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Community Events 2018

September | October | November | December

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Photo by Robert Proctor

Photo by Amanda Krumbholz

Laguna Watershed Perspectives Hike: Shiloh Ranch Regional Park
With Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation naturalists
Sunday, September 23, 9:00am-Noon, rain or shine
Location: Meet at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park, 5750 Faught Road, Windsor, CA 95403
$10 (includes parking, non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

How is Shiloh Ranch Regional Park connected to the Laguna de Santa Rosa? Explore this beautiful park with Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation naturalists to find out! Meeting at Shiloh Ranch Regional Park in the northeast part of the Laguna watershed, we’ll adventure into this rugged landscape in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains and discover local flora, fauna, and watershed connectivity. During the three hours, we’ll cover 5 miles (unpaved trails with ~400’ elevation change), stopping occasionally to enjoy the sweeping views, to observe, share, and discuss. This 850-acre park includes oak woodlands, mixed evergreen forest, canyons, rolling hills, a shaded creek, and a pond.  Much of the park burned in the October 2017 Tubbs Fire. Burned trees and other impacts are clearly visible in some areas. Hiking here offers a unique opportunity to see a landscape regenerating after wildfire. This outing will take place rain or shine and is made possible through a partnership with the Laguna Foundation and Sonoma County Regional Parks.

Vernal pool photos by Jim Coleman

Exploring Wildlife and Plant Diversity of Sonoma County Vernal Pools
Presentation with LF’s Conservation Science Program Manager, Sarah Gordon
Thursday, September 27, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

Vernal pools are tough environments to survive in, filled with water in the winter and bone dry in the summer. Species that depend on vernal pools have had to adapt to these harsh conditions. Join us for this fascinating presentation in Heron Hall to learn about the ecology of vernal pools and the amazing diversity of wildlife and plants that depend on vernal pools for habitat. We will discuss how Sonoma County vernal pools are unique from other areas of California and learn about what the Laguna Foundation is doing to protect and conserve this rare and endangered ecosystem. Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.

Sarah Gordon is a plant ecologist with experience in seasonal wetland plant ecology and rare plant conservation and mitigation. She completed her M.S. degree at Sonoma State University in 2006 and subsequently worked as a lecturer, research technician, and ecological consultant, specializing in botany, rare plants and vernal pool ecosystems, primarily in Sonoma County. Sarah joined the Laguna Foundation staff in 2017 and had been volunteering with the Foundation for over ten years, beginning with the docent training program (where she visited a vernal pool for the first time!) and supporting the Vernal Pool Citizen Science Program. Sarah also volunteers with the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society and serves on their Board of Directors.


Drawing Autumn Colors
Colored Pencil Techniques Workshop with Nina Antze
Saturday, September 29, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required (see below).

Whether focusing your drawing on the last of summer fruits and berries, rose hips, pods, or autumn leaves, enjoy a peaceful meditative day at the Laguna Environmental Center learning to create the subtle colors of Autumn with colored pencils. We will cover blending, layering and burnishing techniques while incorporating the basics of botanical drawing. All levels welcome. Suitable for 12 years and up (children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent). Participants bring their own lunch and art supplies (a supply list will be sent upon registration). Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided throughout the day.

Nina Antze is a Sonoma County botanical artist and quiltmaker. She has a degree in Fine Art from San Francisco State and a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the New York Botanical Gardens. She teaches colored pencil and botanical workshops throughout the Bay Area. Learn more about Nina at her website.

Photo by Liz Parsons

Laguna Environmental Center native plant
landscape, photo by Moira Hill

Bring the Wild Home: Best Native Plants for Sonoma County
Presentation with Terry Loveton, Brent Reed, Betty Young, and Dr. Wendy Trowbridge
Including a Tour of Our New Native Plant Nursery  
Sunday, September 30, 3:00-5:00pm
Location: Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
$12 (non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

Join us for a Sunday afternoon all about native plants, creating wildlife habitat in your yard and larger-scale restoration efforts in the watershed. Native plant and restoration experts from the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation will give a presentation in Heron Hall followed by a tour of the native plant landscape and our newly expanded native plant nursery, a collaboration of CNPS and the Laguna Foundation. Learn how to create habitat in your own landscape and bring in birds and butterflies. Then learn how habitat in the wild is restored, what plants belong in this amazing wetland and riparian corridors of the Laguna, and how that is being accomplished by the Laguna Foundation and its partners. Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.  

