Sonoma Garden Park

Sonoma Garden Park a 6.1 acre park public garden located at 19996 7th St E, Sonoma, CA, 95476 and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. 

Volunteer at Sonoma Garden Park

Volunteers play a vital role at Sonoma Garden Park. Become a regular volunteer and grow your gardening knowledge while meeting some wonderful people!

Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Drop-In Hours:

  • Mondays 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Wednesdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Fridays 9:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Saturdays 9:00 am-12:00 pm 

Please fill out this form if you are interested in volunteering. For questions, please email volunteer@sonomaecologycenter.org.

Our Volunteer Work Day every third Friday of the month, 9:00 am-12:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to meet existing and new volunteers. Activities include weeding, planting, pruning, and harvesting. After work, enjoy a light lunch provided by Sonoma Ecology Center. Please RSVP

Saturday Harvest Markets

Sonoma Garden Park’s Harvest Market is in full swing, every Saturday from 9:00 am-12:00 pm. The Harvest Market is a great place to pick up produce, flowers and eggs harvested from our 6.1 acre sustainable garden. Products such as fresh produce, eggs from free range chickens, honey and olive oil are for sale. The market now accepts credit cards. Just remember to bring your reusable shopping bag!

Note: The last official Harvest Market will be October 1, 2022. Saturday volunteer days and sales of local olive oil and preserves will continue through the winter season.

Take the LID Tour

Try Sonoma Garden Park’s Low Impact Design (LID) walking tour! This self-guided tour describes the many LID features on display around the park. Copy them at home for simple, beautiful and effective drought-tolerant landscaping!

Get the LID brochure / Watch for LID markers / Read the LID panel

Sonoma Native Plant Nursery

Our Restoration team manages an in-house native plant nursery at Sonoma Garden Park. Through the nursery we offer more than 80 native species and are able to propagate thousands of plants every year, replanting areas in Sonoma Valley and beyond.

We contract grow for selected projects for which we conduct watershed-specific propagule collection. Our plants are grown in a variety of container stock (4” plugs, 6” plugs, tree band, D40, D60, 1 gallon, tree pots, or 5 gallon) to meet the needs of the project.

Plants are produced following BMP protocols in clean facilities with sterilized pots and soils on metal tables under rigorous pathogen prevention standards. We conduct regular Phytophthora testing and can outsource lab work for plant materials from restoration sites or from nursery stock. Our nursery is registered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture and is in compliance with the Nursery Stock Registration and Certification Programs.

Community Garden Plots: Want to grow your own produce in sunny, fertile Sonoma Garden Park?

  • We rent/renew 40 garden plots every spring
  • We have two garden plot sizes: Single 10×15 ($150) or Double 20×30 ($300)
  • Spaces are rented on an annual basis
  • Cost includes use of garden tools, compost, and water
  • You receive discounted registration fees for workshops to learn more about sustainable gardening
  • Note: Sonoma Ecology Center Membership is required to rent a garden plot (minimum membership is $50)

To learn more about our Community Garden Plots or to check on availability, please email garden@sonomaecologycenter.org.

Event Rental: Sonoma Garden Park is available to rent for larger events. Just minutes away from the center of Sonoma, this beautiful outdoor location is a hidden gem!

For more information on renting out Sonoma Garden Park for events, please reach out to garden staff during volunteer hours, email garden@sonomaecologycenter.org, or fill out this event inquiry form.

Our Education Program activities at Sonoma Garden Park

Sonoma Garden Park provides an opportunity to connect with the natural world that sustains us. At the core of all programs is learning about the reciprocity of relationships to the natural world and among other humans in a community. The projects and programs of Sonoma Garden Park create an interdisciplinary learning environment.

 

History

Sonoma Garden Park was originally the property of Pauline Bond, a Sonoma schoolteacher who gave the land to the City of Sonoma in 1977 with the agreement that it remain a public park. In 1993, Sonoma Ecology Center entered into an agreement with the City of Sonoma to take over regular operation of the 6.1 acre park, and began to grow it from a bare lot to its current lush grounds of orchards, gardens and public gathering places.

Improvements were made over time, including a Straw Bale Barn built in 1994, a Native Plant Nursery built in 2012, and Low Impact Design features added in 2017. In 2019, the City of Sonoma approved our new Master Plan Update, guaranteeing that this beloved park will continue to be an essential community gathering place for many years to come.

