. Banner Image by Gary Hundt

Community Events 2018

August | September | October | December

Click here to review our cancellation policy



Painting Bark and Lichens in Gouache
Workshop with current Heron Hall exhibitor, Lucy Martin
Saturday, August 11, 2018, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required
(see below).

If you’ve had a chance to see Lucy Martin’s beautiful Heron Hall art exhibit “Microcosms: A Closer Look at Mushrooms and Lichen” (on display through August 29), you know that Lucy’s artwork is all about close observation. The Laguna de Santa Rosa is full of wonderful lichens that abundantly repay a close look. You will find a whole world on an oak branch! There are many other botanical subjects around us as well. Join Lucy to learn about her painting technique. She uses gouache, which is similar to watercolor, but more opaque. Gouache technique is quite different from watercolor technique. You will learn some of the techniques Lucy uses to produce her very detailed paintings of bark, leaves, lichens, moss and oak galls. Enjoy a quiet, peaceful day in Heron Hall, surrounded by Lucy’s inspiring art exhibit and the native plant garden at the Laguna Environmental Center, to enhance your observation and painting skills. Suitable for adults and teens 14 years, and at least some drawing experience is helpful. A supply list will be sent upon registration. Questions? Email Anita.

Lucy lives in Sonoma County, California. She is mainly self-taught, with some formal training including classes with Mary Jo Koch. She exhibits in the Sebastopol Gallery and Calabi Gallery, as well as annually in Art Trails, the juried Sonoma County Open Studio art tour. Her work was purchased for the Permanent Collection of the Special Collections and Archives Department at the McHenry Library at UCSC. She has exhibited in international shows of the American Society of Botanical Artists and solo shows at the Library at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Visit her website at www.lucymartinart.com.


Vamos Afuera: Aventura en la Laguna
Spanish Language event with LandPaths and the Laguna Foundation
Sunday, August 12, 5:30pm-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Free. Pre-registration required through LandPaths here.

¡Únete a LandPaths para una noche de aventura familiar llena de diversión en la Laguna de Santa Rosa! Comenzaremos disfrutando de algunos bocadillos livianos y una breve presentación de la Laguna y LandPaths en Heron Hall. Después de un atractivo recorrido por el paisaje de plantas nativas y el paisaje infantil, caminaremos por los campos de heno hasta Irwin Creek y Lower Stone Farm, donde exploraremos la restauración del arroyo, observación de aves y buscaremos rastros de la abundante vida silvestre. Concluiremos con una cena comunitaria al aire libre a lo largo de las orillas de la Laguna. (Favor de traer su propia comida.)

Este programa gratuito es posible gracias a la asociación entre LandPaths, Laguna Foundation y el Distrito de Preservación Agrícola y Espacio Abierto del Condado de Sonoma. Este es un recorrido de ida y vuelta de 2 millas sobre terreno y pasto mayormente plano pero irregular. Todas las edades son bienvenidas.

Translation: Vamos Afuera Adventure at the Laguna (this event will be led in Spanish). Join LandPaths and the Laguna Foundation for a fun-filled evening of family adventures at the Laguna de Santa Rosa! We'll start off by enjoying some light snacks and a brief overview of the Laguna and LandPaths at Heron Hall. After an engaging tour of the native plant landscape and children's playscape, we'll walk across the hayfields to Irwin Creek and Lower Stone Farm where we'll explore streamside restoration, birdwatch, and look for signs of the abundant wildlife. We'll conclude with a picnic meal (bring your own) together along the banks of the Laguna. This is a 2-mile round trip walk over mostly flat but uneven dirt and grass. All ages welcome. This free program is made possible through the partnership between LandPaths, the Laguna Foundation and Sonoma County Ag + Open Space.

Western Bluebird photo by Michael Leahy



Early Birds: Laguna Watershed Perspectives Walk
Birding the Santa Rosa Creek Trail with Laguna Foundation and Regional Parks Staff
Meeting at Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Saturday, August 18, 7:30am-10:30am
$10 (non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

The Laguna de Santa Rosa bursts with birdlife, especially in the early morning! Join us for this early-morning exploration of one of the Laguna Watershed’s largest tributaries, Santa Rosa Creek. With more than 200 species of birds found in the watershed, birders of all ages and skill levels will enjoy this leisurely stroll along the Santa Rosa Creek Trail where we will discover patterns of bird behavior, communication, and habitat. We will meet at the Laguna Environmental Center for snacks and a brief watershed overview, then we will carpool together to the Santa Rosa Creek Trail for a naturalist-led walk among the birds. We will cover up to 2-3 miles on mostly flat but uneven terrain, and return to the Center by 10:30am where people are welcome to stay and bird some more. 

