Sonoma Ecology Center in the News

  • A Message on the Fires
    Dear Sonoma Valley Friends and Neighbors: It’s been a frustrating, heartbreaking, terrifying week – possibly the worst few days for Sonoma Valley in living memory. And yet, we’ve never been so full of respect and hope for this place and its amazing people. Since the fires began we’ve seen heroism from every corner of the Valley, even as neighbors and loved ones fled from their homes with their lives and little else. Some are now staying with friends or relatives, others with welcoming strangers, and many thousands are in emergency shelters set up around the county and beyond. In every case, it is courage, compassion and selflessness that gets us through – and that in some cases saves lives. One example hit especially close to home. In the early hours of Monday morning, as the fires were […]
  • How green was my Valley (in 2016)?
    We’re very proud of this op-ed piece which ran last week in the Sonoma Index-Tribune. Sonoma Valley’s environmental accomplishments of 2016 weren’t small, and they demonstrate how patience and dedication can pay off. They also provide a positive example for those of us ready to tackle 2017 in the same spirit of hopefulness. The full article is copied below, with original posting here. Many thanks to the Index-Tribune for running it!   Valley Forum: How green was my Valley (in 2016)? By Don Frances SPECIAL TO THE INDEX-TRIBUNE | January 2, 2017 Ask environmentalists for reasons to celebrate 2016, and they might mention the Paris climate agreement. Then they might scratch their heads, stare at the ceiling for a while, and tell you that’s all they can think of just […]
  • New methods for tracking old waterways
    The Press Democrat has a story on how our own Alex Young, GIS manager at Sonoma Ecology Center, is working with historical ecologist Arthur Dawson and others in an effort to map Sonoma Valley’s waterways before they were altered by settlers: Sleuthing for Sonoma Valley’s oldest streams. (GIS stands for “geographic information system,” which is used to analyze geographical data. Here at SEC, Alex uses it to develop highly detailed watershed maps, among other things.) Mapping old streams requires both high-tech wizardry and old-fashioned detective work, such as examining old maps and simply driving up and down the Valley in search of clues. The article, by fellow researcher Rebecca Lawton, offers a glimpse at this interesting process.   […]
  • Sonoma Ecology Center celebrates 25 years of environmental advocacy
    Another great story acknowledging our 25th anniversary and covering the panel discussion we held at Ramekins. Many thanks to Tish Levee and the Sonoma County Gazette.   […]
  • At SEC, every day is Earth Day
    Wonderful article in the Sonoma Index-Tribune on our 25th Anniversary. Thanks I-T! […]
  • 50 Fund Playmaker: Susan Angell
    The Superbowl 50 Host Committee has awarded us a wonderful grant to serve our educational programs in Sonoma Garden Park. This grant honors 50 “playmakers” in the bay area. Our playmaker is Master Gardener Susan Angell, a tireless contributor to Sonoma Garden Park. Angell has inspired thousands of children to learn more about our natural world. You inspire us too, Susan! The video is above — or for more click here. […]
  • Labor Day ‘Quest’ at Sugarloaf
    By Jim Golway (Story reprinted from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, September 2014) Our quest has begun on Lower Mountain Trail. With curiosity and your senses, you’re sure to not fail.  By searching for clues both high and low Your knowledge of Sugarloaf is bound to grow. And so goes the first clue of an adventure game that has come to Sugarloaf Ridge State Park. By combining the joy of a nature hike with the intrigue of a treasure hunt, the Quest Hike provides a physical and intellectual challenge for park visitors of all ages. “It’s a great way to learn about the nature and history of Sugarloaf while enjoying the fun of an outdoor adventure,” said Holland Gistelli, educational intern and co-creator of the hike. On Labor Day, 18 adventurers undertook the first Quest Hike, setting off […]
  • Van Hoosear PreserveSEC Wildflower Walks Featured in the PD
    Sonoma Ecology Center’s Wildflower Walk series at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve and Sugarloaf Ridge State Park received great enthusiasm from the Press Democrat! Click here for the March 30th article. […]
  • SEC awarded biochar project grant
    By Kendall Fields/Sonoma Index-Tribune Staff Writer Earlier this month, the Sonoma Ecology Center and its partners received a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and additional funds from the Sonoma County Water Agency to launch a biochar project. The $75,000 Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) is allocated to states by the USDA National Resource Conservation Service, and is awarded to groups undertaking sustainable research-based projects. The Sonoma County Water Agency worked with the ecology center to secure the grant and matched the funds with the $75,000 needed to buy an Adam Retort, the machine used to create biochar. Biochar is a specialized charcoal soil amendment that is made in chemical process called pyrolysis, during which wood is burned in special […]