All through the growing season, Sonoma Garden Park hosts a Harvest Market in its Straw Bale Barn every Saturday from 9 am to noon, where the garden’s abundant produce — fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and eggs from our chickens — is sold. For the multitude of public workshops, classes, camps and other events held at Sonoma Garden Park, see our events calendar.

Sonoma Garden Park has changed a great deal over the years. Here are some key milestones:

1994: The Straw Bale Barn

Bruce Maxwell, a Sonoma Ecology Center volunteer, designed and supervised construction of the Straw Bale Barn. Using almost entirely donated materials (including the roof trusses which were provided by All Truss, a local truss maker), the barn was built over the course of numerous volunteer workdays covering different phases: foundation pouring, straw bale wall installation, roof installation, stucco application, and clay floor installation. Everything in the barn is original except the clay floor, which was replaced around 2012. The redwood doors and siding were salvaged from the Dolcini family barn, once located where Adele Harrison Middle School now stands.

2007-09: Children’s Discovery Trail

This project was funded by Whitney and Janet Evans, local philanthropists who wanted to bring some of the joy of gardens they shared with their children to the people of Sonoma. The Children’s Discovery Trail currently consists of three locations and interactive panels meant to inspire and educate children about butterflies, birds and bees.

2012: The Nursery

An initial shade structure at the Garden Park was designed by longtime Sonoma Ecology Center Restoration Project Manager Mark Newhouser and built out of salvaged decking with volunteer labor in 2008. Soon after that we began work on a state-of-the-art greenhouse, built mostly by volunteers over three years and finished in 2012. The Sonoma Native Plant Nursery, which now grows most of the plants for Sonoma Ecology Center’s restoration work, was funded by numerous sources, including Sonoma Rotary, Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, MGP, nursery funds, Americorps labor, Audiss Electric, Boden Plumbing, Berger Concrete, Impact 100, and the City of Sonoma.

2012: Conservation Easement

A Conservation Easement, established through Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, protects the land and provides exclusions from certain types of development on the land, in perpetuity. Land must be maintained as publicly-accessible open space for recreation, agriculture, and habitat conservation purposes. The easement established eligibility for Sonoma Garden Park to receive funding through the District’s matching grant program, and has funded two phases of infrastructure development to date. Projects in those grants included completion of an ADA pathway network, new signs, drinking water fountains, oak woodland restoration, and a native plant nursery garden.

2015: ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Pathway

The City of Sonoma funded a pathway system in 2007. A more permanent set of pathways, incorporating the old pathway as a foundation, was completed with funding by Ag+Open Space district’s matching grant program. These ADA pathways mean our park is a place everyone can enjoy.

2017: Low Impact Design (LID) features and Park Upgrades

Sonoma County Water Agency funded a project to provide a demonstration of LID infrastructure. These design features manage storm water runoff so that it stays on the land, and infiltrates and recharges groundwater. Water also filters through vegetation and gravel to remove sediment and chemical pollutants before it enters streams and other waterbodies. Manageed storm water can also be stored and utilized for landscape uses. The project is intended to inspire, so that others might adopt these practices as simple, economical features that landowners can build or easily retrofit themselves.

2019 And Beyond:

Today, Sonoma Garden Park shows the fruits of our labor in every sense. Beloved features at the Garden Park include the seasonal Saturday Harvest Market, native plant nursery, community garden plots, community workshops, and the many longstanding youth education activities such as school field trips, EnviroLeaders and Summer Science Camps.

Sonoma Ecology Center is also working on the future of Sonoma Garden Park, and is currently working with the City of Sonoma and community to update its Master Plan Update to bring improvements to the park, including inclusion of the “Grandmother Tree” and the old homestead area, an education office and classroom, improved children’s play areas, and public restrooms.

See below for a great video on our educational programs at Sonoma Garden Park — plus a visit to the Garden Park in 2016 by legendary Bay Area traveler Doug McConnell.

Calendar of Events

Dec
11
Sun
Winter Wreaths and Nature Decor Workshop – Taller de coronas @ Sonoma Ecology Center
Dec 11 @ 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
Winter Wreaths and Nature Decor Workshop – Taller de coronas @ Sonoma Ecology Center | Sonoma | California | United States

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[Español abajo]

Using all local greenery and forest findings, you will learn and create winter decor using techniques for unique “partial wreaths” as well as the “bundle and loop” rings of glory. Join us to participate in the ancient tradition of wreath making and bring home the perfect winter welcome to use as a door or wall decoration. Whether yours is a traditional evergreen wreath or a new year vine “hoop of hope,” its intention will shine through. Julia Megna, owner of Florals and Nature Decor by Julia will also demonstrate how to make garlands, swags, centerpieces and tablescapes. Please bring hand clippers or scissors. Merriment and crafting fun will keep us warm, but please dress in layers and bring a mug for hot drinks. We will be outside at picnic tables or inside the straw bale barn.

