Many thanks to
Sonoma Mountain Village
for their business sponsorship of our Public Education Programs
































Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2014-2015 Schedule

Laguna Environmental Center Open Houses
Second Saturday of the Month, 10:00am-3:00pm
August 9, September 13, October 11, 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 "Our Countryside" (on display through September 28) of watercolors by the group Watercolor Artists of Sonoma County (WASCO). Keep an eye on our monthly schedule, as we offer special themes for some Open Houses (see below). This is a working farm, so please leave your pets at home. The site is wheelchair accessible. No RSVP necessary. Come join us!

Upcoming Special Open House Theme:

  • October 11 -- "All About Bats," activities for all ages, and presentation. Details below.


Environmental Stewardship in the Laguna: Past, Present and Future
Presentation by John Guardino,
Laguna Foundation's Director of Restoration and Conservation Science
Thursday, July 17, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.

Join us for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what the Laguna Foundation does out in the field! This presentation will provide an overview of the Foundation’s stewardship efforts in the Laguna de Santa Rosa. As Director of the Foundation's Restoration and Conservation Science programs, John will share successes and ongoing challenges we all need to face in securing a bright and vibrant future for the Laguna and its residents. Learn about the extent of what we've been able to accomplish collaboratively over the years, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, and what some of the opportunities are in the fields of restoration ecology and conservation science in the Laguna watershed.

John Guardino joined the Foundation staff in June 2011. He has a broad range of experience and expertise in the areas of resource management planning, restoration ecology, regulatory policy analysis & development, land conservation, biological research and agricultural production. John holds a Master of Science degree in Plant Pathology from Penn State University and has worked throughout Sonoma County on a wide variety of natural resource management projects.


Family-Friendly Star Party and Dessert Potluck
with Sonoma County Astronomical Society

Presentation in Heron Hall followed by star-gazing outdoors through multiple telescopes
Friday, August 22, 7:00pm into the night
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
This FREE event is offered in partnership with LandPaths and is sponsored by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District.
Pre-registration required on the LandPaths website.

Join us for this wonder-filled astronomy night with members of the Sonoma County Astronomical Society (SCAS) sharing their expertise, enthusiasm, and powerful telescopes!  Doors to Heron Hall will open at 6:30pm.  Program begins at 7pm with an indoor presentation by SCAS astronomers, then we’ll go outside to view the night skies with multiple telescopes (possibly 8-12 scopes). Depending on viewing conditions, it’s often possible to see dozens of night sky objects including planets, nebula, galaxies, stars, and star clusters.  Wear layers and prepare for cool conditions (bring hat, gloves, and warm shoes).  Bring a flashlight.  We will provide red cellophane and rubber bands to cover the lens (bright white light ruins our night vision), and if you’d like, bring a camping chair to relax outside under the stars. No pets please. The site is wheelchair accessible. For being so close to town, the night skies here at Stone Farm are amazingly dark!

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 protects land in Sonoma County. It is sponsored by the voters of Sonoma County who funded the District's work with a quarter-cent sales tax. This event is coordinated & guided by the Laguna Foundation with support from LandPaths.  


Rolling the Climate Dice: How Can We Make Sense of Climate Scenario Science?
Presentation with Dr. Lisa Micheli, Executive Director, Pepperwood Foundation
Thursday August 28, 7:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.

Dr. Lisa Micheli will introduce us to the science of “downscaling” future climate models and will highlight cutting-edge research that has been done here in the North Bay to see what our future may hold in terms of both climate, water, and natural resources. She will talk about how this data is being used via the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative in partnership with the Laguna Foundation and in the context of the Sonoma County Climate Action 2020 Plan. Learn how scientists are working to make the global local in order to understand how climate change is already impacting our every day experiences and what our neighbors at Pepperwood are doing to start measuring these effects in real time.

Lisa Micheli is the Executive Director of the Pepperwood Foundation. Her credentials include AB Harvard College, MPhil Cambridge University, MS and PhD UC Berkeley. Lisa applies her technical, policy, and fundraising expertise to the design and implementation of ecological restoration, research and education programs. She is the co-chair of the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative (TBC3), the chair of the science working group for the North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative (NBCAI), and a member of the Santa Rosa Plain Technical Advisory Committee. She joined Sonoma County’s Pepperwood Foundation in October of 2009 as its first Executive Director.


Cordage-Making Materials and Techniques

Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, September 6, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$75 ($65 Laguna Foundation members). Pre-registration required.

