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Community Events


June | July | August

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June

Tracking Animal Sign and Bird Language at the Laguna
Workshop and field trip with Marley Peifer
Sunday, June 3, 8:00am-1:00pm
Meeting at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$25. Pre-registration required (see below).

In this introductory class, we will explore the diverse terrestrial ecosystems of the Laguna de Santa Rosa with an eye and ear towards tracking mammals and birds. Far from esoteric pursuits, tracking and bird language are practical tools that can be in every nature-lovers toolkit (next to the binoculars and field guides). After this class, you are guaranteed to see more raptors and more elusive mammals. We will learn about common bird vocalizations and what they mean while we scan the ground for data-rich scat and tracks. We will also look at different types of browse and feeding sign while practicing awareness and observation skills. This workshop will begin in Heron Hall with hot drinks and snacks and a brief introduction, then we will head out to a couple different field sites. The outing will include walking (up to ~2 miles) on mostly flat but uneven ground. This workshop is geared towards adults, but open to families with children 10 years and older, if the children are comfortable outdoors, self-motivated, and focused around learning in nature. Rain cancels (in which case we would fully refund your fee).

Marley Peifer is a level three certified tracker and has practiced with many of the best trackers in this bioregion including Jim Sullivan and Meghan Walla-Murphy. He has also learned from some of our area’s foremost observers of birds such as John Muir Laws and Keith Hansen. Marley lives in Sebastopol where he practices gardening, wildlife tracking, and nature journaling. Tracking animals and paying attention to birds have been fundamental practices for Marley ever since he realized how they increased his enjoyment of the outdoors. He is passionate about learning, teaching, and fine-tuning awareness in Nature.


Let’s Build Habitat! Naturalist-Led Walk and Hands-On Habitat Project
Joe Rodota Trail Walk and Wildlife Habitat-Building Project along Gravenstein Creek
With Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation Staff
Saturday, June 16, 9:00am-1:00pm
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 (non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

If we build it, wildlife will come. Help us create a wildlife habitat structure at an environmental restoration site within our very own wetland of international importance, the Laguna de Santa Rosa. We'll meet at the Laguna Environmental Center for morning snacks and a brief overview, then we’ll carpool to the Joe Rodota Trail in Sebastopol for a fun 1-mile walk to the restoration site (2 miles round trip) with Regional Parks naturalist Shelly Spriggs and Laguna Foundation’s Anita Smith. We will go off the paved trail to Gravenstein Creek on a farm that is not open to the public but where the City of Santa Rosa has been working on restoration projects since 1996 and the Laguna Foundation since 2014. After learning about the farm, restoration efforts, and the wildlife coming back, we will work with Laguna Foundation’s restoration technician Asa Voight to build a multiple-layer habitat with something to do for all abilities. We'll do a little digging to create a round depression, fill it with logs to create tunnels, burrows, and rotting decomposer habitat, then move and bury logs, mound up soil and install over- and under-story plantings. All tools and supplies including gloves will be provided. Fun for all ages!


Taking Flight: Documentary Film Screening of “A Thousand Cranes”
And presentation with Veronica Bowers, Native Songbird Care and Conservation
Thursday, June 21, (Summer Solstice!), 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12-25 sliding scale (non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).
Benefits Laguna Foundation and Native Songbird Care and Conservation

Join us to celebrate the summer solstice with a rare screening of a very special documentary -- Brian Kahn's Award-Winning Documentary "A Thousand Cranes" followed by a presentation by Veronica Bowers of Native Songbird Care & Conservation about the role of the Laguna de Santa Rosa in the Pacific Flyway. Local writer Michele Anna Jordan will introduce the film with two brief stories, one the tale of how she tracked down its maker and another of how she saved, or helped save, 4000 ravens with just 15 minutes of work. "A Thousand Cranes" opens with the folding of hundreds of origami cranes in an effort, by a young woman with cancer, to make a thousand of the delicate paper birds, at which time, Japanese legend tells us, the folder is granted a wish by the gods. Narrated by Joanne Woodward, the film then uses the parable of the cranes to explore both the threat of nuclear annihilation and the remarkable efforts by Soviet and American scientists, who worked together to save the beautiful Siberian crane from extinction. The film is at once alarming, compelling, tender, beautiful, delightful and optimistic and shows how individuals from vastly different cultures can come together out of shared love and shared knowledge to undo damage perpetrated by humans who unknowingly threaten other species as they struggle to survive themselves. The film is appropriate for all ages. Following the screening of this exquisite film, Veronica Bowers will make a verbal and visual presentation about the role the Laguna de Santa Rosa plays in the Pacific Flyway. Light snacks will be provided during the event.