To learn more about the Santa Rosa Creek Trail, click here, and about other Regional Parks and trails, click here.  The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s website has information about our watershed’s amazing wetland complex, the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the Laguna Foundation’s home base at the Laguna Environmental Center, Laguna recreation opportunities, and more!

ALBATROSS Film Screening
Thursday, August 23, 7:00-9:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE (donations gratefully accepted). Pre-registration required (see below).

Directed by Chris Jordan, ALBATROSS (97 minutes) is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic. Returning to the island over several years, the film team witnessed the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. This story is framed in the vividly gorgeous language of state-of-the-art high-definition digital cinematography, surrounded by millions of live birds in one of the world’s most beautiful natural sanctuaries. The viewer will experience stunning juxtapositions of beauty and horror, destruction and renewal, grief and joy, birth and death, coming out the other side with their heart broken open and their worldview shifted. Stepping outside the stylistic templates of traditional environmental or documentary films, ALBATROSS takes viewers on a guided tour into the depths of their own spirits, delivering a profound message of reverence and love that is already reaching an audience of millions of people around the world. ALBATROSS is an adult film with strong emotional content, so it is recommended for viewers age 12 and above. Doors open at 6:30pm. Light snacks provided.

To watch the trailer, visit the film’s website, visit their Facebook page and read this Guardian article about the film. The film team says, “A primary intention of ALBATROSS is to delve into feelings of a kind that we might usually tend to avoid. This film looks deeply into sadness, grief, beauty, and love, in ways that can feel uncomfortable. But as director Chris Jordan likes to say, that is the whole intention: when we allow ourselves to feel our sadness for what is being lost in our world, then we connect with the part of ourselves that loves our world. In this way, coming to know the true nature of grief can be a liberating experience. When grief is no longer seen as a “bad” feeling, then it can be embraced as a portal to deeper connection with life.”



Full-Moon Exploration of Irwin Creek and Lower Stone Farm
Walk and Picnic with LandPaths and Kevin Munroe, Laguna Foundation’s Executive Director
Sunday, August 26, 5:30pm-9:00pm
Beginning at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE.  Pre-registration required through LandPaths.

Join us for this special full-moon evening adventure, including a picnic dinner alongside the Laguna in an area not usually open to the public. Bring your own picnic, and we'll provide the hors d’oeuvres. On this 2 mile walk over mostly flat but uneven terrain, we’ll explore the beautiful area’s animal and plant life and learn about the history of Stone Farm and the on-going collaborative restoration work that’s bringing back a thriving ecosystem. We'll also focus on the critters large and small that come out at dusk and the plants used in restoration work that support wildlife, water quality, and us all. Starting in Heron Hall with hors d’oeuvres and a brief presentation, we'll head out for a leisurely amble across the picturesque hay field to Irwin Creek. We’ll cross Sanford Rd. to quiet Lower Stone Farm and the Laguna channel, where we'll enjoy our picnic dinners (tarps to sit on provided) and keep our eyes open for evening-feeding swallows, raptors and dragonflies! We'll start heading back after sunset to watch the full moon rise, keeping our ears and eyes open for resident owls, coyotes, egrets, river otters, mink, frogs, bats and any other emerging evening wildlife. Suitable for adults and youth 9 years old and up (children must be accompanied by an adult). Rain cancels (in which case, we will notify you). Details sent upon registration.

This free program is made possible through a partnership between the Laguna Foundation, LandPaths and the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. The District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. It is funded through a quarter-cent sales tax that was voted in by the residents of Sonoma County.

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Opening Reception, New Heron Hall Art Exhibit
With Awe and Wonder: A Celebration of Nature’s Beauty
Photography by Brenda Tharp
Saturday, September 8, 3:00-5:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
FREE. No RSVP necessary.

Join us for the opening reception of this beautiful photography exhibit by Brenda Tharp, on display September 4 through December 21, 2018. The exhibit is a stunning collection of landscapes, scenes, and moments in nature that celebrates the beauty of our natural world. From the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed to Yosemite, Utah to Michigan, Oregon to Alaska, and her own backyard in Santa Rosa, these pictures represent some of the best of Brenda’s exploration of the natural world with her cameras. Included are impressionistic interpretations of the natural world. Light snacks provided at the reception.

