Forestville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma County, California, United States. The town came into existence during the late 1860s and was originally named Forrestville, after one its founders, but the spelling long ago became standardized with one "r". The population was 2,370 at the 2000 census, although the sign along the road into town continues to claim that the population is 1,776. Forestville is home to Forestville Elementary School and El Molino High School, a public school, which provides 9-12th grade education to the majority of Russian River residents. During the year of 2005, enrollment was 1,099 students.
Forestville's unofficial motto is "Forestville, The Good Life," and is derived from license plate holders sold at the local hardware store. The major road through town, Highway 116, is also called Front Street for the length of the town, a distance of about three blocks, between Covey Road and Mirabel Road. The "downtown" blocks were first built during the 1870s and 1880s, but a fire destroyed many of the older structures, and what remains dates mostly to the early 20th century.
The town has one gas station, one bar, two grocery stores, two convenience markets, several churches, a number of restaurants, a post office, an assortment of small businesses, a fire station operated by a volunteer fire department, a volunteer-run Youth Park, and 3 ATMs. The annual Forestville Youth Park Parade is held each June as a fund-raising event, and culminates in two days of music, bingo, and carnival rides in the Youth Park, with food and handicrafts booths provided by local vendors and non-profit organizations. Further along the Russian River and eastward, are a number of bed and breakfast inns and wineries. To the south, just beyond the "city limits" (a green sign located in someone's yard) is Mom's Apple Pie, an award-winning pie bakery.
Forestville is located in central Sonoma County, and is about 60 miles (97 km) north of San Francisco. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.6 km²), all of it land. Near Forestville is the confluence of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and Mark West Creek with the Russian River. South of Forestville are found the endangered Pitkin Marsh lily and White sedge. To the north are the Russian River, Steelhead Beach Park, and Mount Jackson; to the west are the Redwood forests; and to the East and South are many rolling hills on which are planted wine grape vineyards and apple orchards.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,370 people, 941 households, and 592 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 578.2 people per square mile (223.2/km²). There were 1,010 housing units at an average density of 246.4/sq mi (95.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.28% White, 1.14% African American, 1.18% Native American, 1.60% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 2.78% from other races, and 3.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.00% of the population.
There were 941 households out of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 34.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $50,898, and the median family income was $60,417. Males had a median income of $45,170 versus $42,652 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $31,301. About 5.1% of families and 7.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 2.9% over 64.