Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2015 Schedule

Laguna Environmental Center Open Houses
Second Saturday of the Month, 10:00am-3:00pm
June 13, July 11, August 8, 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 "Breathing Space" of Susan Ball paintings (on display through August 30). 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 June 13, Farming with Nature, with special presentation at 3pm by farmer Paul Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm. Details below.
  • Saturday July 11, Creating Wildlife Habitat, with special presentation at 3pm by habitat landscaper Tony McGuigan. Details below.

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Groundwater Resources and Management in the Santa Rosa Plain
Presentation with Marcus Trotta

Thursday, May 28, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.

Marcus is a Hydrogeologist for the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Water Resource Planning Section. He will provide an overview of groundwater resources in the Santa Rosa Plain and the recently adopted Santa Rosa Plain Groundwater Management Plan with an emphasis on the upcoming implementation phase and how the plan can help the region comply with the new State requirements of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. The Santa Rosa Plain Watershed covers an area of approximately 167,000 acres and is home to approximately half of the population of Sonoma County.  The groundwater system beneath the Santa Rosa Plain provides numerous benefits to the region, including rural residential and municipal water supplies, irrigation water for agriculture, and baseflow to streams and surface water bodies. Building on a comprehensive technical study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the Water Agency worked with a group of stakeholders called the Basin Advisory Panel to collaboratively develop the Groundwater Management Plan.

Marcus Trotta is a Professional Geologist and Certified Hydrogeologist in the State of California and received his Bachelor of Science in Geology with an emphasis in Hydrologic Science from the University of California at Davis. He has worked at the Sonoma County Water Agency since 2008 where he leads feasibility studies for enhanced groundwater recharge projects and manages groundwater monitoring programs and technical studies in support of collaborative groundwater management programs. 

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Whole Willow Shoot Twined Basket

Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, May 30, 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.
Sorry, this class is FULL. Stay tuned for future workshops with Charlie Kennard.

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 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: Take Jack in Concert, with readings by Nine Sonoma County Poets
Laguna Foundation 25th Anniversary Celebration in Poetry and Song
A Benefit for the Laguna Foundation
Saturday, June 6, 7:00-9:00pm. Doors open at 6:00pm.
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Advanced tickets $25 (see below), $30 at the door. Limited seating. Expected to sell out!

Join us for this very special evening of poetry and song with the wildly talented local musical group, Take Jack. They will serenade us with original compositions, interspersed with poetry readings by Elizabeth Herron, Terry Ehret, Katherine Hastings, Jodi Hottel, Maya Khosla, Greg Mahrer, Phyllis Meshulam, Larry Robinson, and Mike Tuggle. There will be light snacks provided during intermission and drinks will be available for purchase. Come early to enjoy walking around the beautiful native plant landscape and watching the abundant bird life!

As experienced singers and musicians, the nine members of Sonoma County-based ensemble Take Jack perform a diverse repertoire of original compositions and arrangements informed by folk, classical, rock and jazz traditions and influenced by their shared history as choral singers. Their spirited concerts are layered with unique vocal and instrumental harmonies that run the gamut from a cappella to various combinations of guitars, mandolin, keyboard, harmonica, banjo, percussion, toy piano, and bass. Take Jack includes Clare Broussard, JT Devine, Robin Eschner, Bill Horvitz, Dennis Hysom, Shari Kovner, Chris Smith, Mike VanDordrecht, and Gene Wright. This event is sponsored in part by Prunuske Chatham, and is also supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it received from The James Irvine Foundation.

If you cannot attend the event, but would like to make a donation in honor of the Laguna Foundation's 25th anniversary, or if you're attending the event and would like to make an additional donation, please click here. Thank you very much for supporting the Laguna Foundation's restoration, conservation science, and educational work for the Laguna!

To download a PDF of the beautiful concert poster designed by Robin Eschner, click here.

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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 (see below).

As we continue the weekend "Covered in Birds," celebrating the Laguna Foundation's 25th anniversary, join us for this delightful morning bird walk with avian expert extraordinaire, Lisa Hug. We will carpool to an area of the Laguna that is not normally open to the public, returning to Heron Hall afterwards to enjoy our picnic lunches and reviewing a list of the birds we saw. Further details emailed upon registration.

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

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Habitat It And They Will Come
Presentation with Tony McGuigan
Saturday, July 11, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.

Join us for this entertaining and informative talk about the why, who, and fun-how of creating animal habitats in residential gardens. Learn about some of the challenges wildlife face in suburbia and solutions to create wildlife-rich neighborhoods. Discover what wildlife might be present in our gardens and practical means to attract those critters.

Tony is owner of Spore Lore and the author of Habitat It And They Will Come. His education includes Biology at Long Island University and certificates in Permaculture and Sustainable Landscaping.  His passions include being a Learning Laguna Docent, a Wildlife Habitat Instructor for Orchard View School’s high school Biology outdoor hands-on class at the Laguna Environmental Center, a habitat landscaper, and doing creative wildlife gardening at home.

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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!

  • 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