In 1987, Brian Kahn, who served as Sonoma County Supervisor for the 1st District (Sonoma Valley and East Santa Rosa) from 1977 to 1980, released "A Thousand Cranes" documentary. The film was praised worldwide and received numerous awards, including the President's Medal at the Salerno International Film Festival. It was shown around the world but has somehow been overlooked in the digital age. This is a rare opportunity to see it. Brian currently lives in Helena, Montana, where he produces and hosts Home Ground Radio, now in its 21st year, which a listener describes as "a cumulative portrait of our culture in transition." He is a writer, journalist, author of five books to date, and former president of the California Fish and Game Commission. For more information about his work, visit his radio website. Veronica Bowers founded Native Songbird Care & Conservation in 2004. The non-profit organization cares for over 1000 songbirds each year in a rehabilitation center located on the edge of downtown Sebastopol. Veronica's understanding of and passion for these birds forms the foundation of this all-volunteer effort to heal and release songbirds that have been injured in their natural environment. She cares for over 60 species each year. Michele Anna Jordan, best known for her writing about food, wine, and Sonoma County, fell in love with this film when it was first released and, a few years ago, set out to find Brian when the film proved unavailable online or elsewhere. Her interested is fueled by her prodigious love of both birds and the Laguna de Santa Rosa, where she enjoys watching egrets, herons and ravens. For more information about her work, visit her website.



Coloring the Garden in Colored Pencil
Drawing Workshop with Nina Antze
Saturday, June 30, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required (see below).

Summer is the time for warmth, exuberance, relaxation, and working in the garden. Colored pencils are a fun, safe, portable, and meditative way to express oneself artistically. Come explore and draw the beautiful plants of the summer at the Laguna Environmental Center, or bring favorite flowers from your own garden to draw. We will explore a variety of colored pencil techniques and learn how to blend, burnish, and create new colors while incorporating the techniques of botanical drawing. We will focus on color theory, color application, value and form. All levels welcome. Suitable for 12 year olds and up (children under 15 must be accompanied by a parent). Participants bring their own lunch and art supplies (a supply list will be provided). Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided.

Nina Antze is a Sonoma County botanical artist and quiltmaker. She has a degree in Fine Art from San Francisco State and a Certificate in Botanical Illustration from the New York Botanical Gardens. She teaches colored pencil and botanical workshops throughout the Bay Area. Learn more at her website.

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July


How Waterways Wrote Our History: The North Bay up to the 1800s
Part I, Presentation with archaeologist Dr. Mara Vejby
Saturday, July 7, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 (non-refundable).Pre-registration required (see below).

The North Bay has a rich and unique history within California. Its environment, particularly its waterways, has shaped human culture and migration for thousands of years. In part one of this two-part lecture we will wade into the cultural significance of the North Bay waterways to the native peoples of the region. We will then navigate the use of these rivers as political boundaries between the Russians and the Spanish in the 1800s. Part two, “How Waterways Wrote Our History: The 1800s to Present,” takes place Saturday, July 14 (details below).

Dr. Mara Vejby is an archaeologist and the founder of Locality Research and Preservation. She currently works as an analyst for the Board of Supervisors in Santa Clara County. Dr. Vejby’s interest in how people interact with the past has shaped her research in Europe and California, and it continues to influence her work to preserve our local history and archaeology.


Dragons in our Watershed: A Field Survey of Laguna Dragonflies
Natural History Outing with Laguna Foundation’s Executive Director, Kevin Munroe
Sunday, July 8, 9:30am-4:30pm
Meeting at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$25-50 Sliding scale. Pre-registration required (see below).

Join us for a fun-filled, day-long adventure as we travel around the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed together, exploring different aquatic habitats and chasing down dragonflies. One of the most bio-diverse ecosystems in Northern California, the Laguna de Santa Rosa is a dragonfly hotspot. We have a good chance of seeing at least a dozen species, and hopefully catching at least half of them! You’ll learn how safely catch, gently handle, and carefully release these brilliant, magical, vital members of our local foodweb. Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center and carpooling from there, we’ll visit lakes, streams and wetlands to stalk and watch these fascinating eagles of the insect world. Appropriate for adults and children age 12 and up if accompanied by an adult.

Executive Director of the Laguna Foundation since 2015, Kevin Munroe is also a talented naturalist, educator, and dragonfly aficionado. He started the website, Dragonflies of Northern Virginia, and is enjoying learning all about west coast “Odes.” Kevin developed his passion as a naturalist in early childhood and subsequently transformed this interest into a rich career that includes conservation resource management, restoration, and environmental education.


