Jerry Dodrill photo





Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2016 Schedule


Coiled Willow Basket Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Sunday, August 14, 9:30am-3:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$80. 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 learn how to split and trim willow to prepare weavers, and then begin a Paiute-style trinket basket, with a foundation of whole willow. Participants can choose whether to use a gap stitch or close weaving, and may introduce some redbud weavers for color. Participants bring a sharp knife and water bowl, as well as a lunch, otherwise all workshop materials 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 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.


Irwin Creek and Lower Stone Farm Exploration
Natural History Walk with Laguna Foundation Staff and Guides
Saturday, August 20, 8:30am-Noon
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$10 per person (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (below).

Join us for this leisurely morning amble across the picturesque hay field to Irwin Creek, and across Sanford Rd. to quiet Lower Stone Farm and the Laguna channel, an area not usually open to the public. On this 1.5 to 2 mile walk over mostly flat but uneven terrain we’ll explore the beautiful area’s animal and plant life and learn about the history of Stone Farm and the on-going collaborative restoration work that’s bringing back a thriving ecosystem!  We’ll start out in Heron Hall with coffee/tea and light morning snacks. Participants are welcome to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy back at the Laguna Environmental Center after the walk. Join Laguna Foundation staff and Guides to learn about the biologically-rich wonders of this special area within our midst.  


Drawing Summer’s Fruits: Colored Pencil Techniques
Workshop with Nina Antze
Saturday, August 27, 10:00am-3:00pm

Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$85. Pre-registration required (see below).

Come out to the Laguna and draw the last fruits of summer - little pears, berries and other delights from the gardens here at the Laguna Environmental Center. Maybe even an end-of-summer rose. Enjoy a peaceful, meditative day doing pencil work. At the same time, discover how to create vibrant color using blending, layering and burnishing techniques while incorporating the basics of botanical drawing. All levels welcome. 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.


Farm to Art to Table: Watercolor Workshop with Donna DeLaBriandais
A day of painting still life farm produce that will be prepared for a delicious, light lunch
Saturday, September 10, 9:00am-3:00pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$85. Pre-registration required (see below).

Join us for this wonderful and special watercolor workshop. We’ll begin the day in light-filled and lovely Heron Hall where Donna will demonstrate and guide you with drawing and watercolor techniques as you work on still life paintings of fruits and vegetables from the gardens at the Laguna Environmental Center and other local farms. While you’re painting, similar produce will be crafted into a delicious, light, vegetarian lunch by volunteers right there in the Heron Hall kitchen. After lunch, you can continue your still life painting inside or go out into the native plant and flower gardens around the Laguna Environmental Center to paint. The workshop fee includes a light vegetarian lunch. Participants provide their own art supplies (a suggested list of what to bring will be sent upon registration). All levels welcome, from beginning to experienced painters, adults and teens 15 years and older.  

Donna DeLaBriandais is a native of Sonoma County and a long-time artist and instructor through the Santa Rosa Junior College Community Education and various art centers. Her creative classes are in watercolor, oil, acrylic, and drawing.  She exhibits her paintings in galleries and open studios. She has also exhibited her artwork in Heron Hall at the Laguna Environmental Center. Learn more about Donna and view her artwork on her website.


The Watershed Report: Laguna Watershed Year in Review
Presentation with Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science
Includes a Locavore Feast
(featuring drinks and delectable preparations of invasive species!)
Thursday, September 22
(the Equinox), 5:00-7:30pm
Location: Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(non-refundable; includes dinner, drinks, and the talk). Pre-registration required (see below).

Join us for this very special Equinox dinner and presentation, and help us celebrate the start of a new water year! It has been an interesting year in the Laguna watershed with continued dry conditions despite the return of El Niño.  Have you ever wondered – Is the drought over yet? Whatever happened with that El Niño we heard so much about? How is our groundwater doing? How did our vernal pools do in the drought? Will this year bring another El Niño? What is being done to ensure that our water use is sustainable? How are the oaks in our watershed impacted by Sudden Oak Death? When are you guys going to get rid of that Ludwigia? Is global warming here yet? How much hotter is it that it used to be? Are our salmon and steelhead recovering from the drought? What is going on with otters in the Laguna? What can I do to help the Laguna and the watershed?

Come drink beer and eat delicious invasive species and find out the answers to these questions and more! Arrive at 5:00pm for drinks and hors de oeuvres. The talk will begin at 5:30pm. Our sunset dinner will begin around 6:30pm, followed by dessert and door prizes. We will have locally-sourced turkey carnitas (and vegetarian option), salad, and local beer (wine and non-alcoholic drinks available as well). Bring a pie to share and get a raffle ticket for great door prizes! Bring a pie made from invasive species (e.g., blackberry) and get two tickets!

Dr. Wendy Trowbridge became our Director of Restoration and Conservation Programs in January 2015. She is a wetland plant ecologist who has worked in a variety of systems from the Sacramento River to Ruby Lakes in Northern Nevada to rangelands in Western China. She got her PhD at UC Davis as part of a multidisciplinary study of riparian restoration on The Nature Conservancy's Cosumnes River Preserve. For 10 years she was research faculty at the University of Nevada, Reno where her research focused on invasive species, wetland communities and aquatic food webs.


Also on tap in coming months. . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Joan Humberstone Memorial Photography Exhibit, Opening Reception, October 8
  • Full-moon Irwin Creek and Lower Stone Farm walk, October 15
  • Climate Change and the Laguna: North Bay Climate Ready Highlights, Presentation by Dr. Lisa Micheli, November 12
  • Talks about botany, geology, anthropology, hydrology
  • Talks about reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • Laguna hikes and natural history explorations
  • Natural history and art classes for all ages
  • Mid-Week Movie Nights
  • And much, much more!!!

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


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.

NOTE: $10 events are non-refundable. We're sorry, but due to significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as PayPal, we are unable to refund cancellations for $10 events.