Dr. Wendy Trowbridge is Laguna Foundation’s Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs. With a PhD from UC Davis, Wendy is a wetland plant ecologist who has worked in a variety of systems in California and Nevada to rangelands in Western China, and she was a research faculty member at the University of Nevada. Terry Loveton is the owner of Earthgirl Gardens, offering native plant based garden design and installation, garden consultations and skilled garden maintenance. She worked at Emerisa Gardens for several years, served on the board of the California Native Plant Society, volunteered for Partners for Sustainable Pollination and Harvest for the Hungry. Brent Reed is Laguna Foundation’s Ecological Program Manager. With a degree in Natural Resources Management from Cal Poly, Brent has been involved in ecological restoration projects since 1989. Betty Young, after completing her Plant Science degree from UC Davis, spent 35 years managing nurseries and growing plants for landscape, the last 20 years of which managing the native plant restoration at the six nurseries in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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Photo by Michael Leahy

Making Your Nature Observations Matter for Science and Conservation . . . at the Laguna de Santa Rosa and Beyond
Presentation with Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young, California Academy of Sciences
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(non-refundable) Pre-registration required (see below).

Did you take a picture of a plant or animal in the last week? Curious about what it is? Already know, but want to keep a digital record of your find? Learn how you can share your nature observations with the world and further science and conservation at the same time. Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young co-lead the California Academy of Science’s citizen science program in which they develop campaigns for volunteers to collect biodiversity data for science and conservation locally and globally. Learn about their initiatives; the City Nature Challenge, an annual competition between city metro areas all over the world to see who can record the most nature observations over four days; Snapshot Cal Coast, an annual week-long event to create a “snapshot” of biodiversity along the entire California coastline; and their ongoing work in the Bay Area with a special focus on Sonoma County. Dr. Johnson and Ms. Young will also speak about the intersection of fire recovery, community, and citizen science. Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.

As the co-directors of the Citizen Science program at the California Academy of Sciences since 2011, Dr. Rebecca Johnson and Alison Young engage volunteers in discovering, observing, and documenting biodiversity. From creating a complete current plant record and herbarium collection of Mt. Tamalpais, to monitoring species at local rocky intertidal sites, to bringing the public together to bioblitz the Bay Area’s local parks and open spaces, their goal is to give people opportunities to connect to the outdoors, to science, and to each other. With their partners and through utilizing the Academy’s iNaturalist platform, they’re building communities and creating stewards of nature, both in person and online, while providing invaluable biodiversity data for science and conservation. Rebecca and Alison have also worked to expand their citizen science program beyond the Bay Area, giving more Californians an opportunity to discover and help document our state’s unique flora and fauna. Natural history and biodiversity focused citizen science programs around the country and the world look to Alison and Rebecca’s work as a model for engaging their own communities and gathering critical biodiversity data. For this work, Johnson and Young were named Bay Nature Magazine 2017 Local Heroes for Environmental Education. Check out the iNaturalist observations that have been made in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed here.

Watershed Perspectives: Birds and Wildlife of Santa Rosa Creek and Delta Pond
Natural History Outing with Laguna Foundation and LandPaths
Sunday, October 14, 2018, 9:00am-12:30pm
Meeting at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE.  Pre-registration required through LandPaths.

The Laguna de Santa Rosa bursts with birdlife, especially in the morning! Join us for this exploration of one of the Laguna Watershed’s largest tributaries, Santa Rosa Creek. With lots of amazing wildlife and more than 200 species of birds found in the watershed, birders of all ages and skill levels will enjoy this walk along the Santa Rosa Creek Trail west of Willowside Road accessing Delta Pond (one of the City of Santa Rosa’s recycled water holding ponds) to walk its perimeter with sweeping views of the Laguna and riparian areas, an area not usually open to the public. We will meet at the Laguna Environmental Center for snacks and a brief watershed overview, then we will carpool together to the Santa Rosa Creek Trail for a naturalist-led walk. We will cover 3 miles on mostly flat but very uneven terrain (rocky, dirt path, potentially muddy), and return to the Center by 12:30pm. Suitable for adults and children 12 and up, as we’ll be stopping a lot to bird watch, observe, and talk, as well as walking briskly at times to cover the 3 miles. (Sorry, this walk is not suitable for strollers or wheel chairs.)  Rain cancels.   

