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RESEARCH

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

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EDUCATION

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

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PRESERVATION

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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RESTORATION

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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Beautiful. Sustainable. Sonoma.

Since 1990, we’ve worked to increase appreciation and stewardship of Sonoma Valley’s natural heritage and create measurable benefits in areas of land, water, climate change and biodiversity.

Upcoming Events

Apr
2
Sun
Van Hoosear Wildflower Walk 1 @ Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
Apr 2 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Van Hoosear Preserve

Join Sonoma Ecology Center naturalists at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve for one of the most spectacular wildflower displays in all of Sonoma County. Experience a pristine spring grassland with numerous species in full bloom.

The 162-acre property in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain is protected by a conservation easement made possible by your Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the California Wildlife Conservation Board. The property is managed under a partnership with the landowner and Sonoma Ecology Center, to protect the Preserves unique plants, thriving streams, and wildlife habitat.

This outing is a beginning-level walk over gently sloped land. Most of the walk is through grassland, generally not on trails, so the footing can be uneven. The walk crosses a few small creek channels, which sometimes have shallow water with stepping stones.

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

Please note that these popular walks fill to capacity on a first-come, first-served basis every year, so early registration is encouraged! Walks will go on in light rain, but heavy rains will cancel the walk.

REGISTER TODAY! Visit Brown Paper Tickets: http://vhwildflowerwalks2017.brownpapertickets.com/

Directions and day-of-contact information will be emailed upon registration. For additional information or questions about the outing, please contact Holland Gistelli at (707) 996-0712 ext. 108, or holland@sonomaecologycenter.org.

Creek Exploration Hike @ Trione-Annadel State Park
Apr 2 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Join Volunteer Interpretive Naturalist John Lynch to explore an active creek habitat! Study the creek, riparian habitats and spring wildflowers.  Wildlife and birds will be identified as they are sighted. The route includes approximately 450 feet of elevation gain over about 4 miles of varied trails. This hike begins and ends at Park trail Drive neighborhood parking. There are no restrooms. Dogs not allowed. You might get your feet wet!

Apr
8
Sat
Who’s Singing in the Forest, Canyon or Meadow? Hike @ Trione-Annadel State Park
Apr 8 @ 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Spring is the best time to develop or improve birding skills and Trione-Annadel, with its varied habitats, is an ideal place for “birding.” Learning and practicing birding skills brings more awareness of everything in nature. Join Volunteer CA Naturalist Hike Leader Carolyn Greene to identify at least 10 common birds by sight and sound during this 3.5 mile round trip moderate hike. We’ll look for wildflowers and other wildlife. Bring binoculars and field guides if you have them, not required. Wear hiking shoes, layers appropriate for weather, trekking poles and water. Location:  Cobblestone Trail Head, Channel Drive. No restrooms, dogs not allowed.

Sugar-Hood Shuttle @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Apr 8 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Want to do a through hike from Sugarloaf to Hood Mountain or vice versa?  Ride the Sugar-Hood Shuttle.

How it works
Every half hour our Shuttle will leave from either Sugarloaf Park or Hood Mountain Regional Park’s Pythian Road Parking Lot.  Make a reservation and then ride to the other end of the trail, or hike and ride back.   Riding first and hiking back to your car is the easiest way – no worries about how long you take to finish your adventure.

We recommend a reservation, but you can ride on a space available basis as well.

The hike should take 3.5 to 4.5 hours.

The distance is about 7.4 miles with approximately 2300 foot vertical climb.

Suggested donation of $10

Van Hoosear Wildflower Walk 2 @ Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
Apr 8 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Van Hoosear Preserve

Join Sonoma Ecology Center naturalists at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve for one of the most spectacular wildflower displays in all of Sonoma County. Experience a pristine spring grassland with numerous species in full bloom. *This April 8 walk will also include an opportunity to give back to the land with an optional volunteer shift following the walk! Please see details below.

The 162-acre property in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain is protected by a conservation easement made possible by your Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the California Wildlife Conservation Board. The property is managed under a partnership with the landowner and Sonoma Ecology Center, to protect the Preserves unique plants, thriving streams, and wildlife habitat.

This outing is a beginning-level walk over gently sloped land. Most of the walk is through grassland, generally not on trails, so the footing can be uneven. The walk crosses a few small creek channels, which sometimes have shallow water with stepping stones.

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

Please note that these popular walks fill to capacity on a first-come, first-served basis every year, so early registration is encouraged! Walks will go on in light rain, but heavy rains will cancel the walk.

REGISTER TODAY! Visit Brown Paper Tickets: http://vhwildflowerwalks2017.brownpapertickets.com/

Directions and day-of-contact information will be emailed upon registration. For additional information or questions about the outing, please contact Holland Gistelli at (707) 996-0712 ext. 108, or holland@sonomaecologycenter.org.

*Details on Volunteer Stewardship Opportunity: Following the walks on April 8 and April 12, SEC Restoration staff will be leading volunteers in removing invasive weeds from select locations on the preserve, for about an hour. No experience necessary! Work gloves and guidance will be provided. Volunteers will be given time to break for lunch between the wildflower walk and the stewardship work—so please bring your lunch on the walk. Interested in preserving the beauty of this place? RSVP to cody@sonomaecologycenter.org, or 707-996-0712 x114.

Featured Projects

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Sugarloaf Ridge State ParkSonoma Garden Park

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The Ecology Blog: What’s Happening in Sonoma Valley

Changes in the Biochar Landscape

Changes in the Biochar Landscape

As word about biochar grows – thanks in large part to the efforts of our own Sonoma Biochar Initiative – coordination grows among biochar’s many advocates, who note how this super-charcoal can help California save water while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Last...

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With Water Comes Watershed Education

With Water Comes Watershed Education

The rains give us our best opportunities for teaching Sonoma Valley kids about watersheds. Which is why Sonoma Ecology Center’s Watershed Education Programs are in full swing right now. Our in-house educators, Holland Gistelli and Tony Passantino, are busy as ever...

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The Path Forward

The Path Forward

Environmentalism should not be a partisan issue. Healthy land, clean air and water – these things benefit everyone. And yet, amid today’s extreme political polarization, there is a fear that our environment is in the crosshairs – and this fear has many in our...

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VIDEO: Sonoma Creek Falls Is Raging

VIDEO: Sonoma Creek Falls Is Raging

Thanks to the recent rains, Sonoma Creek Falls is currently putting on quite a show (see video below). This beautiful cascade in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, at the headwaters of Sonoma Creek, is easy to reach and always rushing after winter rains. To get there, take...

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