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

Creek Camp at Sugarloaf @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Jul 15 @ 9:00 am – Jul 19 @ 3:00 pm

Ages 8 to 12
July 15-19, 9am to 3pm each day
Cost: $260 SEC members/$300 non-members

Join us for Creek Camp exploration at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. Traverse the headwaters of Sonoma Creek Watershed in this recreational and environmental education camp. Campers will spend the week as junior scientists, starting off the day with morning hikes on the parks trails. As the day warms, we’ll stay close to water, exploring the creeks for insects and amphibians, and we’ll cap each day off with visits from local naturalists. Activities include investigating the properties of water, collecting and studying aquatic insects, learning about the wildlife and plants found in the park. Visits from wildlife centers, bird watchers, and astronomers will be included throughout the week. Our camp days will also consist of plenty of games, arts & crafts, and storytelling.

Please note: Submitting payment on Brown Paper Tickets holds your camper’s spot, but registration is not complete until you have submitted the required registration forms. These forms will be emailed to you.

Un fin de semana en Sugarloaf (Weekend at Sugarloaf) @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Jul 19 @ 5:00 pm – Jul 21 @ 12:00 pm

Viernes 19 de julio, 5:00 pm a domingo 21, 12:00 pm
¡Está de regreso! Este julio, el parque estatal Sugarloaf Ridge invita a familias latinas a un fin de semana de acampar, completo con una fiesta de estrellas bilingüe. Tendremos equipo de acampar disponible y comidas comunitarias. El espacio está limitado a 70 participantes. La registración es $35 por adulto y gratuito para los menores de edad, e incluye la renta del sitio y  el estacionamiento. Por favor, regístrese por adelantado en Para más información, por favor contacte a Alma: 


Weekend at Sugarloaf
Friday, July 19th, 5:00 pm – Sunday, July 21, 12:00 pm
It’s back! This July, Sugarloaf invites the Latino family to a weekend of camping, complete with a bilingual star party. Gear can be provided, you bring the food! Participants capped at 70 people. Registration is $35 per adult and free for minors and it includes the site rental and parking. Please register at: For more information, contact Alma at

Saturday Harvest Market @ Sonoma Garden Park
Jul 20 @ 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.

Forest Therapy @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Jul 20 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Practice of Forest Therapy, has been shown to improve health and well-being.

Have you heard about Shinrin Yoku or Forest bathing? Here is an opportunity to take a walk and experience the practice for yourself. Learn techniques to maximize the health benefits and stress reducing qualities of this walking practice. Shinrin yoku originated in Japan and is gaining popularity in the United States for its documented Health benefits.

This practice takes a walk in the woods to another level. A centering and calming restorative practice, it promotes balance and restored vitality through a quality of presence and heightened sensory awareness. Recent articles have been written up in Oprah, Time Magazine, and National Geographic, as well as numerous other publications. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park hosts a Forest Therapy Series as part of its Parks RX program the 3rd Saturday of each month. These walks are led by certified ANFT (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy) practitioners. See for more info about this practice.

Tickets $20 or free with a ParkRx from a Sonoma County Medical Provider (click here for more info).



Creekside Nature Hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Jul 20 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Join us for a 1.4-mile nature hike along the Sonoma Creek. On the hike your leader will teach you about the plants, animals, and aquatic life of Sonoma Creek. The hike starts at the visitors’ center. No fee, but parking charges apply.


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

Montini Sheep Munch Flammable Grasses

Montini Sheep Munch Flammable Grasses

Locals out for a hike saw them on the slopes of Montini Open Space Preserve earlier this month: several sheep (and a few goats) brought in to “reduce fuel loads” to a more manageable level. Because Sonoma Ecology Center manages Montini for the City of Sonoma, we hired...

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Creek Camps Offer Watershed Fun

Creek Camps Offer Watershed Fun

Our Summer Science Camps have been a blast – but summer’s not over yet! And we still have a few open spots in our two upcoming Creek Camps for kids ages 8-12. Scholarships are available too. Creek Camp – from July 15-19 and again from July 29 to Aug. 2 – is a five-day...

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Workshop Gives You a Say in Eldridge’s Future

Workshop Gives You a Say in Eldridge’s Future

The upcoming Eldridge Vision Workshop will be an important step towards guiding the future of Eldridge and the recently closed Sonoma Developmental Center. This free community workshop, hosted by SDC Coalition, is Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to noon in the Hanna...

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