Become a Sonoma Ecology Center Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in helping us preserve the ecological health of Sonoma Valley. We are extremely grateful for your support!

Whether you have a few hours per week, a few hours per month, or a few hours per year, we’d love to have you on our team as a Sonoma Ecology Center volunteer. As a volunteer, you’ll join others who share your love and concern for a healthy environment. You’ll learn new skills, make new friends, and make a difference in the health and well-being of your home.

 

Volunteer Opportunities at Sonoma Ecology Center

  • Sonoma Garden Park steward
  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park steward
  • Nathanson Creek Preserve steward
  • Education assistant
  • Bilingual outings assistant
  • Educational field trip docent
  • Communications/marketing assistant
  • Development assistant
  • Special events assistant
  • Photographer/videographer/media specialist

See below for more details, or contact us at volunteer@sonomaecologycenter.org or 707-996-0712 ext. 125.

 

Sonoma Garden Park

Owned by the City of Sonoma, the Sonoma Garden Park has been managed by Sonoma Ecology Center for more than two decades. Located at 19996 7th St. East, the park is well known as a great place for volunteers to grow many things, including community.

We always have volunteer opportunities at the Garden Park in a variety of areas, including gardening and nursery work, assisting with our seasonal harvest market, flower team, butterfly garden and pruning, medicinal herb gardens, workshops and events, and children’s education programs.

Drop-in volunteers are always welcome at Sonoma Garden Park, although first-time volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation before dropping in! Current drop-in hours are:

  • Tuesdays 9am-1pm
  • Wednesdays 9am-1pm
  • Fridays 9am-1pm
  • Saturdays 9am-1pm

For more details, visit Sonoma Garden Park’s volunteer webpage.

 

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park

Regular trail crew workdays at Sugarloaf are the second and fourth Thursdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. In partnership with the Sonoma County Trails Council, we also have a trail crew workday on the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

We will provide parking passes, tools and Cliff bars with beverages and snacks afterwards. Bring gloves, a hat and water that you can take with you while working, and wear long pants, boots or hiking shoes and sunscreen. No experience is necessary – we have tools and trained crew leaders with tasks for all strengths and sizes of volunteers.

In order to make sure we have enough tools and after-work beverages, please reply to trailscouncil@sonic.net if you plan to attend the Saturday trail crew. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at volunteer@sonomaecologycenter.org.

 

Nathanson Creek Stewards

The Nathanson Creek Stewards are a newer group assembled to keep Sonoma’s Nathanson Creek Preserve clean and free of invasive weeds. They get together every fourth Saturday of the month from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the corner of East MacArthur and Second St. East in Sonoma. Activities may include: light weeding, trash pick-up, getting to know your neighbors, learning about native plants and local weeds, sharing a lunch, and connecting with nature at your local park. Please bring drinking water, gloves and a sack lunch.

For questions, or to express interest, email nathansonstewards@gmail.com.

 

Special Events

Lend a hand before, during or after SEC special events. Special events can include speaker forums, fundraisers, thank you parties and volunteer gatherings.

We are always seeking skilled photographers and videographers to help us capture the good work we are doing in the community! Join us during education events including field trips, outings, hikes, summer camps, workshops, and other community events to document the activities. There are opportunities throughout the year on both weekdays and weekends. We are also interested in volunteers with experience in video editing.

 

Development Assistant

This includes data entry support and help with mailings. Training is provided but PC computer literacy and data entry experience are preferred. Work will take place at the Sonoma Ecology Center office located on the Sonoma Developmental Center campus, 15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge.

 

Education Field Trip Docents

We offer opportunities throughout the school year to support and lead activities during field trips for our Watershed Education Program, at either Sonoma Garden Park, Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, or Montini Open Space Preserve. Education staff will provide training, and you may sign up for field trip dates as it fits with your schedule. Weekday dates are offered throughout the fall and spring. This position requires submitting and passing a background check (fingerprinting).

  • Wildlife Defenders – 2nd Grade Field Trips at Montini Preserve: Support leader with interpretation, group management, and trail activities along the hike. 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Growing Discovery – 4th Grade Field Trips at Sonoma Garden Park: Lead our compost activity rotation (three 30-minute rotations) with groups of about nine students. 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Water Wonders – 5th Grade Field Trips at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Lead a hike activity rotation (three 35-minute rotations) with groups of about nine students. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Climate Champions – 6th Grade Field Trips at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park: Lead an activity rotation with groups of 10 to 15 students. Activities include guided hike and stewardship project. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

 

Bilingual (Spanish-English) Outings Volunteer

Co-lead hikes and outings for Spanish-speaking audiences with Sonoma Ecology Center staff. These family-oriented outings take place throughout Sonoma Valley including at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Sonoma Garden Park, and a range of other open space preserves and properties. There is opportunity for you to bring your interests and passions to the table to add educational elements or activities. Contact Alana Fichman at 707-996-0712 x115 or alana@sonomaecologycenter.org.

 

Education Department Office/Admin Volunteer

Flexible schedule! Seeking volunteers who are comfortable with grading student assessments and/or using Excel and other computer software for entering data. This opportunity allows volunteers to support our education programs without requiring hiking or time on your feet in outdoor settings.

For questions or to get started, please contact Holland Gistelli at 707-996-0712 x108 or holland@sonomaecologycenter.org.

 

Fire Recovery Tips

Click the links below for insights and advice on these topics, presented by our staff of expert ecologists:

 

100% of your donations will go toward supporting immediate and long-term active response, education and prevention efforts in Sonoma Valley—Glen Ellen, Kenwood, and Sonoma.