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Community Events

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Eco-Friendly Garden Tour and Open House
with the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society's Native Plant Sale
Saturday, May 5, 10:00am-4:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Open House: FREE (donations gratefully accepted). No RSVP Required.
County-wide Garden Tour: FREE. Pre-registration required (see below).

Stop by the Laguna Environmental Center for this special Saturday Open House celebrating spring and our native plant garden. This is an educational event focused on native plants of our Laguna Watershed, as well as the collaborative restoration, conservation science, and environmental education work being done within the watershed. We will have educational booths from our community partners -- CNPS (their Garden Sense display), Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County, and Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnerhship -- as well as fun and engaging activities for all ages. Enjoy the Children’s Playscape. Look for Bald Eagles through the binoculars or watch nesting Bluebirds through the spotting scope. Try your hand at weaving a tule “fish,” or create a leaf-rubbing to take home. Our Laguna Guides and Docents will be on hand to show you around the native plant garden or give you a tour of historic Stone Farm. It will be a great opportunity to see the newest Heron Hall exhibit, "Microcosms: A Closer Look at Mushrooms and Lichens" paintings by Lucy Martin and to visit our natural history and Laguna-oriented gift shop. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the views from our picnic tables outside Heron Hall.

Our friends with the Milo Baker Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will be here selling native plants as part of the Sonoma County and North Marin Eco-Friendly Garden Tour. Learn about water-saving and wildlife-supporting native plants. Buy a few to take home, thereby supporting our local California Native Plant Society chapter while nurturing local wildlife habitat in your own backyard! The Eco-Friendly Garden Tour is a public outreach and education program that promotes sustainable landscaping practices by showcasing inspiring gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin Counties. The Eco-Friendly Garden Tour is self-guided and is provided free of charge, pre-registration is required.

Nestward Migration: Delta Pond Rookery Walk
Docent-led walk to visit the Double-crested Cormorant nesting site
Sunday, May 6, 8:30-11:30am
Meeting location emailed upon registration (west Santa Rosa)
$20 (non refundable), as a fundraiser for Learning Laguna bus fund. Pre-registration required.

Join the fun of this annual trek to the Double-crested Cormorant nesting site on the banks of the Laguna. By May 6 we will likely see everything from courtship displays, nest building, egg-sitting, and maybe even peek-in on chicks while watching parents hustle to keep up with hungry mouths to feed. All the sights and sounds of the rookery are exciting! Other possible sightings along the way may include American White Pelicans, Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle, and many other birds of prey, waterfowl, and forest-loving birds, as well as the occasional coyote, fox, or even mink! This natural history outing includes a 3-mile walk over mostly flat, uneven terrain to an area that is closed to the general public. We are NOT meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center for this event. Full details, including where to meet, are emailed upon registration. Bring friends and family out for a joyful morning experience. Benefiting the Learning Laguna bus scholarship program, this event is always a sell-out, so register early!

Opening Reception, New Heron Hall Art Exhibit
“Microcosms: A Closer Look at Mushrooms and Lichens,” paintings by Lucy Martin
Saturday, May 12, 3:00-5:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. No RSVP necessary. Light snacks provided.

Join us in welcoming our newest Heron Hall art exhibitor, Lucy Martin. Her botanical paintings in gouache focus on the mysterious beauty of mushrooms and lichens. Her exhibit will be on display in Heron Hall May 5-August 29. Lucy Martin’s paintings reflect her lifelong connection with nature and her devotion to close observation. They express her love of the beautiful and surprising life forms found in the forests she explores. Her hope is to awaken in the viewer a feeling that there are myriad tiny worlds to be discovered right at our feet, if we only stop and look. Details on her exhibit will be coming soon to our Art Exhibits webpage. Visit Lucy's webpage here.

Laguna Watershed Perspectives: Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail and Meadowlark Field
Walk with Laguna Foundation and Regional Parks Staff
Sunday, May 13 (Mother’s Day!), 2:00pm-5:00pm
Meeting location and details emailed upon registration.
$10 (non refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

Celebrate Mother’s Day and Mother Earth with a fun and informative walk along the Laguna de Santa Rosa with Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation naturalists and ecologists. Learn about the meaningful connections between this spectacular watershed and the plants, animals, and people that call it home. In this Mother's Day afternoon stroll along part of the Laguna de Santa Rosa trail and Meadowlark Field, we will also focus on the rich history of the area and the 20+ years worth of collaborative restoration work in the area. Total mileage walking will be 2-3 miles over mostly flat but uneven ground. This walk is suitable for adults and families with children 10 years and older, as we will be frequently stopping and talking. Heavy rain cancels. Leading the walk will be Regional Parks’ naturalist Shelly Spriggs, Laguna Foundation’s Ecological Program Manager Brent Reed, and Laguna Foundation’s Public Education Manager Anita Smith. Join us for this enjoyable afternoon stroll.

To learn more about Sonoma County Regional Parks’ Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail, click here. To learn more about the Laguna de Santa Rosa, here.

Spring Birding in the Laguna
Birding and Natural History Walk with Lisa Hug
Sunday, May 20, 8:30am-1:00pm
Meeting at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$50 (fundraiser for the Laguna Foundation). Pre-registration required (see below).

In this last class of the spring birding series, we will celebrate Spring by exploring another non-publicly accessible corner of the Laguna. During the months of April and May the resident songbirds awaken and the colorful migrants arrive from Central America with their vibrant songs. We will begin and end at Heron Hall at the Laguna Environmental Center (hot drinks and snacks provided), and carpool to sites along the Laguna. Bring binoculars, (spotting scope optional), a field guide, comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and a packed lunch or snacks. We will end with a group lunch and make a list of the species which we encountered. In the case of forecasted moderate to heavy rain (determined the afternoon before), we will cancel and issue full refunds. Join us for this incredibly fun learning experience outdoors with one of the area’s foremost birders, while supporting the Laguna Foundation's restoration, conservation science, and education work for the Laguna.

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 is currently a regional coordinator for the Sonoma County Breeding Bird Atlas and she edited the Birds Checklist for the Laguna de Santa Rosa which can be bought through the Laguna Foundation GiftShop.

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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.

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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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, 2018, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12. (non refundable). Pre-registration required.

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.

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!

  • Winter Flash Kayaking opportunities (make sure you're on our E-News list!)
  • June 16 - Let's Build Habitat! Walk and workshop with LF and Regional Parks
  • 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 27 - Vernal Pool presentation with Sarah Gordon
  • September 29 - Nina Antze colored pencil drawing workshop
  • 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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