. Banner Image by Gary Hundt

Community Education
Walks, Talks & Classes

March | April | May | June

Click here to review our cancellation policy

The Laguna Foundation is proud to collaborate with local biologists, artists, educators, herbalists, naturalists, and partner organizations to offer a wide range of natural and cultural history workshops, walks, presentations, and classes all year long. Whether you’d like to learn a new skill, enjoy the beautiful Laguna scenery, or attend a fun event with your family, the Laguna Foundation has a variety of offerings to deepen your appreciation for the Laguna de Santa Rosa, connect with nature, and inspire a vibrant community dedicated to lifelong learning.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • Events take place at, or start from, the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401, unless otherwise noted.
  • Most events require a registration fee. These fees cover the cost of our instructors' time, workshop materials, and directly support the Community Education program and the work of the Laguna Foundation. Eventbrite, our registration service, also charges a nominal processing fee for each ticket.
  • We offer select discounts for students and interns. Please email allison@lagunafoundation.org or call Allison directly at xt. 110 to receive your discount code for a Community Education program.
  • All events require pre-registration to secure your place, unless noted otherwise. To register for an event, click on the “Register Now” button below.
  • We frequently post new events, so check our website again soon!

March


Canceled
Beginners Birding Walk at the Laguna de Santa Rosa
Guided Walk with Teresa & Miles Tuffli
Saturday, March 28, 8:30am - 12:30pm




Postponed - Date TBD
Annual Laguna Greeter Training Orientation

Tuesday, March 24, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
FREE. Pre-registration required.

Do you love our community events? Want to spread the word about the Laguna Foundation’s work? Our greeter training is perfect for you! Attend the mandatory orientation to learn more and join our team.
Greeters connect with the community by providing event support at the Laguna Foundation’s classes and outings, as well as represent the Foundation at local events such as festivals and farmers markets. At each event, Laguna Greeters may be assigned to one or more of these tasks: setup and cleanup of tables and chairs; directing parking; greeting and checking-in guests; taking Gift Shop merchandise sales; setup and cleanup of snacks; representing the Laguna Foundation (tabling) at community events. Greeters help support the events, as well as have the opportunity to attend those events for free!


Canceled
Biology of the Laguna de Santa Rosa

Presentation by Denise Cadman
Thursday, March 26, 6:00pm - 8:30pm


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April




Postponed - Date TBD
Watershed Perspectives: Bike Copeland Creek

Saturday, April 4, 10:00am - 1:30pm
Meeting Location: Rohnert Park, Near John Reed Elementary School
(Location details sent upon registration)
FREE. Pre-registration required.

Explore the watershed on wheels! Join us for a morning ride along Copeland Creek, the southernmost tributaries to the Laguna, and learn about our exciting new project with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria along this important riparian corridor. From wildlife camera monitoring to interpretive signs, there are many new projects to discuss as a group. We will weave by bike along Copeland Creek through Sonoma State University across Rohnert Park on the new SMART train trail to the headwaters of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, stopping along the way to hear from a couple Laguna expert guests about notable features and the future vision for Copeland Creek.

Biking will take place along the flat creek trail and on roads in Rohnert Park and Cotati. We will stop frequently as a group and bike at a reasonable pace to accommodate all riders. The ride will be about 7-10 miles depending on the comfort and experience of the group.

Please note: A helmet is required for all riders. Lunch is not provided, but we will provide snacks for the ride and stop at a café where you can purchase lunch. Please RSVP with an email address you use frequently to receive the bike route map and more details leading up to the outing.



Canceled
Birds of the Laguna de Santa Rosa

Presentation by Denise Cadman
Tuesday, April 9, 6:00pm - 8:30pm





Creative Landscape Photography
Two Day Workshop with Jerry Dodrill
Friday, April 17, 1:00pm - 8:30pm AND Saturday, April 18, 6:00am – 3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, with field trips to off-site locations.
$250. Pre-registration required.

Take your landscape photography to the next level using the Laguna landscape as inspiration with professional local photographer Jerry Dodrill. During this in-depth photography workshop you will learn the tools, strategies and techniques that Jerry uses for creating evocative images which tell the story of our natural world. Starting with the basics, he will help you take control of the creative process and become more expressive with your dSLR or mirror-less camera. The course incorporates demonstrations and presentations on technique and creativity, guided evening and early morning field sessions in the Laguna de Santa Rosa area, and finally a group review session where we’ll go through the participant’s images and process them using the latest photo editing software.

Jerry Dodrill is a professional landscape and adventure photographer from right here in Sonoma County. In addition to leading photo workshops across the Western United States and around the world, he is an accomplished fine art photographer whose work has been used widely to support conservation efforts, document mountain adventures, and for commercial clients. His images have been featured in countless books and publications including National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Orion, Smithsonian, Rock & Ice and many others. Early in his career he was a protégé of famed National Geographic photographer Galen Rowell. From Galen, Jerry learned that the photographer should be an active participant within the dynamic landscape, rather than just an outside observer. He utilizes what he calls a “story-forward” approach to creative image making.