We have two sessions, the first session is from 10:00 am-12:00 pm and the second session is from 12:30-2:30 pm. Both sessions will be bilingual English and Spanish.

This event is led by Julia Megna, Sonoma Ecology Center’s Education Project Manager and Alma Shaw, Senderos Coordinator for Team Sugarloaf and Sonoma Ecology Center.

Please register in advance here.


Taller de coronas
11 de diciembre del 2022
10:00 AM a 12:00 PM ó 12:30 a 2:30 PM

Utilizando verdor y materiales encontrados en bosques locales, aprenderá y creará decoraciones invernales utilizando técnicas para únicas “coronas parciales” al igual que “aros de gloria” hechos con manojos. Acompáñenos a participar en la antigua tradición de construir coronas y traer al hogar la perfecta bienvenida invernal para usar como decoración de puerta o pared. Ya sea una guirnalda tradicional de hoja perenne o un ‘aro de esperanza’ para el año nuevo, su intención brillará a través de ella. Julia Megna, dueña de Florals and Nature Decor por Julia también demostrará cómo hacer guirnaldas, piezas de centro de mesa, y ‘paisajes de mesa’.

Por favor trae tijeras de podar o regulares. La alegría estacional y las manualidades nos mantendrán cálidos pero por favor viste capas y trae una taza para bebidas calientes. Este taller se realizará al aire libre en mesas de picnic o dentro del granero. Tendremos dos talleres, el primer de 10:00 am-12:00 pm y el segundo de 12:30-2:30 pm. Ambas sesiones serán español-inglés bilingües.

Este evento es liderado por Julia Megna, gerente del proyecto de Educación de Sonoma Ecology Center y Alma Shaw, coordinadora del programa Senderos Naturales para Team Sugarloaf y Sonoma Ecology Center.
 
Por favor regístrese por adelantado aquí.

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Dec
16
Fri
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park
Dec 16 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park

Every 3rd Friday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm we welcome existing and new volunteers for a fun morning of work and community building at Sonoma Garden Park. Depending on the season activities include prepping fields, planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning trees and prepping produce for the seasonal Saturday Harvest market. 

Join us for a fun opportunity to enjoy the bounty of each season, and to share and learn from other gardeners. Existing and new volunteers are encouraged to attend—no experience is necessary! Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, hat, SPF and water. At noon you enjoy a light garden fresh lunch at our shady picnic area provided by Sonoma Ecology Center as a thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

[button link="https://www.simpletix.com/e/sonoma-garden-park-volunteer-fridays-ticke-tickets-110178" color="black"] RSVP[/button]



Dec
17
Sat
Winter Solstice Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Social – Reunión social para voluntarios del solsticio de invierno @ Sonoma Garden Park
Dec 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Our Winter Solstice Volunteer Social is here and you’re invited! Please join us at the Sonoma Garden Park on Saturday, December 17 1:00-3:00 pm to celebrate Winter and enjoy the company of existing and future Volunteers. This social will be potluck style. Please bring a dish using seasonal garden produce to share (it’s okay if you didn’t grow it yourself!). Prepare to get cozy, drink spiced cider provided by SEC and listen to winter songs! You are encouraged to bring an instrument to play a song or two if you wish. In addition, we will have a polaroid camera to take photos and continue to build a Wall of Fame with photos of our volunteers, so garden attendees know who to thank.

*Friendly reminder that we have a Friday Work Day on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm that all are encouraged to join. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided by the Sonoma Ecology Center on these once-a-month Friday Work Days.

