. Banner Image by Gary Hundt

Community Education
Walks, Talks & Classes

February | March | April | May


The Laguna Foundation is proud to collaborate with local biologists, artists, educators, naturalists, and partner organizations to offer a wide range of natural and cultural history online programs, presentations, and outings 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 that all in-person outings follow current Sonoma County health orders and guidelines for group activities to keep everyone safe during COVID-19. Heavy smoke, excessive heat or heavy rain cancels outdoor programs. Lastly, please let us know in advance if you can no longer attend an outing so we can offer a spot to someone on the wait-list.

Select webinar recordings can be found on our Educational Resources page or on our YouTube channel.

February



Laguna de Santa Rosa Restoration Plan Open House
Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm
FREE. Registration required. Light refreshments provided.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Come join us for an insightful public open house event to delve into the much-anticipated Laguna de Santa Rosa Restoration Plan! This plan, developed in tandem with San Francisco Estuary Institute, Sonoma Water, and California Department of Fish and Wildlife, provides a comprehensive strategy for rejuvenating habitats along the Laguna's 22-mile span.

The Community Open House will be a great opportunity to learn more about the Restoration Plan for the Laguna de Santa Rosa, completed in August 2023, and interact with folks who are committed to putting the plan into action.

Gain valuable insights into how this initiative aims to recreate diverse ecosystems, improve water quality, and safeguard native species. This event offers a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of the plan's goals, methods, and the critical role it will play in restoring the Laguna's ecological balance. Engage in discussions that shed light on this significant restoration effort while considering the community's needs. Your presence and understanding are integral in shaping the future health of the Laguna de Santa Rosa!

Click here for a preview of the Restoration Plan online.



Artist Perspectives: Robin Dintiman
Thursday, February 22, 2024. 5:30pm – 7:00pm
Sliding Scale: $10, $15, $20. Registration required.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Discover the artistic journey of Robin Dintiman in an enlightening talk where she will unpack the intricacies of her current exhibit, Water and Dreams. Focusing on her large-scale analog photographs of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the discussion will provide a deep dive into Dintiman's diverse artistic portfolio, encompassing eco-friendly sculptures, homegrown art, printmaking, textiles, and photography. Attendees can anticipate gaining insights into Dintiman's relationship with nature, understanding how her work captures the essence of natural settings while exploring many themes.

Click Here for a look at her new Exhibit!



Winter Burning Workshop Series: Part I - Presentation
Saturday, February 24, 2024, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
FREE. Registration required.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Recent wildfires have highlighted the need for reevaluating how we interact with the land. Reevaluation took us back to how indigenous people stewarded the land for millennia using controlled, “good” fires as a management practice. Today, the use of good fires as a proactive measure against future disasters has gained traction. These intentionally lit fires reduced the accumulation of fuel and helped provide conditions for a diversity of plants and animals to thrive.

Understanding controlled burns is key to maintaining ecological balance and ensuring community safety amidst wildfires. In this 2-part series we will be focusing on empowering participants with the skills and confidence needed to execute pile burning projects effectively.

This series consists of two segments: a Presentation Session (February 24) and a Hands-On Field Demonstration (March 2).

The Presentation will delve into essential aspects such as permitting, safety protocols, tools, and more, and is a prerequisite for the subsequent Field Demonstration. In the field, witness live pile burning demonstrations covering pile construction, ignition techniques, and practical implementation.

The Hands-On Field Demonstration will consist of a pile burning demonstration which will build off the Presentation. Pile construction, ignition, maintenance, and extinguishment basics will all be covered. Registration for this section will be made available after the Presentation.

Prerequisites: The Presentation Section is meant to set a foundation for the Field Demonstration. Pile burning consists of more than just burning a stack of wood. Permitting and registration, tools, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and pile construction will be touched on throughout the 4-hour course.

All community members interested in responsible fire practices are welcome to participate. Expand your skills and confidence in safely executing pile burn projects to manage landscapes and bolster community safety.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Farley Family Charitable Foundation in support of advancing community education about the important role of prescribed fire for habitat restoration and resilient communities.


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March



Laguna Stewards at the Uplands
Saturday, March 2, 2024, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
FREE. Registration required.

Location: Laguna Uplands Preserve, 6700 Palm Avenue Sebastopol, CA

Build community and learn about plants and wildlife during our hands-on stewardship day at the Laguna Uplands Preserve. It has been 20 years since the restoration of the Uplands began and this beautiful site has come a long way! It is finally returning to its natural beauty and is becoming a significant place for both humans and wildlife.

