RESEARCH

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

EDUCATION

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

PRESERVATION

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

RESTORATION

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

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

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

Mar
23
Sat
Community Workshop: Vegetation Management @ Altimira Middle School Multipurpose Room
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Come to Altimira Middle School to hear from the experts on vegetation management. Hosted by Sonoma County Supervisor Susan Gorin – with presentations from representatives from County Fire, CalFire, and California Fire Safe Councils – this workshop is designed to inform the community about vegetation management at the county and state level. Topics covered include the effects of climate change on vegetation management, and opportunities for funding.

Members of Sonoma Ecology Center’s Restoration Department will be present at the event to offer our fuel reduction services. According to Restoration Program Manager Jason Mills, “Our approach is unique in that we know how to manage fuels to get the best results over the long term by focusing on the most aggressive invasive species to reduce biomass and ladder fuels. We also take into account ecological considerations when implementing shaded fuel breaks, or islands of vegetation in order to reduce risk and maintain habitat and resources for wildlife.”

For more on community events hosted by Supervisor Gorin, go to http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/Board-of-Supervisors/District-1/.

Saturday Harvest Market @ Sonoma Garden Park
Mar 23 @ 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.

Edible Plants Walk @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 23 @ 9:30 am – 1:00 pm

Join Mary Good on a hike exploring the Medicinal and Edible plants of the park. Weaving in natural history, ethnobotany, herbalism and folktales, this walk will open your senses, as well as your curiosity to the abundance of plantlore in Sonoma County. 9:30 AM to 12 PM. Be prepared for a 2 to 3 mile walk with a 300 foot climb. Meet at the visitors center. $10.00 per adult, 18 and under free. Parking fees still apply. Edible plant information is for educational purposes only. Foraging is illegal in CA State Parks.

Purchase tickets here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4029785

 

Nathanson Stewards Volunteer Clean-up @ Nathanson Creek Preserve Native Garden
Mar 23 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 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
  • Trash pick-up
  • Getting to know your neighbors
  • Learning about native plants
  • Sharing a sack lunch
  • Connecting with nature at your local park

For questions or to express interest, please email nathansonstewards@gmail.com or patrick@sonomaecologycenter.org.

 

Gardening for Hummingbirds @ Sonoma Garden Park
Mar 23 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Hummingbirds are the world’s smallest birds, but attract a large amount of attention from gardeners and landscapers. Found only in the Americas, there are 338 species of hummingbirds, a few of which are regularly found in the Bay Area with others showing up seasonally or during migration.

Originally confined to Southern California and Northern Mexico, the Anna, Allen and Roufus species have expanded their range to as far north as Alaska, migrating along coastal areas, following flower nectar sources and mild weather.

Flowers are key, as hummingbirds must eat once every 10 to 15 minutes and visit between 1,000 and 2,000 flowers per day to sustain their metabolisms. Let’s welcome their arrival by supplying even more of their favorite foods!

Come to the Sonoma Garden Park on Saturday, March 16, to help install a garden specifically designed for these fast feathered friends. We will look at specific plant types that support hummingbird habitat and food sources, planting a variety of these at the park for the support of and education about these amazing creatures.

About the instructor:
Seth Dolinsky is a longtime gardener, landscaper and environmentalist. His background in habitat restoration combines with experience in food gardening and traditional landscaping techniques to create a regenerative landscape management perspective. He is the owner of New Land Systems, which seeks to create memorable and unique designs for a variety of properties, from 100-acre vineyards to residential landscapes, that work with nature to provide the greatest benefit for all.

 

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

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