For more than 30 years, Brenda Tharp has been photographing the natural world around her. She has traveled to Namibia, Botswana, Alaska, Cuba, Italy, Slovenia and throughout the USA in search of images that express the beauty of this planet and the wildlife that inhabit it. Brenda is the author of Expressive Nature Photography (Monacelli Studio), Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography (Penguin), and co-author of Extraordinary Everyday Photography (Penguin). She is a popular workshop instructor, tour leader, and acclaimed keynote speaker. Her photographs have been used in national magazines and books, for clients including National Geographic Society, Michelin Travel Publications, Chronicle Books, Audubon, Nature Conservancy, and the National Park Service. It is her hope that through her images and educational efforts that more people will open to the beauty around them and become involved in helping to preserve that beauty. Visit her website.

The Heron Hall Art Gallery at the Laguna Environmental Center exhibits multiple shows per year of nature-themed art, sales of which support the educational and conservation efforts of the Foundation. Heron Hall is open Monday through Friday 9am-5pm. However, due to the various uses of the hall, please call in advance to ensure it will be open for viewing the art, 707-527-9277, ext. 107. For more information visit our Art Exhibits webpage.



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

Join us for our second dragonfly fieldtrip this year, as we look for late season species not present on our July outing. We’ll visit new sites and hopefully observe some late-season migratory behavior.

On this fun-filled, day-long adventure we will travel around the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed together to explore different aquatic habitats and chase 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.



Drawing Autumn Colors
Colored Pencil Techniques Workshop with Nina Antze
Saturday, September 29, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required
(see below).

Whether focusing your drawing on the last of summer fruits and berries, rose hips, pods, or autumn leaves, enjoy a peaceful meditative day at the Laguna Environmental Center learning to create the subtle colors of Autumn with colored pencils. We will cover blending, layering and burnishing techniques while incorporating the basics of botanical drawing. 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 sent upon registration). Hot drinks and light snacks will be provided throughout the day.  
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 about Nina at her website.

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Image by G. Nafis

Image by Michael Leahy

Image by Michael Leahy

Ecology and Conservation of the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog
Workshop with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Friday, October 26, 2018, 8:00am-1:30pm, plus field session on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning or afternoon (three sessions to choose from)
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
$200 includes lunch & materials. Early bird & student rates available. Pre-registration required.

This workshop is designed to provide practical knowledge to professional biologists, resource managers, and students on the life history, ecology and conservation of the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog (Rana boylii). This frog is a candidate for listing under the California Endangered Species Act and has been petitioned for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Friday morning lecture will review identification features at frog life stages and similar species, range and distribution, habitat requirements, behavior, survey techniques, conservation needs, and regulations. An accompanying field trip will be held at a nearby creek and known site of FYLF. Aquatic habitat types will be discussed and a demonstration of survey techniques provided. Attendees may choose from a Friday afternoon (1:30-5:00pm) or Saturday field trip session (8:00am-11:30am or 12:30pm-4:00pm). Personal transportation is required for the field trip. Carpooling is encouraged. Questions? Email workshops@lagunafoundation.org.

Instructors Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez are experts on amphibian ecology and conservation, and conduct herpetological research throughout California. This workshop is sponsored by the Laguna Foundation and The Wildlife Project which specializes in environmental compliance and technical field surveys. Specifically, they assist clients with mitigation development and monitoring, special-status species surveys and habitat evaluations, biological assessments, survey and monitoring technique development, and biological consultation. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation works to restore and conserve the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and to inspire public appreciation for this Wetland of International Importance.

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Weave a Willow Basket
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Sunday, December 2, 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. Using freshly-gathered native grey willow, we will make open weave twined baskets for holding fruits or nuts. This workshop requires manual dexterity, and prior experience with twining is helpful. Suitable for adults and teenagers. All basket-making materials are included in the registration fee. Participants bring garden clippers or small wire cutters and a sharp knife, as well as their own lunch. Hot drinks and snacks are provided throughout the day.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and other traditional basketry techniques of the world. He teaches throughout the Bay Area, 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, and in the collection of the Lake County Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, where he and friends have woven a basket 13 feet across. 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!

  • September 8 - Opening Art Reception for Brenda Tharp, photography exhibit in Heron Hall
  • September 16 - EcoPrint Workshop and Irwin Creek Walk with Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation
  • September 23 - Watershed Perspectives, Shiloh Ranch hike with Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation
  • September 27 - Vernal Pool presentation with Sarah Gordon
  • September 30 - Native Plants presentation with CNPS Milo Baker Chapter and Laguna Foundation
  • November 18 - Nature Journaling with Marley Peiffer
  • Monarchs and Pollinators presentation
  • 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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