The landscape of our community has changed. Now is the time to harness our strength and spirit, together. We will be with you every step of the way, to rebuild a community that is more resilient, healthy and thriving.



How is our Valley doing? We monitor, analyse, map, and report on broad measures of ecological health in Sonoma Valley.

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We provide educational and outdoor programs for thousands of students in Sonoma Valley.

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We foster and maintain publicly accessible open spaces, including Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve and the Sonoma Overlook Trail.

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Since 1993, we’ve worked side by side with landowners and volunteers on projects that restore, protect, and improve our natural heritage.

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Sonoma Ecology Center is committed to working with the community to make Sonoma Valley more thriving and sustainable than ever before. Anyone looking for useful information on ways to help is invited to click on the links below.

Fire Recovery Tips & Info  ///  Volunteer  ///  Donate

Upcoming Events

Nathanson Stewards Volunteer Clean-up @ Nathanson Creek Preserve Native Garden
Mar 24 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Become a Nathanson Steward!

Please join us once a month to help spruce up the Nathanson Creek Preserve Garden. This enjoyable community volunteer effort occurs every fourth Saturday of the month beginning Saturday, March 24, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Through these efforts, Sonoma Ecology Center and Nathanson Stewards will care for the lovely Nathanson Creek Preserve Native Plant Garden.

These events will be guided by trained restoration technicians from Sonoma Ecology Center, with a focus on native gardening and landscaping. The subject matter will vary with the seasons, and our technicians will demonstrate proper techniques for caring for the different native plants located within the Nathanson garden. Volunteers are asked to bring sunscreen or a hat, bottled water, a sack lunch and work gloves, and to wear closed-toed shoes. All ages are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

We’ll meet at the Nathanson Creek Preserve Garden located on the corner of East MacArthur Street and Second Street 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 sack lunch
  • Connecting with nature at your local park

For questions or to express interest, please email nathansonstewards@gmail.com or patrick@sonomaecologycenter.org.

ParkRx – Forest Therapy @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Mar 24 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

The Practice of Forest Therapy, has been shown to improve health and well-being.

Have you heard about Shinrin Yoku or Forest bathing? Here is an opportunity to take a walk and experience the practice for yourself. Learn techniques to maximize the health benefits and stress reducing qualities of this walking practice. Shinrin yoku originated in Japan and is gaining popularity in the United States for its documented Health benefits.

This practice takes a walk in the woods to another level. A centering and calming restorative practice, it promotes balance and restored vitality through a quality of presence and heightened sensory awareness. Recent articles have been written up in Oprah, Time Magazine, and National Geographic, as well as numerous other publications. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park hosts a Forest Therapy Series as part of its Parks RX program the 4th Saturday of each month (http://parkrx-sonomacounty.org/events/). These walks are led by certified ANFT (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy) practitioners. See http://www.natureandforesttherapy.org/ for more info about this practice.

Tickets $20 or free with a ParkRx from a Sonoma County Medical Provider (click Doctor’s Info here for more info).

Tickets: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3327719


Bill & Dave Hikes: McCormick / Spaulding Hike @ Hood Mountain Regional Park, Los Alamos Road lot
Mar 24 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Please join Team Sugarloaf and Bill and Dave Hikes as they partner on an informative hike within the extreme northern part of Hood Mtn Regional Park and the McCormick addition of Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. This moderately strenuous 6.5 mile hike, with 1000 ft of elevation gain, will highlight both Homestead Meadow near the Santa Rosa Creek crossing and the former Spaulding property now a part of Hood Mtn Regional Park. Plan to gather at the Los Alamos Rd parking lot at 9:45 for a prompt 10:00 start. This lot is at the end of Los Alamos Rd approximately 4.5 miles north of Hwy 12. Please bring a lunch, liquids, appropriate weather clothing, and plan on a shallow water crossing of the Santa Rosa Creek. The hike is free, but a Regional Park entrance fee of $7 will apply. For questions, please contact Dave Chalk at 539-8847, Bill Myers at 833-4128, or check out billandavehikes.com or sugarloafpark.org.

Crecer en el Jardín: Evento Bilingüe @ Sonoma Garden Park
Mar 24 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Cuando plantamos árboles, plantamos las semillas de la paz y de la esperanza.”

Wangari Maathai, bióloga y ecologista keniana

Hay un espacio lindísimo en el Sonoma Garden Park esperando plantas. Quizás no tenga un lugar donde vive para plantar o quizás necesita más tierra para realizar sus sueños jardinerías. Aquí está la respuesta.

Prepararemos la tierra para la plantación de a primavera, comeremos juntos, y relajaremos un poquito también. También habrá una actividad usando tintes naturales para decorar cascarones para el Pascua.

El evento es gratis gracias a los votantes de Sonoma County quien financian el trabajo del Sonoma Ag and Open Space District con un impuesto de ventas de un cuarto centavo.

¡Esperamos verles en el jardín!


“When you plant trees, you plant the seeds of peace and hope.”

-Wangari Maathai, Kenyan Biologist and Ecologist

There is a beautiful space in the Sonoma Garden Park waiting to be planted by hands as part of our Senderos Naturales program. Maybe you don’t have a space where you live or maybe you need more earth to make your garden dreams come true. Here lies the answer.

We will prepare the earth in this garden for a fantastic Spring planting season, eat together, and rest a little too. There will also be an activity using natural dyes from plants to decorate cascarones for Easter.

This outing is free, made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District’s work with a quarter-cent sales tax.

We hope to see you at the garden!

Spring Colors: Natural Plant Dye Workshop (Bilingual) @ Sonoma Garden Park
Mar 24 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join us in the garden on Saturday, March 24th from 1 to 4pm to learn how to create a spring color palette using a combination of plants foraged from our garden and purchased at the market – or from your very own kitchen.

We will dye Easter eggs, natural fibers, and play with painting using paints and dyes made from plants!

This workshop has very limited space, and registration is required, so reserve your spot today by going to: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3351633.


Visit our partner websites – Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, Sonoma Garden Park and Sustainable Sonoma

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park Sonoma Garden ParkSustainable Sonoma

North Bay Fire Images

An online story map covering the North Bay between October 8th and October 30th of 2017. All members of the public are invited to upload pictures.

Featured Projects

Click on the image for an interactive map of Sonoma Valley

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The Ecology Blog: What’s Happening in Sonoma Valley

Next Post-Fire Peril: Erosion

Next Post-Fire Peril: Erosion

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