Click here to review our Cancellation Policy.































Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2017 Schedule

Photography at the Laguna
Workshop with professional photographers Susan and Neil Silverman
Tuesday, January 24, 7:00-9:00pm AND Saturday, January 28, 8:00am-2:30pm
(rain or shine)
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$95. Pre-registration required
(see below)
Suitable for adults and teens (teens must be accompanied by an adult).

Here is a fun photo workshop for everyone! All levels of experience and gear welcome, even smart phones. Tuesday evening will be a lecture and discussion covering: a) the elements of a good composition and tweaking your creativity; b) getting a good exposure in challenging lighting conditions; and c) working with the concepts of HDR and focus stacking. This will be an evening full of information and inspiration for Saturday’s hands-on workshop (Saturday participants must attend the Tuesday evening lecture). Saturday morning we will go out and photograph the Laguna in its morning light (depending on conditions, accessing areas not normally open to the public). We will put into practical application the concepts discussed Tuesday night. We will return to Heron Hall and review some of the images that were taken that morning. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn some new ideas and put them into immediate practice in a beautiful, inspiring location! Participants bring their own lunch; hot drinks and snacks provided.

Susan and Neil Silverman are a husband-wife team who have taught and photographed together for over twenty years. Their passion behind the lens is transmitted not only through their images, but to their students as well. They have been leading their own workshops for over ten years and taught for Great American Photography Workshops for ten years; have taught for Better, Santa Fe School, PPA affiliates, PPC, B&H Photo, Pacific North West Art School, Gualala Art Center, Santa Rosa Junior College, and many more. Although they are well versed in Photoshop and Lightroom, they believe in getting the image in the camera. They love teaching and watching their students have that “ah-ha” moment of learning how to capture a wonderful photo. They forever seek "the Image, the Light, and the Moment" through their camera lens and their life experiences. Photography is fun, exciting and an ever-changing environment and they work hard to keep their finger on the pulse of the beat of the times. A photo can be good or great; and they believe in putting the "extra" in front of ordinary. Visit their website.


Celebrating World Wetlands Day: Laguna Kayaking or Hiking Adventure*
With Laguna Foundation Staff Dr. Wendy Trowbridge and Anita Smith, and Laguna Guides
* If conditions are not suitable for kayaking, we’ll go for a hike instead!
Thursday, February 2, 2017, 9:00am-Noon
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$50. Pre-registration required
(see below). Click here to review our Cancellation Policy.
This event is now FULL. Please join us next time.

In celebration of World Wetlands Day, we’re getting outdoors to experience the Laguna up close and personal, and we’d love to have you join us! If the Laguna water level is high enough and if the weather is cooperative (not too windy or too rainy), we’ll go kayaking. Otherwise, we’ll go for a hike instead, rain or shine. We’ll let you know the day before which activity we’ll be doing so you can plan accordingly. We have all the kayaks, life vests, and paddles needed. If you have your own kayak that you prefer using, let us know so we can coordinate. Kayaking the Laguna gives us a different perspective of this amazing, dynamic place. We’ll enjoy birding, looking for wildlife, and cruising through the upper canopy of oaks while getting some exercise and fresh air. We’ll also keep our eyes open for trash to pick up so it doesn’t flow out to the Russian River and the ocean! The Laguna de Santa Rosa is one of 2,247 sites around the world designated as a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty that provides a framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is “Wetlands for Disaster Risk Reduction." We’ll discuss how a healthy Laguna reduces flooding downstream and how our collaborative restoration, conservation, and education work is helping make the Laguna Watershed more resilient.

Tour leaders include Laguna Foundation staff members Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science, and Anita Smith, Public Education Manager, as well as Laguna Docent Jim Dempsey and Laguna Guide Dan Gurney. We’ll meet at Heron Hall (hot drinks and light snacks will be provided), and after a brief welcome and overview, we’ll head out. Group size is limited, so sign up today! Questions? Email Anita.


Cordage-Making Materials and Techniques
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, February 4, 2017, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$85. Pre-registration required. This class is now FULL. Please join us next time.

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. String and rope are made from various parts of many native plants, taking on distinctive appearances and fragrances. We will learn about the different types of fibers, process a variety of plants used by California Indians and others, and use several techniques to make cordage with them. Never be at the end of your rope again!

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, the Oakland Museum, and our own Heron Hall. 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.


The Winter Landscape in Your Nature Journal
Watercolor journaling workshop with Kristin Meuser
Saturday, February 18, 2017, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$150. (includes a $55 special art supply kit prepared by Kristin)* Pre-registration required.  