This free program is made possible through a partnership between the Laguna FoundationLandPaths and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. The District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. It is funded through a quarter-cent sales tax that was voted in by the residents of Sonoma County.

Seed to Table: How to Process and Eat Acorns of the Laguna Watershed 
Workshop with Zoe Minervini-Zick and Dylan Gearheart
Friday, October 19, 6:00pm-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Sliding scale $15, $25, or $45. Pre-registration required
(see below).

Have you ever thought about eating acorns? Here's your opportunity to try it in this hands-on workshop. Let us introduce you to the wonders of acorns as a local staple food. We'll cover oak species identification, how to locate, harvest, process acorns into flour and give back to the land. Reciprocity is a key component in building a healthy relationship with the plants we forage. In these times of changing climate, oaks are a resilient candidate for nourishment and have been for local indigenous tribes for such a long time. Learn to integrate oaks into your everyday life and participate in local food sovereignty efforts. A portion of the proceeds from this workshop will be donated to the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center’s Acorn Bites food sovereignty project. Acorns and processing tools will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own acorns or mortar and pestles/grain grinders. Vegan and non-vegan acorn mush will be available to taste, in addition to hot drinks and light snacks. This workshop is suitable for adults and teens 13 and older (minors must be accompanied by an adult), and will take place indoors, rain or shine.

Zoe Minervini-Zick grew up with coast live oaks in Oakland (Ohlone land) and Sebastopol (Southern Pomo land), California. She has been studying ethnobotany for nine years, starting at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in Ithaca, New York and most recently at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, Oregon. As a forager, gardener, fermenter, and land steward she is working towards personal, cultural and ecological healing and resilience. Dylan Gearheart is an aspiring native plant horticulturalist and tracker who grew up in San Diego (Kumeyaay territory) around coast live oaks and chaparral. He received a B.S. in Industrial Arts and Design from Humboldt State University and certificate in Permaculture Design and Social Forestry from Siskiyou Permaculture. He is continuing to develop his skills in providing ecological garden consultations, design and maintenance.

From Plants to Paper: Papermaking with Laguna Plants
Two-Day workshop with Jane Ingram Allen
Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21, 2018, 10:00am-4:00pm each day
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$200. Pre-registration required (see below). Suitable for adults and teens 15 years old and up.

This workshop will cover how to make paper from local plant materials found in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Learn what plants will make paper. During a walk around the native plant landscape at the Laguna Environmental Center, we will identify plants suitable for papermaking and gather dried leaves and bark from trimmed branches or fallen twigs. We will also talk about and experiment with invasive plants that can be used for papermaking. We will cook the plant materials, beat the fibers, and make paper from them. The emphasis will be on creative problem solving and creative use of materials to make unique handmade paper using sustainable methods that do not harm the environment. Pulps that the instructor will bring to supplement the ones gathered in the workshop will also be used in the class, such as kozo and abaca. The instructor will introduce unique techniques that she has developed from her experiences as an artist in residence around the world. Students bring scissors, notebook, and a sheet of cardboard to carry home any wet sheets of homemade paper. All other papermaking supplies will be provided, as well as hot drinks and snacks. Suitable for all experience levels from novice to experienced papermakers. The handmade papers can be used for drawing, painting, printmaking and collage as well as for creating greeting cards (just in time for the holidays!).

Jane Ingram Allen is originally from Alabama and lived in Taiwan from 2004-2012, and in Santa Rosa since 2012. She is an environmental artist who creates sculpture installations and community public art projects using handmade paper made from local plants and other natural materials. She is also an independent curator and arts writer and has taught art courses at colleges and universities as well as papermaking classes all over the world. Jane has received awards to do artist in residency projects in the USA, Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan, Nepal, Brazil, China, Bali, Indonesia, and Turkey. She exhibits her art internationally, teaches workshops, and creates site-specific public art installations. For more information, visit Jane’s website and her blog.