The area has incredible views of the Laguna Watershed along with a young forest of native trees, a more diverse understory, and plenty of growing shrubs. Join us as we continue our ongoing stewardship and maintenance work, learn about the site’s history and become part of its thriving future.

Come be a part of the next 20 years of ecological restoration work at the Uplands! All ages and abilities are welcomed.



Winter Burning Workshop Series: Part II – Field Demonstration
Saturday, March 2, 2024, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
FREE. Participation in Part 1 of this 2-part series is required. Registration required.

Location: Shone Farm, 7450 Steve Olson Ln, Forestville, CA, 95436

Recent wildfires have highlighted the need for reevaluating how we interact with the land. Reevaluation took us back to how indigenous people stewarded the land for millennia using controlled, “good” fires as a management practice. Today, the use of good fires as a proactive measure against future disasters has gained traction. These intentionally lit fires reduced the accumulation of fuel and helped provide conditions for a diversity of plants and animals to thrive.

Understanding controlled burns is key to maintaining ecological balance and ensuring community safety amidst wildfires. In this 2-part series we will focus on empowering participants with the skills and confidence needed to execute pile burning projects effectively.

This series consists of two segments: a Presentation Session (February 24) and a Hands-On Field Demonstration (March 2).

The Hands-On Field Demonstration will consist of a pile burning demonstration which will build off the Presentation. Pile construction, ignition, maintenance, and extinguishment basics will all be covered. Registration for this section will be made available after the Presentation.

Prerequisites: You must have attended the Presentation Section to be a part of the Field Demonstration. Pile burning consists of more than just burning a stack of wood. Permitting and registration, tools, PPE, and pile construction all need to be understood before participatin in the Field Demonstration.

All community members interested in responsible fire practices are welcome to participate. Expand your skills and confidence in safely executing pile burn projects to manage landscapes and bolster community safety.

This program is made possible by a grant from the Farley Family Charitable Foundation in support of advancing community education about the important role of prescribed fire for habitat restoration and resilient communities.




California tiger salamander
Photo by Jim Maughn

California Tiger Salamander Terrestrial Ecology Workshop
With Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Friday, March 8, 2024. 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
$300. Includes box lunch and transportation to field trip sites.

SOLD OUT. Please join the waitlist.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA and field trips in Sonoma County

This workshop is designed to provide practical training to professional biologists, resources managers, and students on the terrestrial ecology, land use management, and regulations of the California tiger salamander (CTS). The lecture session will include a review of the biology, upland habitat use, and migration patterns of CTS, the theory and design of roadway tunnels to facilitate safe passage of migrating salamanders, design of pitfall trap arrays, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife approved survey protocols, and implementing and monitoring land use management practices. The afternoon will consist of field trips that will provide training and hands-on experience. A pitfall trap and fence array will be constructed by attendees. Three CTS tunnel systems along roadways will be visited and discussed.




California red-legged frog
Photo by Jeff Alvarez

Rare Pond Species Survey Techniques Workshop
With Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10, 2024
$450. Includes box lunch on 3/9 and transportation to field trip sites.

SOLD OUT. Please join the waitlist.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA and field trips in Sonoma County

This workshop is designed to provide practical training on aquatic survey techniques for the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and western pond turtle. The range of these three rare and protected species overlap and they often occur in similar pond habitats. The lecture session will include a review of the biology and ecology of these species, identification of life stages, state and federal regulations, and approved survey protocols. The field trip sessions will provide field training in aquatic survey techniques, including dip net sampling for CTS larvae, evening spotlighting for frogs, and turtle visual encounter surveys and trapping.




Twined Basket with Rush & Tule
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, March 16, 2024. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
$120. Registration required.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Spend a day working with your hands in the peaceful setting at the Laguna Environmental Center. Each student will make a lightweight basket of tule reed, using several different weaves. The basket will be suitable for storing nuts, onions, socks, or anything else you need to tidy up!

Participants must bring scissors, water bowl, and lunch.

Instructor Bio: Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and other traditional basketry techniques. He has taught for the Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, the Laguna Environmental Center in Santa Rosa and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the Bay Model in Sausalito, Lake County Museum, and another is in the collection of the Oakland Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.



Laguna Stewards at Tomodachi Park
Saturday, March 16, 2024, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
FREE. Registration required.

Location: Tomodachi Park, 6663 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA

The habitats of the Laguna Watershed are highly variable and dynamic. The Santa Rosa Plain is home to unique ecosystems like vernal pools, seasonal wetlands, and oak savannahs. We steward these habitats for their unique needs with the help of volunteers like you!

