. Banner Image by Michael Leahy

Your Support is Essential to Our Work



“If you wanted to invent the most effective kind of climate management technology from the ground up, you could spend a lot of time trying to do that. You would just engineer a tree.”
Brian Stone Jr., Director, Urban Climate Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology


We’ve all heard the old adage, “The best time to plant a tree was yesterday.” At the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, we were planting trees yesterday. And the day before that, and the day before that. We’ve been planting trees for over three decades, to be more precise.

Back then, the trees we planted to help reforest our wetland ecosystem were small saplings. Today, they comprise healthy riparian forests—a layered habitat of trees, shrubs, and undergrowth, providing a critical interface between land and flowing surface water. These lush landscapes serve as wildlife corridors and are a part of critical biodiversity. Today, the trees are tall and sturdy, with expansive canopies that shade and cool the water for fishes and other aquatic organisms. They have helped create recreational spaces, providing enjoyment for locals and boosting tourism. They also aid in mitigating catastrophic fires. They decrease erosion, improve water quality by filtering nutrients and pollutants, and help absorb and hold flood waters. Moreover, researchers say trees are the most effective way to cool temperatures and store carbon, which is critical in this time defined by climate change. The humble tree is mighty indeed.

As the impacts of extreme weather have been thrust upon us, our restoration work has dramatically accelerated. We are proud of the results. We also live with the certainty that there is much more to do. But when the news is filled with more climate records being broken, and the hurdles seem insurmountable, it is a welcome surprise to realize that the number one climate change intervention touted worldwide is one we’ve been focusing on since the beginning.

Your gift today will enable us to plant trees and other native species that make up the riparian forests.
With your support, our watershed’s biodiversity will continue to thrive.

Over thirty years ago, when we planted those first saplings, the work may not have seemed significant to the average observer. But at the Laguna Foundation, we’re committed to the long game. It’s not easy in a society where, many times, instant gratification feels like it takes too long. We know the long game is the right game.

It’s one of the reasons we couple our “boots on the ground” restoration and conservation science work with inspiring the next generation to become caretakers of the natural world, particularly the one in their own backyard—the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed. At Camp Tule, summer campers spend their days outdoors, exploring, learning, and interacting with nature in these restored riparian forests. Learning Laguna, our docent-led education program, has been visiting local classrooms long enough to have thousands of former participants, now adults, making decisions with the natural world in mind because of things they’ve learned while with us. With the under-resourced schools of today, programs like these are more important than ever.

Take a moment to look outside. Most likely, it won’t take you long to find a tree. You may also very well hear the song of a bird that has spent time on the limbs of trees we planted decades ago, who today forages in the 254-square-mile watershed that is the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Most Sonoma County residents live, work, and play in this vibrant expanse. This is the area we’re committed to protecting and enhancing. And we all benefit from the results.

Your gift today helps plant trees and many other species that make up the riparian forests. With your support, riparian forests, freshwater marshes, oak woodlands, and vernal pool grasslands will continue to thrive.

You will also be supporting our education and volunteer training programs, providing thousands of participants—from young children to seniors—a myriad of powerful opportunities to connect to our home environment and learn hands-on the skills to tackle the impacts of climate change in their own backyard, neighborhood, or park. This holiday season, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating the long game with a gift to the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation.

Withdeep gratitude,

Anne Morkill
Executive Director

P.S. The picture on the right above shows our Ecological Program Manager, Brent Reed, hugging an adult tree he planted as a tiny sapling 20 years ago! If you, too, are invested in the long game, please make a donation today and consider a Legacy Gift .