Jerry was a co-founder of the Santa Rosa based camera bag company MindShift Gear. He is on the boards of the B-Rad Foundation and Rock Ice & Mountain Club, and leads trips for photo travel company Visionary Wild. Recently he has led adventure photo expeditions down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon, Sailing in Northeast Greenland, and overland tours in Kyrgyzstan.





Vernal Pool Botany
Field Trip with Allison Titus
Saturday, April 25, 9:30am - 1:00pm
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, with field trips to off-site locations.
$30 sliding scale. Pre-registration required.

Vernal pools, or temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals, are a unique feature of the Santa Rosa Plain. Every year is different for vernal pool flora, which depends on many factors such as timing of rainfall, total amount of rainfall and daytime temperatures, to name a few. This botanical field trip will begin in Heron Hall with a brief overview of Santa Rosa Plain vernal pool ecology and the Laguna Foundation vernal pool conservation program, followed by a tour of one to two vernal pool sites where we will identify plants and talk about vernal pool conservation goals and challenges. We aim to find many different native vernal pool flowers and grasses, and possibly the rare Burke’s goldfields. The site(s) will be identified just prior to the field trip, but may include both natural and created vernal pools.

NOTE: Vernal pools may be dry or holding water in late April, depending on rainfall for the season, hiking boots or waterproof boots will be required, depending on the amount of spring rainfall. Walking will be over short distances but on uneven and possible very wet ground. Because parking is often limited, we will carpool from Heron Hall to the field sites.

Allison Titus joined the Laguna Foundation in February 2019. After growing up in Mount Shasta, California, she moved to Santa Cruz to complete her degree in Environmental Studies, and became completely fascinated by both natural history and outdoor leadership. She most recently worked in vegetation management on Mount Tamalpais, surveying the vast coastal flora for invasive, rare, and grassland plants. An active volunteer for the California Native Plant Society, she is thrilled to share one of the best kept local secrets of the Santa Rosa Plain with other botany enthusiasts.


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May




Eco-Friendly Garden Tour, LEC Open House, and CNPS Milo Baker Plant Sale
Saturday, May 2

CNPS Native Plant Sale
10:00am – 2:00pm
No registration required.

Eco-Friendly Garden Tour
10:00am – 4:00pm
FREE. Pre-registration required.

The Laguna Environmental Center buzzes with activity in the springtime, with the many blooming wildflowers attracting pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds, and birds singing and building nests. Join the fun during our annual spring celebration with the Eco-Friendly Garden Tour, LEC Open House, and CNPS Milo Baker plant sale. Take the guided tour of our native plant garden to learn about California native plants and sustainable landscaping. Stop by Heron Hall to listen to a presentation, and then head over to the nursery to shop for new additions to your garden. California natives are optimal for saving water, attracting pollinators, creating habitat for wildlife, and adding a beautiful local touch to your landscape. Catch the last couple days of the current Heron Hall exhibit “Sonoma County Wild” by photographer Jerry Dodrill while listening to one of our featured speakers on gardening with native plants. Bring a picnic lunch, explore the Playscape with kids, and take in the view of Mt. Saint Helena on our observation deck to round out the day. See you there!

We are proud to offer this event in collaboration with our local partners. Our friends with the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will be here selling native plants from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Buy a few to take home, thereby supporting our local California Native Plant Society chapter while nurturing local wildlife habitat in your own backyard.




Image by Steve Gibbs

A User’s Guide to the Watershed
Presentation by Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration & Conservation Science
Thursday, May 14, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
$14 (non-refundable). Pre-registration required.

Have you ever wondered how climate change will impact the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed? Why does the Santa Rosa Plain have unique habitats such as vernal pools? What is stream piracy and what does it have to do with Copeland Creek? Learn the answers to these big-picture, landscape-scale questions during our final presentation in our spring Laguna natural history series and use your knowledge to become a better watershed steward. Wendy will give an introduction to the physical Laguna watershed, from how the watershed was formed to why we have the unique water quality problems that we have today and what we can do about them.

Dr. Wendy Trowbridge became Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs in January 2015. She is a wetland plant ecologist who has worked in a variety of systems from the Sacramento River to Ruby Lakes in Northern Nevada to rangelands in Western China. She received a PhD from UC Davis as part of a multidisciplinary study of riparian restoration on The Nature Conservancy's Cosumnes River Preserve. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a research faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno where her research focused on invasive species, wetland communities and aquatic food webs. In addition to her academic experience, she has taught environmental education, managed a native plant nursery, and volunteered counting hawks for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory.




Tracking the Landscape: Beyond Tracks, Scat and Sign
Workshop with Meghan Walla-Murphy
Saturday, May 16, 8:30am - 12:30pm
$45. Pre-registration required.

