January 14, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve
2301 Nuns Canyon Road
Holland Gistelli
707-996-0712 x108

Join Sonoma Ecology Center for this special outing with historian Arthur Dawson. Journey through time as we explore Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve for clues about the people who used the land and called it home in the 19th and early 20th centuries. What sort of landscape did they find when they arrived? Where were they from? What remains of their lives and the changes they made to the land? We’ll visit old homestead sites, hear early descriptions, check out historical maps, and consider what changed, and is still changing, as Calabazas is stewarded in new ways.

Arthur Dawson has worked in the field of historical ecology for over 15 years. He has collected oral histories and extensively researched the homestead history of Calabazas Preserve. He is also the author of Creek Wisdom and Ecological History of Sonoma Valley as told by local elders, and writes a monthly column on local place names for the Press-Democrat’s Sunday Towns section.

The Calabazas Creek Open Space Preserve was protected by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District in 2004 for recreation and preservation of its natural resources, including the stretch of Calabazas Creek that cascades down the canyon. The 1,290-acre property is one of the most exquisite natural sites in Sonoma Valley, containing a wide array of habitats and breathtaking vistas.

This is a difficult to moderate level 5 to 6 hour hike with substantial elevation gain. We will be exploring off-trail, with some scrambling over rocks required. We may pass through brushy areas, with possible exposure to ticks or poison oak. Please bring appropriate clothing for the weather, including long pants and sturdy footwear, a hat or sunscreen, lunch, and plenty of water. There is also a shallow water crossing across Calabazas Creek.

The hike will go on in light rain, but heavy rain will cancel the outing. The rain date is set aside for Sunday, January 15th. Due to the creek crossing, if heavy rains raise the level of the creek unsafely, the outing will be postponed to a date TBD.

There is no charge for this outing, as it is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the District’s work with a quarter cent sales tax. REGISTER TODAY! Reservations are required online by 5pm Friday, January 13th, 2017, by visiting http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2722586. Directions and day-of contact information will be emailed upon registration. For more information or questions, contact Holland Gistelli at (707) 996-0712, ext. 108 or holland@sonomaecologycenter.org.