The color palette of Winter reveals itself in the vistas of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and Mt. St. Helena, as well as in the close-up study of shrubs and trees. Join Kristin as you learn to mix a full range of colors from a simple palette of eight harmonious pigments, followed by hands-on aids to help you create depth in your landscapes and close-up sketches. You will also spend time writing, which combines with your sketching to bring to life the memory of your day in nature. The beautiful Heron Hall classroom at the Laguna Environmental Center offers the opportunity to work rain or shine with its huge picture windows and outdoor overhangs. This class is suitable for beginners to experienced artists, adults and teens 16 years and older.
*NOTE: The kit includes a journal, a watercolor palette with 8 pigments, a waterbrush, a gel pen and pencils, plus a handy pouch to keep supplies together and easily taken on the trail. If you already have one of Kristin’s art kits from another one of her classes, please contact Anita Smith to pre-register at a reduced rate of $95

Kristin Meuser has been painting the land for over 35 years. Several years ago her love of nature led her to the Sierra Nevada Field Campus where she studied nature journaling with Jack Laws, watercolor with Andie Thrams, and writing with Sarah Rabkin. Kristin’s career as a graphic designer gives her journal pages a sense of structured variety and a delightfully cohesive overall effect. She has been teaching watercolor nature journaling for the past 5 years privately and at art and retreat centers in California. Her work is found in private collections, it has been shown regionally, and has been represented by the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite. For more information, please visit her website.


Laguna de Santa Rosa: Historical Ecology and Landscape Change
Presentation with Robin Grossinger and Sean Baumgarten, San Francisco Estuary Institute
Thursday, February 23, 6:30pm-8:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE! And, pre-registration required
(click here to send an email with your name, contact information and number of attendees). 

Join us for a look back in time at the Laguna as it existed 150 years ago. The Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed has been highly modified over the past century and a half, transformed by urbanization, agricultural development, logging, and many other land and water use changes. Nevertheless, remnants of the historical landscape persist, and the Laguna remains a vital ecosystem for a wide range of native plants and animals. In this talk, scientists Robin Grossinger and Sean Baumgarten from the San Francisco Estuary Institute will describe their research on the historical ecology of a central portion of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and how it has changed over time. Drawing on a wide range of archival maps, photographs, and documents, their research provides a window into the complex mosaic of wetlands, riparian habitats, and stream channels that occupied the central Laguna landscape during the mid-19th century.

Robin Grossinger is a Senior Scientist at the San Francisco Estuary Institute, where he co-directs SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes program. For over twenty years, Robin has analyzed how California landscapes have changed since European contact, using these data to guide landscape-scale restoration strategies. Robin's innovative work to synthesize history and science has been acclaimed for helping scientists, managers, and the public appreciate both the dramatic transformation and the impressive resilience of the state's ecosystems. Sean Baumgarten is a scientist in SFEI’s Resilient Landscapes program, where his research focuses on the historical ecology of California ecosystems. Sean has conducted research on coastal, riverine, and terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Bay Area as well as in southern California and the Central Valley, using archival data to reconstruct the form and function of past landscapes and understand how they have changed over time.


Drawing Green Leaves and Stems in Colored Pencil
Workshop with botanical artist Nina Antze
Saturday, March 4, 10:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
  Pre-registration required (below). 

“It is sometimes claimed that the ability to paint and draw leaves well, rather than flowers, is what makes the difference between a good and an excellent botanical artist.”…Margaret Stevens, The Art of Botanical Painting. If you are a nature artist, you know that drawing leaves are the most important objects we draw and yet often the most difficult. Learn to mix and identify “good” greens, draw veins and edges, and make your leaves come to life. Experiment with creating fun browns to create interesting stems and branches. Enjoy a peaceful, meditative day doing pencil work in lovely Heron Hall. All drawing levels are welcome. Suitable for 12 year olds and up (children under 15 years of age must be accompanied by an adult). A supply list 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 about Nina at her website.


Also on tap . . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Diana Majumdar's "Birds of the Laguna" Art Exhibit Opening Reception, Feb. 11, details here.
  • Raptors of the Laguna talk with Larry Broderick, March 9
  • Raptors of the Laguna walk with Larry Broderick, March 11
  • An Evening with Clint and Lucy McKay, March 16
  • Rare Pond Species Workshop with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez, March 23-25
  • Spring Birding in the Laguna series with Lisa Hug, March 26, April 23, and May 21
  • Geology talk with Dr. Jane Nielson, April 20
  • Day of the Child, special Open House and activities, April 29
  • Writing the Watershed, workshop with Elizabeth Herron, May 6
  • Spring Fling in the Wilds of the Laguna, hike and picnic with Denise Cadman, May 19
  • Talks about botany, anthropology, reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • Laguna kayaking adventures, hikes and natural history explorations
  • And much, much more!!!

For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Manager, (707) 527-9277 x110 or by email at


CANCELLATION POLICY:  If you are registered for an event and need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations received more than 14 days in advance of the event date will receive a refund minus a $10.00 processing fee. Cancellations made between 14-7 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 FEES: 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 significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as PayPal. Thank you for your understanding, and thank you for your interest and support of our programs!

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