Adult FYLF. Image by G. Nafis

FYLF Tadpols. Image by Dave Cook

FYLF egg mass. Image by Dave Cook

Ecology and Conservation of the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog
Workshop with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Friday, October 26, 2018, 8:00am-1:30pm
Field Trip: 3 Sessions to Choose From. Friday afternoon, Saturday morning, or afternoon.
Location: Lecture will be held at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401. Fieldtrip at a Sonoma County location. Details sent upon registration.
Cost: $200. Includes lunch & materials. Early bird & student rates available.
Pre-registration required.
*This workshop is full, but you’re welcome to join the waitlist.

This workshop is designed to provide practical knowledge to professional biologists, resource managers, and students on the life history, ecology and conservation of the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii). This frog is a candidate for listing under the California Endangered Species Act and has been petitioned for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Friday morning lecture will review identification features at frog life stages and similar species, range and distribution, habitat requirements, behavior, survey techniques, conservation needs, and regulations. An accompanying field trip will be held at a nearby creek and known site of FYLF. Aquatic habitat types will be discussed and a demonstration of survey techniques provided.

Attendees may choose from a Friday afternoon (1:30-5:00pm) or Saturday field trip session (8:00am-11:30am or 12:30pm-4:00pm). Personal transportation is required for the field trip. Carpooling is encouraged.

Questions? Email workshops@lagunafoundation.org.

Instructors Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez are experts on amphibian ecology and conservation, and conduct herpetological research throughout California. This workshop is sponsored by the Laguna Foundation and The Wildlife Project which specializes in environmental compliance and technical field surveys. They assist clients with mitigation development and monitoring, special-status species surveys and habitat evaluations, biological assessments, survey and monitoring technique development, and biological consultation.

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Expressive Nature Photography in the Laguna Watershed
Workshop with Brenda Tharp (current Heron Hall exhibitor)
Saturday, November 17, 2018, 8:00am-5:00pm, rain or shine
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$125. Pre-registration required (see below).

Autumn is a great time to capture the seasonal changes of nature! Join us in an educational and inspirational photography workshop conducted by local Brenda Tharp, and learn how to create more expressive photographs of nature. We’ll begin at Heron Hall with a visual presentation of key concepts that can help make a picture stronger, including discussions on learning to see, composing for maximum impact, creating visual depth, choosing the best shutter or aperture, interpreting vs. recording the scene, and how to use special in-camera techniques to create impressionistic effects. We’ll carpool to another site or two within the Laguna watershed to explore and apply what was covered in class (locations will depend on conditions at the time). This small class (max 15 participants) is appropriate for ages 17 and up. Registrants should have a working knowledge of photography basics and of their camera gear.

A locally-based nature, wildlife and travel photographer, Brenda Tharp spends as much time as possible outdoors, photographing the beauty of nature and the world around her. "I’m in awe of what I discover out there,” she says. Passionate about nature and teaching, she has written three photo books, her latest being "Expressive Nature Photography.” Brenda leads workshops and tours throughout the USA, as well as internationally. Her images have been used widely in magazines, books, and brochures. More information can be found at Brenda Tharp. Her continually expanding collection of fine art prints is available here. Brenda’s current photography exhibit, With Awe and Wonder: A Celebration of Nature’s Beauty is on display in Heron Hall September 4 through December 21, 2018, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 8. Details here.

Nature Journaling at the Laguna with Marley Peifer
Workshop and field trip with Laguna Foundation and LandPaths
Sunday, November 18, 1:00-5:00pm (back-up rain date November 25)
Beginning Location: Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. Pre-registration required through LandPaths.