What can the wildlife behavior and movement reveal to us about land management in the Santa Rosa plain? Join us for a morning of learning the fundamental principles of wildlife tracking and then searching beyond tracks and scat into to the nuances of wildlife patterns on the landscape. Going one step further we will discover these principles, patterns, and nuances inform conservation efforts. We will venture down to Irwin Creek, a restoration site close to the Laguna Environmental Center, to refresh our tracking skills and see how animals are moving through and within agricultural sites, residential homes, seasonal creeks, and rural roads to forage, mate, and find shelter in the Laguna. The stories of the wild creatures living in this busy working landscape are dynamic, complicated, and waiting to be discovered.

NOTE: We will be walking 1-2 miles over uneven, sometimes off-trail terrain at a slow pace. We recommend wearing long pants. Heavy rain cancels. This workshop will be geared towards adults, with long periods of standing and discussing observations, although children 12 and over are welcome.

Meghan Walla-Murphy has had the great fortune of being able to combine her passions for animal tracking, writing and people into vocations of habitat conservation and public awareness. As an educator, wildlife ecologist and writer of books, essays and articles, Meghan strives to help people connect to their external and internal landscapes through observation and tracking. In addition to a formal academic background, Meghan has had the privilege of tracking across the U.S. and internationally with indigenous cultures who continue to live close to the land. This academic and practical training has given Meghan the ability to meet and unravel some of our most pressing environmental, social, and political challenges from many diverse perspectives.

Some of Meghan’s current work projects in California include a habitat connectivity project in Sonoma County and lead of the North Bay Bear Collaborative. In addition, Meghan is faculty in the Natural Resource Management Dept. at Santa Rosa Junior College and an instructor for University CA Master Naturalist Program. 

To contact Meghan or read more about her background and work please visit her website:
www.meghanwallamurphy.com.





Spring Bird Watching at Delta Pond
Natural History Tour with Lisa Hug
Saturday, May 30, 8:30am - 1:00pm
$50. Pre-registration required.

Join us for this incredibly fun learning experience outdoors with one of the area’s foremost birders. The riparian corridor along Santa Rosa Creek and Delta Pond host an incredible diversity of birds, including a Double-Crested Cormorant rookery at the back of the pond. We will look and listen for other birds, including colorful orioles and grosbeaks, on the way to the rookery, where we will spend some extra time observing the cormorants nesting behavior. This driving and walking tour with local birder and naturalist Lisa Hug will start at the Laguna Environmental Center (LEC) before carpooling out to Delta Pond, an area that is ordinarily closed to the public. At the end, we will return to the LEC to enjoy our packed lunches and create a list of birds encountered throughout the day.

NOTE: This outing will be a combination of walking and driving along the access road at Santa Rosa Creek and levee at Delta Pond, with frequent stops for viewing birds.

Lisa Hug originally came to California from the Midwest in 1986. She was very involved with Point Reyes Bird Observatory and eventually became a contract biologist and freelance naturalist in the mid-1990s. She has been teaching for the College of Marin, Petaluma Adult School, and Point Reyes Field Institute for over a decade. She was president of Redwood Region Ornithological Society for two years and received the Martha Bentley and Ernestine Smith Award For the Dedication to Wildlife Conservation Education in 2009. She was regional coordinator for the Sonoma County Breeding Bird Atlas and is currently one of the Sonoma County Reviewers for ebird.org. She is the editor for the Birds Checklist for the Laguna de Santa Rosa which can be bought through the Laguna Foundation Gift Shop.


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June




Fresh Pressed Flower Crafts
Workshop with Jan Lochner
Saturday, June 6, 1:00pm – 4:00pm
$35. Pre-registration required.

Getting creative with pressed flowers is a great way to bring a bit of life and beauty into the dormant fall season. In this make-and-take workshop, local gardener and Laguna Foundation volunteer Jan Lochner will share the simplicity and beauty of the art of pressing flowers. Jan will demonstrate her personal techniques for pressing and using flowers. We will make various useful items, from bookmarks and cards to window ornaments and refrigerator magnets. All workshop materials and supplies, including flowers, are provided. Participants need only bring an open creative spirit and a smile. Suitable for eight years old and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Join us for this fun, hands-on and informative workshop as Jan shares her secrets of pressing flowers in hopes that you will continue to enjoy this easy and enjoyable art process on your own.

Jan Lochner has been creating note cards from pressed flowers as a hobby for 25 years. She uses color, shape, and texture on fine quality paper, making each hand-made card unique. Her home in Sebastopol is her workshop with the dining room table seldom clear and kitchen cupboards filled with bags and boxes of flowers that she collects from her garden and other local sources.


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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 canceling for inclement weather or other extenuating circumstances, in which case we will issue full refunds). This is due to administrative costs and 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 Allison Titus, Community Education Program Manager
(707) 527-9277 xt. 110 or by email at Allison@LagunaFoundation.org.

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