- Acting: Lend your acting talents to a Lamplight Tour in the fall.
- Tombstone Trio: On Tuesday and Thursday mornings, a small group meets for ongoing cemetery maintenance such as weed control, vegetation management, and tombstone repair.
- Memorial and Habitat Garden Volunteers: Meeting every Friday morning at 9:30am to develop and maintain a garden of California native plants which also serves as a memorial garden.
- Preservation Committee: The Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee meets monthly to discuss items including items such as maintenance procedures, planning special events, fundraisers, goals, preservation efforts, and new tours. Community meetings are currently held the first Monday of every month at Steele Lane Community Center (415 Steele Lane) at 5:30pm. To participate in these meetings, please email [email protected]. See their mission statement and objectives below.
Friends of the Rural Cemetery
Individuals can join the "Friends of the Rural Cemetery" at different membership levels, with a minimum $15 donation to the Rural Cemetery Preservation Fund. Click here for a membership form if you would like to join by mail. To become a member online, visit the Santa Rosa Recreation & Parks registration portal and sign in to your account, or create an account if you don't already have one, and then select "Donations."
All "Friends of the Rural Cemetery" receive the quarterly newsletter, The Cemeterian, which highlights the fascinating history of the site, the accomplishments of the Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee, and gives advance notice of special events. Donations of $15 will receive The Cemeterian via email only. Donations of $20 or more will receive The Cemeterian via mail or email, or both! All donations go towards Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery's continual preservation.
Preservation Committee Mission & Objectives
The mission of the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery Preservation Committee is to preserve, maintain and protect this historic cemetery and to promote community support through educational tours and events and other means that demonstrate our motto, "Where History Comes to Life!"
Our objective is to research burial records and history, to provide tours and programs, update and refine maps, restore tombstones and roads, cultivate heritage roses, and to provide and educate for the care of the California native plants and trees.
Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery
1600 Franklin Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95404