10 Ways

Sonoma Ecology Center Makes a Difference in Our Community.
Learn more and join us in protecting what you love about Sonoma Valley.



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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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

RFO Public Star Party @ Robert Ferguson Observatory
Apr 29 @ 8:00 pm – Apr 30 @ 12:00 am

-Presentations on astronomical topics are given in the classroom throughout the course of the evening. Starting at dusk, the Observatory’s three main telescopes are open for your viewing. Docents set up additional telescopes in front of the building. Friendly and knowledgeable docents are available to answer your questions.
For more info please visit Robert Ferguson Observatory Website: http://www.rfo.org/.RFO in the daytime

Van Hoosear Wildflower Walk 6 @ Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
Apr 30 @ 9:00 am – 11:00 am

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.

Guided Backpacking Trip @ TBD
May 6 @ 10:00 am – May 7 @ 5:00 pm

Join us for a fun introductory backpacking experience at a relaxed pace. The official start time is 10 am on Saturday, May 6. We’ll follow a moderately hilly trail 2 mile hike with pack (4-5 miles round trip). We’ll camp at a backcountry campsite on Saturday night and return to the parking lot on Sunday mid-day. You will receive more information about equipment, food and directions after you register. All participants must complete a screening form before registration is complete. This form will be sent to you after your initial registration. See more information at http://ingasadventures.com/backpacking-class/

Purchase tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2866144

Sugarloaf Wildflower Walks @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 6 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Join Team Sugarloaf docents for a spring wildflower walk.  The park includes hillside grasslands with lupines, paintbrush, and iris, wet areas with seep-spring monkeyflower, creeks with Western azalea, chaparral areas with ceanothus and chamise, hardwood forests with delicate chocolate lilies, and redwood forests with starflower. These wildflower walks are not to be missed! Sugarloaf Ridge State Park wildflower walks are $10 and an entry fee or park pass is required for vehicles. These walks are 1-3 miles long. Reservations are required by 5:00 pm the day prior to the walk. This is a beginning to intermediate level hike. All trails contain small elevation gains, and participants are required to wear appropriate footwear.
ParkRx – Hiking for Fitness Series
May 7 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Please Join us for an 8-week Hiking for Fitness Program. The program leaders will guide you on a series of weekly hikes with the challenge increasing each week. The group’s final hike will be to the top of Bald Mountain where hikers can enjoy the stunning 360 vistas. Hikes will start at 9 am at either Sugarloaf Ridge State Park or Annadell State Park. The Hiking series costs $80 plus parking or free for hikers with a ParkRx from their Sonoma County Medical Provider. For more information on Park Rx please visit https://parkrx-sonomacounty.org/

Hike Series: 

1) May 7: White Barn to Uranus Sugarloaf. 2.2 Miles, 80 ft elevation
2) May 14: Meadow Hillside Loop.  3 miles, 250 elevation
3) May 21: Stern/Stern Ranch/Pony/Canyon. 3 miles, 500 elevation
4) May 28: Vista Trail Loop.  4.5 miles. 700 ft elevation.
5) June 4: Neptune Picnic Table.  5 miles. 850 ft elevation.
6) June 11: Goodspeed to Bench.  4.2 miles, 1000 ft. elevation.
7) June 18:  Grey Pine/Red Mt.. 5.3 miles.  1200 ft elevation.
8) June 25:  Climb to Bald Mt.  6.2 Miles 1500 ft. elevation.

All hikes will Start at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.  Meet at the white Barn Area. Purchase Tickets here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2913956


Featured Projects

Click on the image for an interactive map of Sonoma Valley

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

Sugarloaf Ridge State ParkSonoma Garden Park 

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