Jan
14
Sat
Senderos: Taller de Cultivación de Hongos | Senderos: Mushroom Cultivation Workshop @ Sonoma Garden Park
Jan 14 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Senderos: Taller de Cultivación de Hongos | Senderos: Mushroom Cultivation Workshop @ Sonoma Garden Park | Sonoma | California | United States

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[English below]

¡Venga a un taller de cultivación de hongos el 14 de enero de las 10:00 am a las 12:00 pm  en Sonoma Garden Park! Aprenda métodos de cultivación fáciles y de bajo costo y cuando cosechar sus hongos. Este evento es bilingüe y gratuito pero le pedimos que por favor se registre ya que el espacio es limitado. El evento será al aire libre; vista ropa adecuada incluyendo chamarras y zapatos cómodos, y traiga agua. Las lluvias fuertes cancelan el evento. Para inscribirse, llame a Alma al 707-247-5767 o mándenos un correo electrónico a senderos@sonomaecologycenter.org

Sonoma Garden Park fue protegido por Ag + Open Space en Noviembre del 2011 para uso recreativo y preservación de sus recursos naturales, e igualmente aula educativa ambiental para salidas escolares de escuelas primarias cercanas a través del programa “Growing Discovery” de Sonoma Ecology Center. La propiedad de 6 acres, escondida en el este de Sonoma, es un parque público increíble y sitio de jardín de trabajo en el Valle de Sonoma, con un amplio conjunto de hábitats junto a sistemas diseñados de manera sostenible para uso agrícola y paisajista.

Este evento es hecho posible por los electores del Condado de Sonoma, quienes financian el trabajo de Ag + Open Space con un impuesto de venta de un cuarto de centavo.

Agradecemos a Mycopia por su donación de micelio para hacer este taller posible. Los hongos de Mycopia son cultivados con cuidadosamente por Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., pioneros en la cultivación de hongos de calidad gastronómica especial en los Estados Unidos desde 1977. Crecemos 5 variedades de hongos aquí mismo en el Condado de Sonoma, que puedes encontrar en tu mercado local.


ENG: Come to Sonoma Garden Park on Saturday, January 14, 10:00 am-12:00 pm for a bilingual mushroom cultivation workshop! We will learn about easy and inexpensive mushroom cultivation methods and when to harvest. This is a free, bilingual event planned around a primarily Spanish-speaking audience. Registration is required as space is limited. Bring water and dress warmly, as the event will be held outside the barn. Heavy rain cancels the event. For questions or more information, please contact Alma at senderos@sonomaecologycenter.org.

There is no charge for this outing, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.

Sonoma Garden Park was protected by Ag + Open Space in November of 2011 for recreation and preservation of its natural resources, and learning classroom environment for agriculture field trips for nearby elementary schools through Sonoma Ecology Center’s “Growing Discovery” program. The 6-acre property, hidden in eastern Sonoma, is an incredible public park and working garden site in Sonoma Valley, containing a wide array of habitats alongside sustainably designed systems for both agriculture use and landscaping purposes.

We are thankful to Mycopia for their donation of mycelium to make this workshop possible. Mycopia mushrooms are cultivated with care by Gourmet Mushrooms Inc., pioneers of specialty mushroom cultivation in the US since 1977. We grow 5 varieties of specialty mushrooms, right here in Sonoma County, that you can find in your local grocery store.

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Jan
20
Fri
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park
Jan 20 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park

Every 3rd Friday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm we welcome existing and new volunteers for a fun morning of work and community building at Sonoma Garden Park. Depending on the season activities include prepping fields, planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning trees and prepping produce for the seasonal Saturday Harvest market. 

Join us for a fun opportunity to enjoy the bounty of each season, and to share and learn from other gardeners. Existing and new volunteers are encouraged to attend—no experience is necessary! Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, hat, SPF and water. At noon you enjoy a light garden fresh lunch at our shady picnic area provided by Sonoma Ecology Center as a thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

[button link="https://www.simpletix.com/e/sonoma-garden-park-volunteer-fridays-ticke-tickets-110178" color="black"] RSVP[/button]



Jan
21
Sat
California Native Habitat Gardens Workshop | Taller de Jardines Hábitat @ Sonoma Garden Park
Jan 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
California Native Habitat Gardens Workshop | Taller de Jardines Hábitat @ Sonoma Garden Park | Sonoma | California | United States

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[Español abajo]

There’s plenty to do in the heart of winter in the California garden! Whether you’re looking for waterwise, climate friendly landscape improvements, or are interested in inviting more birds and butterflies to your garden, we recommend that you consider California native plants. Join Sonoma Ecology Center’s Native Plant Nursery Manager Hannah Aclufi and Design and Implementation Project Manager Jon Kanagy on January 21, and May 13, 2023 10:00 am-12:00 pm for the latest in landscape care, matched to our unique and changing climate and its challenges. We’ll cover all the information you need from why, where and what to purchase, to irrigation, weeding and pruning techniques. 

In this workshop, there will be a focus on winter garden activities including discussion and demonstration of planting, plant division, pruning, and weed management. We’ll show and discuss plenty of native plants for your up-close learning experience.

