Sonoma Ecology Center | Beautiful. Sustainable. Sonoma.


Donations you make to Sonoma Ecology Center this spring will be invested right back into the education of our young people—and Sonoma Valley’s future, so please donate now.


How is our Valley doing? We monitor, analyze, map, and report on broad measures of ecological health in Sonoma Valley.


We provide educational and outdoor programs for thousands of students in Sonoma Valley.


We foster and maintain publicly accessible open spaces, including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve and the Sonoma Overlook Trail.


Since 1993, we’ve worked side by side with landowners and volunteers on projects that restore, protect, and improve our natural heritage.


Sonoma Ecology Center is proud to be named Nonprofit of the Year by state Sen. Bill Dodd in acknowledgment of our 30-year history of environmental stewardship in Sonoma Valley.

Click to Learn More about this Special Honor



We’re excited to celebrate the 50th year of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, the 25th year of Sonoma Garden Park, a more inclusive Education Department, and an expanded Restoration Department.

See Our Special Sugarloaf Anniversary Memberships

Upcoming Events

We offer hikes, workshops and more all around Sonoma Valley.

A Walk Honoring Loss & Resilience @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:15 pm

Are you missing your sense of trust, safety, your home or beloved trees? This event is for anyone who still feels they are suffering negative effects from our recent fires or floods.

This walk honoring loss and resilience is a gentle Forest Bathing Walk designed to help those recovering from the traumatic impact of our natural disasters. This sensory immersion experience, inspired by the Japanese practice, Shinrin Yoku, has the potential to restore a sense of calm, safety and inner peace.

Leader, Susan Karle, combines her expertise in grief and trauma with her passion for partnering with Nature to provide optimal health.

Participants  will experience:
* A leisurely stroll of less than 1 mile on a well maintained trail.
* A series of Invitations to enliven your sense of smell, sound, sight…
* Sharing circles to enhance the connection to Nature and each other.

These free events are sponsored by Healthcare Foundation of North Sonoma County with parking fees generously waived and event assistance provided by Sonoma Ecology Center/ Team Sugarloaf.
If your plans change and you’re unable to participate, please let us know two days prior so we can give your spot to someone else.

Sat 8/31 and Thursdays 9/19, 10/17 & 11/21. 10 AM – 12:15 PM.You are welcome to sign up for more than one. More info sent upon registration.

Excursiones (Spanish Hiking for Fitness Beginning Series) @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 23 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Our popular Beginning Hiking for Fitness Series en español.

Empezando en octubre, nuestro programa de excursiones para fomentar la aptitud física será ofrecida en español. Los guías le guiarán en una series de ocho caminatas semanales para excursionistas principiantes. Cada excursión aumentará en dificultad o duración.

Las excursiones seguirán la mismas rutas que el programa en inglés:

  1. 5 de octubre: nos reuniremos en el granero blanco y caminaremos a Urano. 2.2 millas, 80 pies de elevación.
  2. 12 de octubre: circuito Meadow- Hillside, empezando en el granero blanco y terminando en el campamento. 3 millas, 250 pies de elevación.
  3. 19 de octubre: caminaremos el circuito del Lago Ralphine en el Parque Regional Spring Lake. El punto de reunión es el estacionamiento donde empieza el sendero Cobblestone (6024 Channel Dr, Santa Rosa, CA, 95409) 4.3 millas, 250 pies de elevación.
  4. 28 de octubre: circuito Stern/ Pony Gate/ Canyon. 3 millas, 500 pies de elevación. Reunirse en el estacionamiento principal.
  5. 2 de noviembre: circuito May’s Clearing en el Parque Estatal Jack London. 3.7 millas, 430 pies de elevación. Reunirse en el estacionamiento superieror en 2400 London Ranch Rd, Glen Ellen, CA, 95442.
  6. 9 de noviembre: circuito de los senderos Lower Bald/ Vista/ Meadow. 3.6 millas, 700 pies de elevación. Reunirse afuera del granero blanco.
  7. 16 de noviembre: mesa de picnic en el planeta Neptuno. 4.3 millas, 640 pies de elevación. Reunirse afuera del granero blanco.
  8. 23 de noviembre: circuito de los senderos Hillside y Vista. 4.7 millas, mil pies de elevación. Reunirse afuera del granero blanco.

