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.


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



Sonoma Ecology Center is seeking local landowners interested in habitat restoration planning for Upper Sonoma Creek. Please join the effort!

PDF Announcement /// More Details /// Contact Us

Upcoming Events

Wilderness First Aid Class @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 18 @ 8:00 am – May 19 @ 5:00 pm
Wildnerness First Aid Course at Sugarloaf Park
Gain the confidence and the skills to handle a first aid emergency.
Robert Ferguson Observatory Classroom
May 18th & 19th
8:00am – 5:00pm
Lead by regionally renowned trainer Foster Calm, classes are fun with lots of hands-on skills practice. The emphasis is on making good decisions by staying calm and safe, doing a good patient assessment, and having good communication and leadership. Join our classes, where it is safe to learn and OK to make mistakes. Wilderness First Aid is 16 hours (two 8-hour days), and focuses on practicing skills and covering: patient assessment, shock and bleeding, head and spinal injuries, wounds, musculoskeletal injuries, heat and cold illnesses, and includes a half day of outdoor scenario practice of first aid and leadership skills. Gain some good tools and knowledge to handle a wilderness first aid emergency. Successful completion of class includes a Wilderness First Aid certificate. For certification info:
Honoring Loss and Resilience: Forest Bathing for those recovering from the fires
May 20 @ 10:00 am – 12:15 pm

Are you missing your beloved trees, your home, your sense of trust or safety?

Honoring Loss and Resilience, a gentle Forest Bathing Walk designed to help those recovering from the traumatic impact of our recent Fires. 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.

These Free events are sponsored by Healthcare Foundation N. Sonoma County with parking fees generously waived and event assistance provided by Sonoma Ecology Center/Team Sugarloaf.

Mondays, March 18, April 15 & May 20. 10 am-12:15 pm
More info sent upon registration.

Register Here.  

Sugarloaf Trail Crew @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 23 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Help Sugarloaf with trail restoration work. Work includes bridge and step construction, installing signs, clearing, lifting, carrying and hiking. Bring gloves, hat, and water that you can carry hands-free (i.e. bring a backpack).Wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Poison oak is present, so long sleeves are suggested. We have tools and trained crew leaders with tasks for all. Those under 18 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We will provide tools, food and beverages. If you are a current State Parks volunteer, signup in vicnet. If you are an SEC volunteer, sign up here:

Hiking for Fitness “Maintenance” hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 25 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join our Hiking for Fitness “graduates” on this free, Intermediate Fitness Hike.
For a complete schedule–including routes, mileage and elevation gain–visit: [click on the “Maintenance Hikes – 2019” tab].



Saturday Harvest Market @ Sonoma Garden Park
May 25 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Sonoma Garden Park’s seasonal Harvest Market operates each Saturday of the harvest season from 9 a.m. to noon in the Straw Bale Barn. Come for the freshest seasonal produce available!

Depending on what’s in season, you’ll find such produce as tomatoes, squash, onions, potatoes, chard, figs, apples, herbs, fresh cut flowers and other fruits, nuts and vegetables. We also sell eggs laid on-site from our free range hens, as well as locally crafted olive oil. And we feature plants from our nursery.

When you shop at the market, you are supporting local, sustainable agriculture and supporting this wonderful community resource. Come to the Harvest Market at Sonoma Garden Park every Saturday through the growing season and enjoy fresh, local, sustainably grown produce.


Visit our partner websites:

Sugarloaf Ridge SP, Sonoma Garden Park & Sustainable Sonoma

Sonoma Garden ParkSustainable Sonoma

Project Story Map

Click on the image below for an interactive map showing our projects in Sonoma Valley.

Sign the SDC Petition

Sonoma Developmental Center is preparing for final closure after 127 years of operation. Please sign the petition urging Gov. Jerry Brown to protect this large swath of crucial open space located in the heart of Sonoma Valley.

Read our 2018 Impact Report

Click on the image for a pdf version.


Smarter Landscaping

Click on the image below for a pdf version of our brochure on fire smart, water wise and wildlife friendly landscaping.

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The Ecology Blog: What’s Happening in Sonoma Valley

Get Ready for Sugarloaf’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Get Ready for Sugarloaf’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Guided hikes, down-home barbeque and a Sugarloaf Reunion are among the Memorial Day festivities planned for Sugarloaf Ridge State Park’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, happening all day at the park on Monday, May 27. Sugarloaf became part of the California State Park...

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The Real Numbers on Rattlesnake Bites

The Real Numbers on Rattlesnake Bites

This is the time of year when our region’s only common venomous snake, the northern Pacific rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus), appears in greater numbers in Sonoma Valley. Individuals are emerging from their winter dens to mate and hunt in the fields and meadows – and...

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Sonoma Overlook Trail Set to Reopen

Sonoma Overlook Trail Set to Reopen

Locals missing the scenic beauty of Sonoma Overlook Trail have only a little longer to wait, as the trail is reopening with fanfare on Sunday, April 28. On that morning the Overlook Trail, closed much of the winter so workers could repair nearly two miles of pathway,...

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Best Way to Stop French Broom? Hold a ‘Broom Pull’

Best Way to Stop French Broom? Hold a ‘Broom Pull’

With the arrival of spring, the invasive shrub called French broom, with its long woody stalks and pretty yellow flowers, is popping up all over Sonoma Valley. But French broom is unwanted here because it’s environmentally destructive, a fire hazard, and very hard to...

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