Suitable for teens and adults (ages 13 and up)

The leaves, bark and roots of many native plants yield fibers that can be used for making string and rope. Each has a characteristic strength, appearance and scent. We will process a variety of plants—including dogbane that can be seen growing at the Laguna Foundation—and use several techniques to make cordage. Participants will be able to try their hand at thigh-rolling dogbane fibers. We will also discuss net-making techniques. Further details emailed upon registration.

Charles (Charlie) Kennard, a resident of San Anselmo, is a long-time student of California Indian and European basketry, and practices a wide variety of basketry techniques using local plants. He has taught for the Miwok Archeological Preserve of Marin (MAPOM), Point Reyes Field Institute, UC Botanical Garden, in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the Laguna Environmental Center, California Academy of Sciences, the Bay Model in Sausalito, and in the collection of the Oakland Museum. A sinuous 150-foot woven fence he made borders the East Garden of the Academy of Sciences. Charlie is also active in native habitat restoration in Marin, managing several projects for the Friends of Corte Madera Creek Watershed.


Special "BATS" Day at the Laguna Environmental Center Open House
pecial exhibits and activities with Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
Saturday, October 11, Noon-3pm
(regular Open House goes 10am-3pm)
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Free. No RSVP necessary.

Join us for this fun and fascintating Open House with a focus on BATS! Our friends from the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue will be on hand from Noon-3pm with bat-related materials and activities for all ages.

Then at 3:00pm, Rachel Griffiths, long-time volunteer with SCWR who has years of experience rehabilitating injured bats, will give a presentation in Heron Hall "All About Bats: Myth-Busting These Amazing Mammals." This presentation will be $10 at the door, no RSVP necessary.

More information on both the "BATS" Open House and presentation will be coming soon.


Create a Keepsake Painting: Small Painting Workshop for the Holidays
Plein Air Watercolor Painting Workshop with Donna DeLaBriandais
Saturday, November 1, 10am-4pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

$75 ($65 Laguna Foundation members). Pre-registration required.

Suitable for teens and adults

Autumn is a wonderful time to paint indoors or outdoors, "en plein air," and this workshop dovetails with Donna's painting exhibit in Heron Hall (on display October 1 to December 23). This workshop will begin indoors in lovely Heron Hall to study the basics of picture making, color mixing, and composition using watercolor paints on special panels. The afternoon session will be outdoors (weather permitting) to paint the wonderful scenes at the Laguna Environmental Center. Subjects to paint include the marsh pond with cattails, historic farm buildings, and scenes from the meadows with Mt. St. Helena in the distance. Donna will lecture and do a variety of demonstrations throughout the day. Using special watercolor boards, you'll complete three paintings or more during the workshop! These watercolor solid panels offer beautiful transparent and vibrant colors on a strong support that will not buckle or fade as with watercolor paper.

Donna DeLaBriandais is a Signature Member in the American Impressionist Society and a member of California Art Club. She is a third generation native of Santa Rosa and finds inspiration painting the landscape of Northern California on location and studio. Donna studied painting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and graduated from the University of San Francisco. She later spent a summer at La Romita Art School in Italy. Donna teaches painting and drawing classes through Santa Rosa Junior College, National Parks, and various art centers. For more information about Donna and her artwork, visit her website.


Kayaking and Hiking the Laguna

Presentation by Laguna Foundation Executive Director, David Bannister
Saturday, January 10, 3pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 at the door. No RSVP necessary.

Learn how to get around the Laguna by foot or by boat. In his slideshow presentation, David will share where the access points are, where you can go from there, what those spots are like in various weather conditions and times of year, things to watch out for, and lots of images of what you can see. David has been kayaking and hiking in the Laguna for more than 20 years and has also done lots of kayaking in the Petaluma River, Napa River, Tomales Bay, Bolinas Lagoon, and the Estero Americano. He enjoys birdwatching and observing other wildlife in all these locales, but the Laguna is his favorite.

Join us for this fun and informative talk! Come early and enjoy the Open House as well (Second Saturday of the Month Open House at the Laguna Environmental Center, 10:00am-3:00pm).


Also on tap . . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Lower Stone Farm adventures this summer
  • Raptor talk and field trip in early October
  • Bird Migration talk and field trip in mid-November
  • Winter Waterfowl talk and field trip in early December
  • Building an Owl Box workshop
  • Photography workshops
  • Talks about reptiles, arachnids, butterflies, and fungi
  • More art and nature workshops
  • Mid-Week Movie Nights
  • And much, much more!!!

For more information, contact Anita Smith, Public Education Coordinator, (707) 527-9277 x110 or