Another successful prescribed burn in the books!

Another successful prescribed burn in the books!

Mother Nature’s gift of a cool morning, relative humidity, low wind plus our technically capable team and preparedness allowed Sonoma Ecology Center and our partners the right weather conditions to conduct another successful prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower...

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Some Cool Finds During City Nature Challenge

Some Cool Finds During City Nature Challenge

City Nature Challenge is an international event that takes place on the same weekend each year to encourage scientists and citizen scientists to document on the iNaturalist app any and all species they see in nature. Team Sugarloaf has participated in it for the past...

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Defend Your Home With Resilient Landscaping

Defend Your Home With Resilient Landscaping

By Ellie Insley, Vice President of the Board of Directors of Sonoma Ecology Center. Ellie is a Landscape Architect; Natural Habitat Restoration Specialist; Life Coach; and Equine Guided Educator. Fire-resilient landscaping may be more important now than ever given the...

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George Ranch neighbors join together for a biochar event

George Ranch neighbors join together for a biochar event

A group of George Ranch homeowners worked with the Grove Street Fire Safe Council and Sonoma Ecology Center’s Biochar Initiative program to conduct a biochar burn demonstration last month at George Ranch. Homeowners cleared undergrowth on their property, which helps...

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This Drought is as Bad as the 1976 Drought

This Drought is as Bad as the 1976 Drought

We are now in the worst drought in more than four decades. Mature oak trees are cracking and falling over, and reservoirs are drying up. Water agencies throughout Sonoma County have, or are considering water rationing. It’s time to rethink how we use water, especially...

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How COVID-19 Relates to Our Ecology

How COVID-19 Relates to Our Ecology

By Nancy Padian, board member. Nancy is a medical researcher, epidemiologist, and former executive director of the Women's Global Health Imperitave. She is among the world's foremost experts on AIDS, and worked in Southern Africa for the last 35 years.The global...

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Meet Our Volunteer Photographer Kristen Russell

Meet Our Volunteer Photographer Kristen Russell

Sonoma Ecology Center is blessed to have many fabulous volunteers without whom we could not accomplish so much. This month we focus our lens on a tremendously talented volunteer whose work you see in our newsletters, emails and social media posts on a regular basis....

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A Message From Our Executive Director, Richard Dale

A Message From Our Executive Director, Richard Dale

It’s been a shocking year for the planet that supports us, hidden from many of us because our attention has been absorbed by dealing with a global pandemic and a social fabric worn thin from centuries of injustice.   But life on earth is in crisis all over. Just...

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Prescribed Burn Planned for Van Hoosear

Prescribed Burn Planned for Van Hoosear

Controlled or “prescribed” burns were used by indigenous people for centuries before Europeans arrived here. It is an effective ancient art and science that promotes both fire resiliency and biodiversity. Last year’s prescribed burn of about 30 acres at Van Hoosear...

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Honoring Earth, Honoring Volunteers

Honoring Earth, Honoring Volunteers

Sonoma Ecology Center and our illustrious, dedicated volunteers help us honor Earth every day, and we’d like to thank them for helping us take care of little patches of our planet right here in Sonoma Valley. In partnership with One Tree Planted and Simply Solar,...

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Another Dry Year

Another Dry Year

The warm, sunny days we have been enjoying the last several weeks are delightful, but we shouldn’t be enjoying so many of them at this point in what should be our rainy season. “This year is shaping up to be one of the driest on record in our region, with over 50% of...

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Harvest Market is Open

Harvest Market is Open

The Harvest Market at Sonoma Garden Park is open and selling fresh, organically-grown produce and olive oil again. There is not much better than eating food that comes from the land where you live, and that’s just what we offer every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in...

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A message from NEST student, Alexandra Huerta

A message from NEST student, Alexandra Huerta

As someone who has always admired the grandeur of the outdoors and has an ever-present curiosity for exploring, understanding and preserving our natural world, studying environmental science just made sense. As a Southern California native, my summer days as a youth...

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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...

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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...

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Sonoma Valley’s Long-Term Forecast: Dry Times Ahead

Sonoma Valley’s Long-Term Forecast: Dry Times Ahead

When it comes to high temps and low rainfall, new records are constantly being set—and the current rainy season is following that trend. So far our Valley has received less than five inches of rainfall, a fraction of what’s needed, resulting in low streamflow,...

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Watch Nature Heal at Sugarloaf

Watch Nature Heal at Sugarloaf

With most trails reopened, green shoots growing and animals returning, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is the place to be to see the land recover from wildfire. The park—operated by Sonoma Ecology Center on behalf of the California State Parks system—has reopened all but...

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Our Parks Remain Open, but Events Are Canceled

Our Parks Remain Open, but Events Are Canceled

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Sonoma County has imposed a new stay-at-home order starting Saturday, Dec. 12 and ending Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021. This order will result in the following changes to Sonoma Ecology Center’s events and services: * At Sugarloaf...

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