This event will take place at Sonoma Garden Park, 19996 7th St E, Sonoma, CA 95476. If it rains on the date of the event, the event will be rescheduled.

¡Hay mucho que hacer durante el invierno en los jardines Californianos! Ya sea que busques mejorar tu uso de agua en el jardín o hacerlo más compatible con el clima, o estás interesado en invitar más pájaros y mariposas a tu jardín, recomendamos que consideres plantas nativas de California. Únete a personal de Sonoma Ecology Center, Hannah Aclufi, gerente del vivero de plantas nativas, y Jon Kanagy, gerente de diseño e implementación de proyectos, el 21 de enero y el 13 de mayo del 2023 de 10:00 am a 12:00 pm para lo último en cuidado paisajista, adaptado a nuestro único y cambiante clima y sus destrezas. Cubriremos información necesaria desde porqué, dónde, y qué comprar, a irrigación, y técnicas de escardo y poda.

En este taller, nos enfocaremos en actividades invernales en el jardín incluyendo discusión y demostraciones de plantar, divisiones de plantas, podar, y control de maleza. Te demostraremos y conversaremos sobre plantas nativas para tu experiencia de aprendizaje práctico.

Este evento será en Sonoma Garden Park, 19996 7th St E, Sonoma, CA 95476. En caso de lluvias ese día, el evento será reprogramado.

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Feb
17
Fri
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park
Feb 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park

Every 3rd Friday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm we welcome existing and new volunteers for a fun morning of work and community building at Sonoma Garden Park. Depending on the season activities include prepping fields, planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning trees and prepping produce for the seasonal Saturday Harvest market. 

Join us for a fun opportunity to enjoy the bounty of each season, and to share and learn from other gardeners. Existing and new volunteers are encouraged to attend—no experience is necessary! Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, hat, SPF and water. At noon you enjoy a light garden fresh lunch at our shady picnic area provided by Sonoma Ecology Center as a thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

[button link="https://www.simpletix.com/e/sonoma-garden-park-volunteer-fridays-ticke-tickets-110178" color="black"] RSVP[/button]



Mar
17
Fri
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park
Mar 17 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park

Every 3rd Friday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm we welcome existing and new volunteers for a fun morning of work and community building at Sonoma Garden Park. Depending on the season activities include prepping fields, planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning trees and prepping produce for the seasonal Saturday Harvest market. 

Join us for a fun opportunity to enjoy the bounty of each season, and to share and learn from other gardeners. Existing and new volunteers are encouraged to attend—no experience is necessary! Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, hat, SPF and water. At noon you enjoy a light garden fresh lunch at our shady picnic area provided by Sonoma Ecology Center as a thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

[button link="https://www.simpletix.com/e/sonoma-garden-park-volunteer-fridays-ticke-tickets-110178" color="black"] RSVP[/button]



Apr
21
Fri
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park
Apr 21 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park

Every 3rd Friday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm we welcome existing and new volunteers for a fun morning of work and community building at Sonoma Garden Park. Depending on the season activities include prepping fields, planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning trees and prepping produce for the seasonal Saturday Harvest market. 

Join us for a fun opportunity to enjoy the bounty of each season, and to share and learn from other gardeners. Existing and new volunteers are encouraged to attend—no experience is necessary! Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, hat, SPF and water. At noon you enjoy a light garden fresh lunch at our shady picnic area provided by Sonoma Ecology Center as a thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

[button link="https://www.simpletix.com/e/sonoma-garden-park-volunteer-fridays-ticke-tickets-110178" color="black"] RSVP[/button]



May
19
Fri
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park
May 19 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Sonoma Garden Park Volunteer Workday @ Sonoma Garden Park

Every 3rd Friday of the month from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm we welcome existing and new volunteers for a fun morning of work and community building at Sonoma Garden Park. Depending on the season activities include prepping fields, planting, harvesting, weeding, pruning trees and prepping produce for the seasonal Saturday Harvest market. 

Join us for a fun opportunity to enjoy the bounty of each season, and to share and learn from other gardeners. Existing and new volunteers are encouraged to attend—no experience is necessary! Please be sure to bring your gardening gloves, hat, SPF and water. At noon you enjoy a light garden fresh lunch at our shady picnic area provided by Sonoma Ecology Center as a thank you to our wonderful volunteers!

[button link="https://www.simpletix.com/e/sonoma-garden-park-volunteer-fridays-ticke-tickets-110178" color="black"] RSVP[/button]