Do you want to experience nature with fresh eyes? Do you want to notice, understand, and remember more of the vibrant world around you? This fun class will teach you the tools used by the greatest naturalists of all time. Using pencils, ink, and watercolors, we will create sketches and take notes of our encounters with the fascinating biodiversity of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. In this class, we will assemble one of the most powerful tool-kits for learning about Nature. Following in the footsteps of Audubon, Humboldt, and Darwin, we will reunite art and science in a creative synthesis that is fun, functional, and aesthetically engaging. By the end of the class you will have sharper eyes, better nature awareness, and a beautiful journal documenting your experience. You will also possess the tools and mindset necessary to pursue a life-long learning adventure. Beginning and ending at Heron Hall, most of this workshop will take place outdoors at the Laguna Environmental Center and carpooling to a nearby location along the Laguna. Total walking will be 1-2 miles on mostly flat but uneven terrain. Snacks and hot drinks will be provided in the morning. Participants bring their own lunch. A complete list of supplies to bring will be sent upon registration, including sketchbook and watercolor field palette. This workshop is suitable for adults, but open to families with children 10 years and above, if the children are comfortable outdoors and self-motivated and focused around learning in nature. Rain cancels, and our backup rain date is the next Sunday, November 25.

Marley Peifer lives in Sebastopol where he practices gardening, wildlife tracking, and painting. He longs for a reintegration of art with science and words with images, a synthesis that he develops in his journaling. Nature journaling has been a fundamental practice for Marley ever since he discovered how it ignited his other interests and accelerated his learning.

This free program is made possible through a partnership between the Laguna Foundation, LandPaths and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. The District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. It is funded through a quarter-cent sales tax that was voted in by the residents of Sonoma County.

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Weave a Willow Basket
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Sunday, December 2, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required
(see below).

Enjoy a delightful day full of hands-on learning in Heron Hall and around the peaceful Laguna Environmental Center grounds with master weaver, Charlie Kennard. Using freshly-gathered native grey willow, we will make open weave twined baskets for holding fruits or nuts. This workshop requires manual dexterity, and prior experience with twining is helpful. Suitable for adults and teenagers. All basket-making materials are included in the registration fee. Participants bring garden clippers or small wire cutters and a sharp knife, as well as their own lunch. Hot drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and other traditional basketry techniques of the world. He teaches throughout the Bay Area, and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the California Academy of Sciences, the Bay Model in Sausalito, and in the collection of the Lake County Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, where he and friends have woven a basket 13-feet across. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.

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Also on tap, coming up ... Stay tuned for details!

  • November 29 - ALBATROSS film screening
  • December 1 - Painting Lichens and Mushrooms in Gouache, workshop with Lucy Martin
  • December 8 - Crane Creek hike
  • January 13 - Colgan Creek walk
  • January 19 - Opening Reception for Faith Rumm's Heron Hall Art Exhibit, mixed media tapestries
  • January 26 - Winter Colors, colored pencils drawing workshop with Nina Antze
  • February 2 - Laguna Kayaking: Celebrating World Wetlands Day
  • February 3 - Pressed Flowers Workshop with Jan Lochner
  • March 9 - Watercolor Painting for Beginners, workshop with Donna DeLaBriandais
  • March 17 - Tule Berry-Gathering Basket, workshop with Charlie Kennard
  • Monarchs and Pollinators presentation
  • Behind the Scenes Restoration walks with Laguna Foundation staff
  • Wildlife Watching Evenings at the Laguna Environmental Center
  • Laguna for Little Ones, playscape fun for caretakers and toddlers
  • Talks about climate adaptation, botany, anthropology, reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • And much, much more!!!

Cancellation Policy

If you are registered for an event and need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible so that others may attend. Cancellations received more than 30 days in advance of the event date will receive a refund minus a $10.00 processing fee. Cancellations made between 30-7 days in advance will receive a 50% refund. We are sorry but refunds cannot be given on cancellations made less than 7 days in advance. Please also note that we often need a minimum number of participants to conduct most events. If the Laguna Foundation needs to cancel the event for any reason, we will notify you as soon as possible (at least 1 day prior to the event) and you will receive a full refund.

Non-Refundable Fee

Events that cost $20 and less are non-refundable (except in case of our cancelling for inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances, in which case we will issue full refunds). This is due to administrative costs and significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as Eventbrite. Thank you for your understanding and for your interest and support of our programs!

For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Manager
(707) 527-9277 xt. 110 or by email at anita@lagunafoundation.org.

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