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.

Sugarloaf Trail Crew @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 14 @ 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:

Explore the Hidden Hillside of the Keen Property @ Sam Keen Property
Nov 16 @ 8:30 am – 12:00 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 hike is a part of a seasonal series. Hikes to this property will be scheduled throughout the year to give participants an opportunity to see the seasonal changes of a fire-impacted property. 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.

Excursiones (Spanish Hiking for Fitness Beginning Series) @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 16 @ 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!

Forest Therapy @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 16 @ 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).



Caminata de antropología cultural @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Nov 16 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

En honor a los habitantes originales de esta tierra, el parque estatal Sugarloaf Ridge y el Centro de Ecología de Sonoma presentan una caminata de antropología liderada por Breck Parkman, arqueólogo superior retirado del distrito de el área de la bahía. Únase a nosotros en una caminata en el sendero Meadow mientras escuchamos a Parkman hablar acerca de la historia cultural, la ecología, y la geología de Sugarloaf. El punto de reunión será el granero blanco. Tendremos un picnic después de la caminata,  si está interesado/a, traega un pequeño refrigerio para compartir. Este evento es bilingüe y gratuito pero le pedimos que por favor se registre en Brown Paper Tickets. El estacionamiento es $10 por vehículo. Contacte a Alma con sus preguntas en

Cultural Anthropology Walk
Saturday, November 16th, 10 am – noon
In honor of the original inhabitants of this land, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and the Sonoma Ecology Center present a cultural anthropology walk led by Breck Parkman, retired Bay Area District Senior Archaeologist. Please join us for a leisurely walk on the Meadow Trail as we listen to Parkman speak of Sugarloaf’s cultural history, ecology and geology. We will meet at the White Barn. If interested, bring a small dish to share for a post-walk picnic.  This is a bilingual, free event but please register at Brown Paper Tickets. Parking fees apply. Contact Alma at with your questions.


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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

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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Join the North Bay Bear Collaborative

Join the North Bay Bear Collaborative

The mighty grizzly bear that adorns our state flag has been missing from California for nearly a century. But lately there is good news from bear country: in some places, including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park and other Sonoma Valley open spaces, black bears are slowly...

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