Since 1990, we’ve worked to increase appreciation and stewardship of Sonoma Valley’s natural heritage and create measurable benefits in areas of land, water, climate change and biodiversity. More than ever, Sonoma Ecology Center needs your support to move us all towards a better future.

Who We Are

Sonoma Ecology Center works to address challenges related to water supply and quality, open space, rural character, biodiversity, energy, climate change, and a better quality of life for all residents.


We envision a future where people, land, water, and wildlife thrive.


Our mission is to work with our community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley.

How can people, land, water, and wildlife thrive in a fire-adapted landscape?

Watch this video on how we keep people safer while supporting our environment.


Fire Recovery Walk At Sugarloaf @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Feb 27 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join Sonoma Ecology Center’s Educator Program Manager Tony Passantino to learn how to interpret fire landscapes at Sugarloaf that burned in recent wildfires. We will be assessing burned trees, learning how to interpret fire-affected landscapes, and watching for special “fire follower” wildflowers.
Discussion questions include: Why did this happen? What does it mean? How do we prepare for it happening again?

We will be walking 2 miles up a continual incline from the main parking lot, gaining 700 ft. in elevation in one mile. We return down a rough, paved, continually descending road. Please wear sturdy footwear, and bring trekking poles if you typically use them. We will observe County Health Ordinances of mask-wearing and social distancing. Parking fees apply.

Fire Ecology and Volcanics in the Hidden Hillside of the Keen Property @ Keen Property
Feb 27 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Protected by Ag + Open Space in 2002, the Keen property is one of Sonoma Valley’s more unique and picturesque conservation easements. It protects ancient lava flows that form walls and rooms, that in turn frame elegant displays of native plants and offer stunning portal views to the surrounding Mayacamas Mountains. With the recent rainfall, the creeks have revived across a gorgeous protected property that is home to the headwaters of Agua Caliente Creek. The October 2017 fires also heavily affected this property. We invite you to come see the land rebound, assess burned trees and learn how to interpret fire-affected landscapes. 


This outing is for experienced hikers only, with difficult to moderate hiking over uneven, steep terrain with no trail. We may pass through brushy areas, with possible exposure to ticks or poison oak. Bring appropriate clothing including long pants and sturdy footwear, a hat or sunscreen, and plenty of water. There is no charge for this outing, as it is made possible by Sonoma County Ag + Open Space and the voters of Sonoma County who fund the district’s work with a quarter-cent sales tax.


First Day of Women’s History Month
Mar 1 all-day
International Women’s Day Celebration Crafts and Garden Workshop at Sonoma Garden Park @ Sonoma Garden Park
Mar 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Choose to Challenge. All are welcome to our annual community event in reflection and celebration of girls’ and women’s empowerment.

We will provide germination cups and trays to sow seeds for your own spring and summer gardens.  Participants will leave with their future garden in hand, ready to transplant to pots or plots at home upon the arrival of spring. To honor our local frontline females, farm and hospitality workers we will plant a tree in the Garden Park’s outdoor yoga studio area. Make it a date – bring a friend for a Women’s Day garden retreat. Ivana Nedeelchev, SEC’s volunteer coordinator will provide spanish translation. Julia Megna, SEC’s Education Project Manager and owner of 100AcreGreenery.com looks forward to celebrating the power of women past, present and future with you. 


Sonoma Garden Park was protected by Ag + Open Space in November of 2011 for recreation and preservation of its natural resources, and learning classroom environment for agriculture field trips for nearby elementary schools through Sonoma Ecology Center’s “Growing Discovery” program . The 6-acre property, hidden in eastern Sonoma, is an incredible public park and working garden site in Sonoma Valley, containing a wide array of habitats alongside sustainably designed systems for both agriculture use and landscaping purposes.


There is no charge for this outing, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of  Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.


Sugarloaf Trail Crew @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 11 @ 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. Minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We will provide tools, and if allowed, lunch.

If you are a current State Parks volunteer, signup in Volgistics.

Otherwise, sign up here.



Sonoma Garden ParkSustainable Sonoma  



An interactive map of our work in Sonoma Valley.



We can’t do it without you!


See our brochure on fire smart, water wise and wildlife friendly landscaping.


The Ecology Blog

Can Sonoma Valley Save the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom?

Can Sonoma Valley Save the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom?

In the summer of 2018, right after his job interview at Sonoma Ecology Center, botanist and ecologist Jason Mills drove north up Sonoma Valley to Kenwood in search of a plant on the brink of extinction. After a little poking around he found it: a handful of Kenwood...

read more
Getting to Know Dr. Dan

Getting to Know Dr. Dan

For many years before settling with his family in Sonoma Valley, Dan Levitis was an “itinerant scientist” as he puts it, traveling the world, doing field work, taking academic posts, and gaining experience as a scientist and teacher. Born in Washington, D.C. and...

read more

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