Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2015 Schedule

Laguna Environmental Center Open Houses
Second Saturday of the Month, 10:00am-3:00pm
April 11, May 9, June 13, and so on . . .
Location: 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Free (donations appreciated)

Learn about the natural and cultural history of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and historic Stone Farm by taking a guide-led tour or exploring a variety of hands-on activities. Birdwatch from the observation deck. Stop by for a visit and take in the beautiful views. Bring a picnic! Enjoy our gift shop in Great Blue Heron Hall and a new art exhibit "Celebrating the Wild" of Molly Eckler paintings and illustrations (on display through April 27). Keep an eye on our monthly schedule, as we offer special themes for some Open Houses. This is a working farm, so please leave your pets at home. The site is wheelchair accessible. No RSVP necessary. Come join us!

Themed Open Houses Coming Up:

  • Saturday May 9 Edible and Medicinal Plants of California: A Bioregional Exploration, floristic table displays with Tellur Fenner, 11:00am-2:00pm (as part of our 10am-3pm Open House). Free. Followed by a 3:00pm slide presentation by Tellur Fenner about Edible and Medicinal Plants of California ($10 at the door, details below).

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Spring Birding in the Laguna
Series of Bird Watching Classes and Walks with Lisa Hug

Three Sundays, March 15, April 12, May 17, 8:30am-12:30pm: Sorry, these classes are FULL.
Meets at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$40 per walk. Pre-registration required.

In this birding series, we will celebrate Spring by exploring a different non-publicly accessible corner of the Laguna each month. In March we will enjoy the wide variety of waterfowl that utilizes the deep the channels of the Laguna that the winter rains have brought. During the months of April and May the resident songbirds will awaken and the colorful migrants will arrive from Central America with their vibrant songs. There will be a short PowerPoint orientation the first session. Bring binoculars, (spotting scope optional), a field guide, comfortable walking shoes, layered clothing, water and a packed lunch or snacks. We will end each session with a group lunch and make a list of the species which we encountered. Pre-registration required. Sorry, these classes are FULL, but Lisa will be leading another bird walk with us on June 7 (see below). Details and registration coming soon.

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 hears 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 just finished editing the new Birds Checklist for the Laguna de Santa Rosa which can be purchased online or in the Heron Hall gift shop at the Laguna Environmental Center.

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The Geologic History of Laguna de Santa Rosa and Coastal California
Presentation with geologist Dr. Jane Nielson

Thursday, April 23, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. No RSVP necessary.

The Laguna de Santa Rosa connects the lowest elevations on the Santa Rosa Plain, an elongate depression separating ridges of California’s Coast Ranges Province. The rocks beside and beneath the Laguna once were part of a great ocean basin. Irresistible forces of this highly mobile Earth welded them to the edge of the growing continent of North America. Another great transition created the San Andreas Fault, and one result was the formation of California’s Coast Ranges, including the Laguna de Santa Rosa. This process has not ended; it continues today! 

Jane Nielson holds B.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in geochemistry and petrology, and is a California-licensed Professional Geologist. She worked 18 years as a field and research geologist for US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA, and has taught a wide range of undergraduate geology courses. In retirement, she co-wrote The American West at Risk, published in 2008 by Oxford University Press, which co-founding the Sebastopol Water Information Group (SWiG) and Sonoma County Water Coalition. In 2010 she was named Sonoma County Environmentalist of the Year.

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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Nestward Migration: Docent-led walks to the nesting colony at Delta Pond

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Choose your time: 8:00 AM, 8:15 AM, 8:30 AM, 8:45 AM, 9:00 AM
$15 per person. Pre-registration required.
Join the fun of this annual trek to the Great Blue Heron, Great Egret and Double-crested Cormorant nesting site on the banks of the Laguna. By May 2 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 truly exciting! Other possible treats include sightings of American White Pelicans and maybe even a Bald Eagle. Bring friends and family out for a joyful morning experience! This event benefiting the Learning Laguna bus scholarship program is always a sell-out so register early! Approximately 3-mile walk over flat, uneven terrain. Full details emailed upon registration.

Select Time

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Edible and Medicinal Plants of California: A Bioregional Exploration
Presentation with Tellur Fenner

Saturday, May 9, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.

California is home to a diverse array of edible and medicinal plants long valued for their nutritional and therapeutic effects. During this presentation we will explore many of the more common (and lesser known) native/naturalized plants found growing throughout the state, with a focus on historical as well as modern use. Topics to be touched upon include: plant family morphological and phytochemical characteristics, introduction to the major CA bioregions and plant communities, legal and ethical harvesting guidelines, processing/preparation methods, edible/medicinal/utilitarian uses, plant toxicology/safety issues, rare/threatened/endangered status, and more! The presentation is an interactive lecture and includes a large selection of live/dried plant samples. Join us for this insightful and rewarding opportunity to learn about the unique (and useful) flora of our state. (Come early and enjoy the Open House 10am-3pm, with interactive floristic table displays by Tellur Fenner from 11:00-2:00pm. Details on the Open House are at the top of this page).