What we'll be doing: Let's get down and dirty with a purpose! Join us for a hands-on day at Tomodachi Park where we'll be planting native species along the Laguna channel and vernal pool. Plus, we're tackling those pesky invasive plants to keep things in check.

Roll up your sleeves – grab a snack, sip on some hot beverages, and connect with fellow nature lovers. It's all about hands-on action and community vibes. No frills, just a chill day making a positive impact on our environment. See you there!

PLEASE NOTE: All ages are welcome! No experience is necessary; tools and training are provided.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.



Intro to Insect Identification
With Kandis Gilmore
Saturday, March 23, 2024, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
$35. Registration required.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Are you a gardener, naturalist, or budding scientist who would like to know more about how to identify insects? Join us for a whirlwind tour through the major groups of insects and learn how to use key characteristics to identify insects to order. This workshop will cover the use of dichotomous keys, catch and release methods for viewing insects, best practices for photography and using apps to help with identification. The morning will be spent in the classroom and the second half of the day will be outdoors, observing insects we find at the wonderful native plant habitat garden on the Laguna Foundation grounds.

Instructor Bio: Kandis Gilmore is broadly trained in organismal biology and ecology. She has worked as a field assistant in the rocky intertidal, oak woodlands, and vernal pool grassland ecosystems. She received her Master's of Science degree from Sonoma State Biology Department in 2017. Her master's thesis research focused on pollinators of three of Sonoma County's endemic and endangered vernal pool plant species Blennosperma bakeri (Sonoma sunshine), Limnanthes vinculans (Sebastopol meadowfoam), and Lasthenia burkei (Burke's Goldfields). Kandis serves on the Board of Directors of Conservation Works, and served as president of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society during 2020-2021.


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April



Closing Reception for Robin Dintiman Art Exhibit
Saturday, April 20, 2024. 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Free! No RSVP necessary. Light refreshments provided.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Last chance to see this beautiful exhibit featuring artist Robin Dintiman’s large-scale analog photographs of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. FREE. No RSVP necessary. Light refreshments provided.

Dintiman’s work is characterized by a deep connection to nature. Whether she is working directly with objects found in nature or taking nature as her subject, Dintiman strives to capture the intimate, emotional quality of certain natural settings, suffused as they are with time, change, and personal memory. www.robindintiman.com


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May



Opening Reception for Kaare Iverson Art Exhibit
Saturday, May 4, 2024. 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Free! No RSVP necessary. Light refreshments provided.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Join us in welcoming artist Kaare Iverson and his remarkable photographs of local Coho Salmon in this new art exhibit, “The Last Coho” on display at the Laguna Environmental Center, May 4 – August 30, 2024.

Exhibit Overview
“The Last Coho” is a photography exhibit combining large-scale portraiture of endangered salmon with editorial excerpts that collectively illustrate the incredible effort to rehabilitate Coho in the Russian River Watershed. The salmon portraits place our native fish on a stage level with the charismatic megafauna of the Western identity (i.e. Bison, Grizzly Bear, etc.), illustrating them as a species worthy of our admiration, empathy, and reciprocity. Many of the portraits were shot on large format film using an heirloom land camera which the photographer inherited through a connection to Ansel Adams.

About the Artist
Kaare Iverson is an award-winning photographer based in Santa Rosa, California.  His perspective, rooted in a history of natural resource extraction, explores our dependency on the natural world and how we can restore our relationship with it. He pronounces his name “Kory” and you can see more of his work at www.studioiverson.com.

The Gallery
The Heron Hall Gallery & Gift Shop exhibits three shows per year of local, nature-themed art. Sales support the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation and its mission to restore and conserve this Wetland of International Importance. Due to the multiple uses of Heron Hall, the gallery is open by appointment only. Please schedule a time to see the exhibit: gallery@lagunafoundation.org 



Willow Tutza
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, May 11, 2024. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
$120. Registration required.

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA

Join our upcoming class for a perfect blend of knowledge and spring vibes! We will make this elegant and unusual plaited-weave basket that is found in the Netherlands, France and Poland. “Tatza” (properly spelled taca) is a Polish term for breadbasket, for which use this basket is well-suited. In this class, experience in working with willow is helpful, but not essential.

Participants must bring: garden clippers, large pliers, as well as lunch.

Instructor Bio: Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and other traditional basketry techniques. He has taught for the Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, the Laguna Environmental Center in Santa Rosa and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the Bay Model in Sausalito, Lake County Museum, and another is in the collection of the Oakland Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie has created at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. Charlie is active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.


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For more information, contact Carlos Barragan, Environmental Educator
(707) 527-9277 xt. 110 or by email at Carlos.Barragan@LagunaFoundation.org