Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2016 - 2017 Schedule

Curd Cheese Basket Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, October 1, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$80. 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. We will make southern Italian-style fiscelle (curd drainers) of rush (Juncus), that leave the basket’s impression on the curd cheese—including the unusual iris diaphragm pattern of the bottom. We will also enjoy a ricotta salata. A quick weaver may be able to use his or her own basket for a cheese on the same day! This type of twined-weave basket was made by shepherds while pasturing their flocks. Basket-making materials are included in the registration fee. Participants bring their own lunch. Coffee, tea and light snacks will be provided, as well as the delightful ricotta salata made by Charlie.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and European techniques. He has taught for the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin (MAPOM), Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, 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, the Oakland Museum, and our own Heron Hall. You can also visit a basketry plant garden he has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.

Online registration is now closed, but there is still room in this workshop!
Please pre-register by emailing before 9:00pm Friday, and she will send you class details including what to bring.


Full-Moon Exploration of Irwin Creek and Lower Stone Farm
Natural History Walk and Picnic with Laguna Foundation Executive Director, Kevin Munroe
Saturday, October 15, 4:00pm-7:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$15 per person (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required. Sorry, this walk is now FULL.
If you'd like to be added to a wait list, please email We'll schedule more walks soon!

Join us for this special full-moon evening adventure, including a picnic dinner alongside the Laguna in an area not usually open to the public. Bring your own picnic, and we'll provide the dessert and hot drinks! On this 1.5 to 2 mile walk, over mostly flat but uneven terrain, we’ll explore the beautiful area’s animal and plant life and learn about the history of Stone Farm and the on-going collaborative restoration work that’s bringing back a thriving ecosystem. Suitable for adults and youth 9 years old and up (children must be accompanied by an adult). We'll also focus on the critters large and small that come out at dusk and the plants used in restoration work that support wildlife, water quality, and us all. Starting in Heron Hall with a brief presentation, we'll head out for a leisurely amble across the picturesque hay field to Irwin Creek, and across Sanford Rd. to quiet Lower Stone Farm and the Laguna channel, where we'll enjoy our picnic dinners. We'll start heading back after sunset, keeping our ears and eyes open for resident owls, coyotes, egrets, river otters, mink, frogs, bats and any other emerging evening wildlife. Back at cozy Heron Hall, we'll enjoy yummy dessert and hot drinks. Only heavy rain cancels (in which case, you'd receive a full refund). Details sent upon registration.

Kevin Munroe joined the Foundation staff in August of 2015. Kevin developed his passion as a naturalist in early childhood and subsequently transformed this interest into a rich career that includes conservation resource management, restoration, and environmental education. Among his recent accomplishments has been leading a 50-acre wetland restoration project within Huntley Meadows Park, a well-known park in Fairfax County's Potomac River Watershed, roughly 12 miles NE of Washington, D.C. In his diverse career, Kevin has excelled in building community partnerships, diversifying fundraising activities, and working with a variety of public and private agencies that include the Army Corps of Engineers, US Fish and Wildlife Services, the Audubon Society, and more.


Living with Mountain Lions
Presentation with Zara McDonald, Founder and President of Felidae Conservation Fund
Thursday, October 27, 7:00-8:30pm

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 per person (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (below).

San Francisco-based and globally-working wild cat conservation organization, Felidae Conservation Fund, gives an engaging and inspiring presentation about mountain lions and the work currently underway to study and protect them. Felidae Conservation Fund is a non-profit that aims to advance the conservation of wild cats and their habitats planetwide through a combination of groundbreaking research, compelling education and cutting-edge technology. Felidae works in both North and South America on different mountain lion research and conservation projects. The flagship project is the Bay Area Puma Project. These keystone predators (also called pumas and cougars) play a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of our ecosystems. However, expansion of human populations is causing increasing encounters and conflicts between humans and pumas, and growing tensions in our local communities. Zara discusses mountain lion ecology and history, the challenges of sharing the habitat with mountain lions, and offers essential tips for living and recreating without fear in puma habitat.

Entrepreneur and conservationist Zara McDonald is Founder and President of Felidae Conservation Fund. She formed Felidae in 2006 to research and conserve wild cats as apex predators and keystone species in ecosystems throughout the world. She is an experienced field and veterinary technician and has worked extensively in all areas of felid research, tracking and monitoring animals in collaborative efforts around the world. A Bay Area native, Zara holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, and she has journeyed all over the world to work on behalf of wild cat research and conservation.


Climate Change and the Laguna: North Bay Climate Ready Highlights
Presentation and Discussion with Dr. Lisa Micheli
Saturday, November 12, 3:00-4:30pm

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 per person (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (below).

Have you ever wondered how climate change may impact the Laguna? Dr. Micheli will demonstrate how to use a new Climate Smart Watershed Analyst to visualize how climate may vary in the coming years at the scale of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed. Come learn about the North Bay Climate Ready project, specific projections for the Laguna, and how you can support local climate adaptation efforts in concert with public agencies and local citizens. Hot tea and light snacks will be provided.

Dr. Micheli has over 25 years experience applying her technical, policy, and fundraising expertise to the design and implementation of ecological restoration, research and education programs.  She completed her graduate studies at UC Berkeley as a NASA Earth Systems Research Fellow in 2000 and now focuses her research on relationships between watershed health and biodiversity.  She is the co-chair of the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative (TBC3), a Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Bay Area climate adaptation research initiative.  She joined Sonoma County’s Pepperwood Foundation in October of 2009 as its first Executive Director.


Also on tap . . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Joan Humberstone Memorial Photography Exhibit, Opening Reception, October 8
  • Narrow Gauge Railroad History presentation with Dr. Mara Vejby, November 3
  • Sonoma County Agricultural History presentation with Dr. Mara Vejby, December 1
  • Papermaking workshop with Jane Ingram Allen, December 3 and 4
  • Ducks Day Open House, January 14, 2017
  • Waterfowl presentation and walk with Dave Barry, January 14 and 15, 2017
  • Photography workshop with Susan and Neil Silverman, January 26 and 28, 2017
  • Cordage Making workshop with Charlie Kennard, February 4, 2017
  • Nature Journaling with Watercolors workshop with Kristin Meuser, February 18, 2017
  • Talks about botany, geology, anthropology, reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • Laguna hikes and natural history explorations
  • Mid-Week Movie Nights
  • And much, much more!!!

For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Manager, (707) 527-9277 x110 or


CANCELLATION POLICY:  If you are registered for an event and need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations received more than 14 days in advance of the event date will receive a refund minus a $10.00 processing fee. Cancellations made between 14-7 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 FEES: 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 significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as PayPal. Thank you for your understanding, and thank you for your interest and support of our programs!