TELLUR FENNER is a clinical herbalist/educator and has traveled extensively throughout the U.S while studying, collecting, and using plant medicines from all the major bioregions. Tellur attended the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, the California School of Herbal Studies, and received his Bachelor's Degree from Prescott College where he majored in Western Herbalism. As an herbalist of the “generalist” persuasion, he believes in the importance of an interdisciplinary practice which integrates the study of botany, ethnobotany, botanical pharmacy, human physiology, phytochemistry, and other biological sciences. He has taught classes and led trips for the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley, San Francisco Botanical Garden, California Academy of Sciences, Point Reyes National Seashore Association, Pepperwood Preserve, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as a number of other organizations. In addition to offering regular weekend workshops throughout the year, he also runs a comprehensive 12-month (240 hour) classroom/field based academic program titled: “Edible & Medicinal Plants of California: A Bioregional Exploration”. He is the owner/director of the Blue Wind Botanical Medicine Clinic and Education Center located in Ukiah, CA. To learn more, visit his facebook page and his website.

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Whole Willow Shoot Twined Basket
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, May 30, 2015, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

$75 ($65 Laguna Foundation members). Suitable for adults 18 years and up.
Pre-registration required (see below).

We will make open-weave twined baskets with whole willow, using Pomo techniques. Peeled and unpeeled willows will be available, and students can choose whether to make a small, fine-textured container, or a larger tray shape suitable for gathering seaweed.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and European techniques. He has taught for the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin (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, and another is in the collection of the Oakland Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden he 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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Covered in Birds: A Weekend Celebration of Birds in Poetry and Song
On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation
Take Jack in Concert with Sonoma County Poets, a Reading hosted by Elizabeth Herron

Saturday evening, June 6
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Times, cost, and details coming soon to this webpage!

 

 

Feathered Friends of the Laguna
Bird Watching Walk with Lisa Hug

Sunday, June 7, 8:30am-12:30pm
Meet at Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

$45 ($35 for Laguna Foundation members). Pre-registration required.
Details and registration coming soon.

 

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Farming For Mother Nature
Presentation with Paul Kaiser, Singing Frogs Farm

Saturday, June 13, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. No RSVP necessary.

Tillage is one of the oldest tenets of agriculture. It can be difficult to imagine breaking away from such a deep-seated, and yet destructive practice, but what if we did? Non-mechanized no-till organic agriculture can be a solution to numerous local and global problems including food insecurity, climate change, nutrient depletion, water pollution, habitat loss, unemployment, and small farm economic viability. Join us for a discussion on soil health, habitat resiliency and intensive no-till vegetable agriculture with farmers from the award winning Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol.

Paul Kaiser is a leader in ecological agriculture who was recently recognized with a local Leadership in Sustainability Award as well as an international Farmer/Rancher Award for his work in biodiversity and pollinator conservation on his farm, Singing Frogs Farm. Paul began his career in agroforestry in the tropics working to convert degraded lands into economically viable and biologically diverse and resilient farmland. Since then Paul has received dual Masters Degrees in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Development. In the last eight years, Paul and his wife Elizabeth, have married sustainable land management with local food production at their biodiverse, no-till, and family friendly Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol.

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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Messengers of Summer: Sonoma County's Dazzling Dragonflies
Workshop with Kathy Biggs
Saturday, June 20, 9:00am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE! Pre-registration required on the LandPaths website. Class-size limited to 20.

Join us as we welcome summer with a special day-long workshop with dragonfly-expert Kathy Biggs. We’ll start with a morning presentation in Heron Hall, lunch by the dragonfly-rich pond at the Laguna Environmental Center, followed by fun-filled time in the field. Kathy will share the biology, life cycle, and ecology of Odonata (the family to which dragonflies and damselflies belong) and learn how to identify the most common species in Sonoma County. The afternoon field trip will be an opportunity to practice identification skills and to observe the unusual and fascinating behaviors of dragonflies. Learn about how the Laguna de Santa Rosa is part of the Pacific Flyway, used not only by birds but by "Odes" (dragonflies) too!  Bring your own sack lunch. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided.

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 by quarter-cent sales tax that was voted in by the residents of Sonoma County.

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Ecological Handprints: Lifting Humanity While Lowering Our Footprint
Presentation with Dr. Rocky Rohwedder

Saturday, November 14, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.


The Ecological Handprint idea underscores the interrelated goals of ameliorating poverty and restoring ecological resilience. So, are there highly successful examples of lifting themselves out of poverty while simultaneously lowering their ecological footprint? The answer is a resounding … YES! This talk features an inspiring array of stories from around the world where basic human needs are being met in highly ecological ways via game changing technologies and financing mechanisms. From lighting to cooking to water and more, Ecological Handprints represent a powerful approach to a more sustainable future for all.

Dr. W.J. "Rocky" Rohwedder is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State University. In the last few years he has taught and conducted field research in over 40 countries all over the world as a faculty member on seven voyages of the Semester at Sea. He has served as an educational consultant for many worthwhile organizations, including the World Resources Institute, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Peace Corps, the President's Council on Sustainable Development, the Energy Foundation, and the California Department of Education.

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Also on tap in 2015 . . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Groundwater preesentation with Marcus Trotter, May 28
  • Creating Backyard Habitat, presentation and workshop with Tony McGuigan, July 11 & 12
  • Botanical Illustration workshop with Nina Antze, August 22
  • Photography workshop with Susan and Neil Silverman, September 27
  • Birds of Prey presentation and field trip with Larry Broderick, October 10 & 11
  • Natural paints workshop with Ane Carla Rovetta, October 24
  • Talks about reptiles, arachnids, and butterflies
  • Mid-Week Movie Nights
  • And much, much more!!!

For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Coordinator, (707) 527-9277 x110 or anita@lagunafoundation.org