Usualmente $80, esta series y el estacionamiento son gratuitos. A menos a que sea mencionado, todas las excursiones son los sábados, a las nueve de la mañana en el Parque Estatal Sugarloaf Ridge. Por favor regístrese en:
Para más información, mande un correo electrónico a

¡Esperamos verl@s!

Hiking for Fitness– Maintenance Hikes @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 23 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Choose your own adventure! Part of our Hiking for Fitness program, these free, moderate-to-strenuous group hikes are geared to keep you motivated through the cold season. No RSVP needed, but parking fees apply. Maintenance Hikes are every second and fourth Saturday.

11/9 – route A: Vista Trail Loop (clockwise): ~4.1 mi, 600ft elevation, meets @ main lot
route B: Crazy 8 Waterfall Loop + Vista Trail circuit: 6.5mi, 1400ft elevation, meets @ main lot
11/23 – route A: Goodspeed to Nattkemper bench: 4.2 mi, 1060 ft elevation, meets @ Goodspeed lot
route B: Goodspeed to Gunsight Rock: 6.5 mi, 2080 ft elevation, meets @ Goodspeed lot
12/14 – route A: Brushy Peaks to Neptune picnic table: 4.3 mi, 650 ft elevation, meets @ White Barn lot
route B: Brushy Peaks to Grey Pine: 6 mi, 1140 ft elevation, meets @ White Barn lot
12/28 – route A: Vista Loop (CCW): 3.6 mi, 700 ft elevation, meets @ White Barn lot
route B: Vista to Bald Mountain Loop: 6 mi, 1520 ft elevation, meets @ White Barn lot
Nathanson Creek Demo Garden Volunteer Days @ nathanson creek preserve
Nov 23 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm

On the fourth Saturday of every month, the Nathanson Stewards meet at the corner of East MacArthur and Second Street East, put on their gloves, and have a fun and productive morning tending the native garden located there.

This event is guided by trained restoration technicians from Sonoma Ecology Center, with a focus on native gardening and landscaping. The subject matter will vary with the seasons, and our technicians will demonstrate proper techniques for caring for the different native plants located within the Nathanson garden. Volunteers are asked to bring sunscreen or a hat, bottled water, a sack lunch and work gloves, and to wear closed-toed shoes. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

We’ll meet at the Nathanson Creek Preserve Garden located on the corner of East MacArthur Street and Second Street East in Sonoma. Activities may include:

Weeding & Planting
Getting to know your neighbors
Learning about California native plants
Connecting with nature at your local park

For questions or to express interest, please email

Yoga Hike – session 3 @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 23 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Susan Topf’s Yoga Hike balances a mix of easy hiking and gentle yoga postures, breath work and guided meditation. No mat necessary. Please wear weather appropriate clothing to feel comfortable being in a natural setting and bring water (as needed). Route varies on weather conditions and group interest that typically covers 2-3 miles of varied terrain. Cost is $20 and includes parking if registered in advance online. Purchase the yoga pass for each group of 3 sessions this year and save $10. All levels and ages welcome. Meet at the Visitor’s Center unless otherwise noted in confirmation email prior to the hike.

Sonoma County Resident? 
Free with Park Rx from participating Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for ParkRx info.

Tickets –


Visit Our Partner Websites

Sugarloaf Ridge SP, Sonoma Garden Park & Sustainable Sonoma

Sonoma Garden ParkSustainable Sonoma

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The Ecology Blog: What’s Happening in Sonoma Valley

County Declares Climate Change Emergency

County Declares Climate Change Emergency

We are glad the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has formally declared a climate emergency, joining (according to the Board’s statement) “over 1,000 local governments representing 219 million people in 19 countries.” As stated by Board chair David Rabbitt, “Climate...

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Taking Stock of Our Fire-Prone Environment

Taking Stock of Our Fire-Prone Environment

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently told the New York Times that California is facing “the most destructive fires in our state’s history.” It’s clear that we’ve entered a new era, with fires burning hotter, more destructively, and over a longer season. Locally, that has meant...

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Reaching Out in Trying Times

Reaching Out in Trying Times

Once again wildfire is turning all our lives upside down. We wanted to reach out and make contact with you – our friends, partners and neighbors – in this difficult time and, wherever possible, to offer our help and support. Having gone through this in 2017 doesn’t...

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Emergency Information You Can Use

Emergency Information You Can Use

Given the forecasted high winds, planned power outages, and a fire already underway to our north, there is much to keep track of this weekend. Below is a list of links to real-time information intended to help you stay up to date when it comes to fires, weather, power...

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