The Laguna is Home to the California State Lichen!
Presentation with botanist and lichenologist, Shelly Benson
Thursday, July 12, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12. (non refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

Lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii, top photo on left) is the CA state lichen and it grows on oaks in the Laguna. Join Shelly Benson, former president of the California Lichen Society, for an evening lecture on lichens. These fascinating organisms are found all around us, growing in nearly every habitat and on almost any surface; however, they are commonly overlooked. Shelly will explain the intimate fungal-algal relationship known as the lichen. She will also cover the ecological importance of lichens and how humans have used them through time. The backdrop to this talk will be the Heron Hall art exhibit of paintings by Lucy Martin of Mushrooms and Lichens.

Shelly Benson has been studying lichens for the past 18 years. She received a Master of Science degree in 2001 from the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, where she studied lichen ecology in the tree tops of old growth forests. Shelly served as president of the California Lichen Society from 2013-2016. She worked on several lichen inventories in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to lead lichen walks and workshops around the region. Shelly is interested in using lichens as indicators for air quality and climate change.


How Waterways Wrote Our History: The 1800s to Present
Part II, Presentation with archaeologist Dr. Mara Vejby
Saturday, July 14, 2018, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (see below).

The waterways of the North Bay have played a central part in the movement of peoples and in the way the history of the region has unfolded. In the second part of this two-part lecture we will follow the rivers’ winding histories as increasing amounts of trade and agriculture shape their banks. We will then attempt to bridge the gap between the past and the present, by taking a brief look at the region from the perspective of these waterways now. Part one of the lecture, “How Waterways Wrote Our History: The North Bay up to the 1800s,” takes place on Saturday, July 7 (details above).

Dr. Mara Vejby is an archaeologist and the founder of Locality Research and Preservation. She currently works as an analyst for the Board of Supervisors in Santa Clara County. Dr. Vejby’s interest in how people interact with the past has shaped her research in Europe and California, and it continues to influence her work to preserve our local history and archaeology.


Twilled Cattail Mat
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Sunday, July 15, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required (see below).

Enjoy a delightful day full of hands-on learning in Heron Hall and around the peaceful Laguna Environmental Center grounds with master weaver, Charlie Kennard. We will make plaited table mats (like the greenish one pictured) based on a central Mexican technique for rodilleros, mats for kneeling on when grinding corn at home. When new, they have a delightful grassy scent and a muted variable green color. The technique involves the frequent smacking of the fabric with a rock, so this workshop will be noisy! The mats are typically made on the floor, but tables will also be available for use. All basket-making materials are included in the registration fee. Participants bring a water bowl, a wide house-painting brush, and, if they wish to work on the floor, a thin cushion, as well as their own lunch. Hot drinks and snacks are provided.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and European techniques. He has taught for MAPOM, Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the California Academy of Sciences, the Bay Model in Sausalito, the Oakland Museum, and the one in Heron Hall! You can also visit a basketry plant garden he created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, where he and four friends recently wove a basket 13 feet in diameter. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.


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Also on tap, coming up ... Stay tuned for details!

  • August 11 - Lichens and Beyond, Botanical Painting workshop with Lucy Martin
  • August 18 - Early Birds, Santa Rosa Creek walk and birding with LF and Regional Parks
  • August 26 - Full-Moon Irwin Creek Walk with Kevin Munroe and LandPaths
  • September 9 - Dragonfly workshop and field trip with Kevin Munroe
  • September 27 - Vernal Pool presentation with Sarah Gordon
  • September 29 - Nina Antze colored pencil drawing workshop
  • December 2 - Willow Twining workshop with Charlie Kennard
  • Behind the Scenes Restoration walks with Laguna Foundation staff
  • Nature Journaling classes
  • Wildlife Watching Evenings at the Laguna Environmental Center
  • Laguna for Little Ones, playscape fun for caretakers and toddlers
  • Talks about climate adaptation, botany, anthropology, reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • And much, much more!!!

Cancellation Policy

If you are registered for an event and need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible so that others may attend. Cancellations received more than 30 days in advance of the event date will receive a refund minus a $10.00 processing fee. Cancellations made between 30-7 days in advance will receive a 50% refund. We are sorry but refunds cannot be given on cancellations made less than 7 days in advance. Please also note that we often need a minimum number of participants to conduct most events. If the Laguna Foundation needs to cancel the event for any reason, we will notify you as soon as possible (at least 1 day prior to the event) and you will receive a full refund.

Non-Refundable Fee

Events that cost $20 and less are non-refundable (except in case of our cancelling for inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances, in which case we will issue full refunds). This is due to administrative costs and significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as Eventbrite. Thank you for your understanding and for your interest and support of our programs!


For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Manager
(707) 527-9277 xt. 110 or by email at anita@lagunafoundation.org.

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