Sonoma Ecology Center was born on Earth Day.

It was April 22, 1990, and organizers of the local Earth Day celebration were still basking in the afterglow of the music, revelry, speeches and parades held that day in Sonoma Plaza. So much interest in environmental issues had been piqued, so many new connections forged.

It was good, they thought. And yet much more needed to be done.

So the team founded a nonprofit, the Sonoma Ecology Center, to further their goals of fostering good stewardship, collaboration, sustainability and – not least – just a simple appreciation for Sonoma Valley’s nature in all its splendor.

How better, then, to celebrate our upcoming birthday than by appreciating Sonoma Valley’s nature together as a community? Which is why this year we are announcing our first-ever ***SONOMA ECOLOGY CENTER EARTH DAY PHOTO CONTEST*** as a way to encourage all you nature-loving shutterbugs in the Valley to send in your images for all to enjoy.

Send the special ones – of bears, eagles, otters, beavers, bobcats, foxes, mountain lions and luminescent fungi. Or of a gorgeous scene, such as a perfect waterfall or wildflower, or an oak tree catching the sun’s rays. We’ll be sure to highlight our favorites here on our website and on our Facebook page. And one lucky photographer will win a prize!

To enter, email your photos to or post them on our Facebook page. (If we need higher-res versions, we’ll contact you.) Be sure to include your name, where you live and a few words about the photo, such as when and where it was taken and your own personal impressions of the encounter.

Every Earth Day is special. At Sonoma Ecology Center, we want to make our 26th birthday one to remember.