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(photo by Dave Biggs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


(oak re-sprouting photo by Gary Morgret)


(photo by Jerry Dodrill)

 

 

 





 


(vernal pool photo by Hattie Brown)


(bobcats photo by Thomas Reynolds)

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Volunteering for the Laguna de Santa Rosa
(photo by Gerald Corsi)



 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Laguna Foundation Public Education Events

2018 Schedule

 

Dragonflies – Eagles of the Insect World
An Introduction to the Acrobatic, Ferocious and often Bizarre Lives of Anisopterans
Presentation with Laguna Foundation’s Executive Director, Kevin Munroe

Thursday, February 22, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 
(non-refundable). Pre-registration required. Online registration is now closed, but there is room if you'd like to come early and pay at the door.

Join Laguna Foundation’s self-described dragonfly-nerd Kevin Munroe, for a behind-the-scenes look into the strange and colorful world of dragonflies. Kevin hails from Virginia, so his photos will include lots of “exotic” east coast insects. Spend a winter evening being warmed by stories and descriptions of these valuable predators – an essential part of the Laguna de Santa Rosa ecosystem. Ever wondered what they eat, how fast they fly, how they breath underwater or how they see? Learn the answers, as well as how these primitive insects are excellent indicators of wetland health and perfect tools for connecting folks to their watershed. We’ll also talk about our summer dragonfly field trips!

Kevin Munroe, Executive Director of the Laguna Foundation since August 2015, is also a talented naturalist, educator, and dragonfly aficionado. He started the website, Dragonflies of Northern Virginia, and is enjoying learning all about west coast “Odes.” Kevin developed his passion as a naturalist in early childhood and subsequently transformed this interest into a rich career that includes conservation resource management, restoration, and environmental education.

 

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Fire Recovery and Replanting: Information and Free Resources for Landowners
Presentation with Laguna Foundation and Partners
Saturday, February 24, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. Pre-registration required
(see below).

Did the fires directly impact your property or do you live in the wildland urban interface and want to incorporate native, resilient plants into your landscapes? Do you need help with erosion control and assessment? Are you not sure how to assess whether your burned oaks will survive or not? Join us to find out what resources are available to you. The Laguna Foundation is teaming up with Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Sonoma Resource Conservation District and the Milo Baker Chapter-California Native Plant Society to restore and replant native plants in areas impacted by the October 2017 fires. This presentation will include an overview about the fire’s impacts in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed and the region, and will provide information about soil erosion, native plants, and water quality. While the information and resources are meant especially for landowners impacted by the October fires, the general public is welcome to attend (pre-registration is required so we know how many people will attend and because seats are limited). Whether your land is a tenth of an acre or 100 acres, the native plants on your property provide wildlife habitat, prevent erosion, and improve water quality. We are growing a variety of native trees and shrubs with seeds collected locally to share with landowners next fall. Attend this presentation to learn more and to sign up for the free resources.

Speakers will include Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, as well as the Foundation’s Ecological Program Manager, Brent Reed. 


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Good Fungi, Healthy Roots, Happy Plants
Presentation with Robert Kourik
Saturday, March 3, 3:00-4:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 
(non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

There are amazing beneficial fungi that promote the healthiest roots of native and ornamental plants. Trees especially need this symbiotic relationship for superior growth. This valuable fungus assists 95% of all plants to grow and prosper—from the Laguna and beyond. This presentation will explain what the relationship is (called mycorrhizal association), where in the roots it happens, how it increases yields, and whether-or-not purchased inoculants are needed. More importantly, how to promote the existing fungi will be reviewed. All gardens and market gardens will prosper with a healthy presence of this natural fungus. All gardeners, landscape professionals, restoration specialists, and farmers will benefit from this presentation. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided.

Robert Kourik started his organic maintenance and landscape design company in 1975 – long before the word sustainable "existed.” Since that time, his designs, consulting, and books have focused on organic and sustainable gardens, water management, drip irrigation and edible landscaping. He is the author and publisher (Metamorphic Press) of Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape - Naturally, Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates, Roots Demystified: Change Your Gardening Habits To Help Roots Thrive, No-Dig Gardening, The Lavender Garden, his most recent book - Understanding Roots: Discover How to Make Your Garden Flourish and 15 more horticultural books.

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Bear Aware: Understanding the Bear Necessities
Black Bear presentation with wildlife ecologist, Meghan Walla-Murphy
Thursday, March 8, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12 
(non-refundable). Pre-registration required (see below).

For thousands of years and all over the United States, people have lived alongside bears, learning from the bears and learning how to live with them. Join us for an evening to explore black bears in Sonoma County and California, the role they play in our healthy ecosystem, human-bear relationships, and how you can help keep the bears of Sonoma County from becoming nuisance bears. Knowing how to make your home and property secure from bears not only keeps us safe, but the bears too! All ages welcome. Hot tea and light snacks provided.

Meghan Walla- Murphy is an educator, wildlife ecologist and writer of books, essays and articles. In addition to a formal academic background, Meghan has had the privilege of tracking across the U.S. and internationally with indigenous cultures who continue to live close to the land. This academic and practical training has given Meghan the ability to meet and unravel some of our most pressing environmental, social, and political challenges from many diverse perspectives. Some of Meghan’s current work projects in California include a habitat connectivity project in Sonoma County, a black bear project in the California’s North Bay Area, and a Russian River Watershed Collaborative. In addition, Meghan is faculty in the Natural Resource Management Department at Santa Rosa Junior College and an instructor for University CA Master Naturalist Program. To contact Meghan or read more about her background and work, please visit her website.

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Laguna Inspirations: What’s NEW in Your Watershed?
Presentation with Laguna Foundation Staff
Friday, March 9, 6:30-8:00pm

And optional quick Irwin Creek walk before the talk (walk begins at 5:45pm)
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE.  Pre-registration required (see below).

Wondering what Laguna Foundation staff and volunteers are working on in your Laguna? Join us for a fun and informal evening as we present a brief summary of a few special, flagship projects that are somewhere between sprouting and bearing fruit. Get in on the ground floor as we share our experiences with some of our most exciting programs, including high schools and stormwater, reaching out to new audiences and cutting-edge vernal pool conservation. All these environmental endeavors spring from our ambitious strategic plan, Watershed Stewardship – in Action, Together. Learn how your input and support has transformed this plan into teenage scientists and vernal pool blooms! This event is appropriate for high school age and up. Please feel free to join us at 5:45pm for light snacks and a quick walk down to Irwin Creek to stretch our legs before the program begins at 6:30pm. And stick around after 8pm to chat with our knowledgeable presenters.

The following Laguna Foundation staff members will be presenting: Kevin Munroe, Executive Director; Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs; Christine Fontaine, Director of Education Programs; and Bev Scottland, Director of Development. See our website for bios.

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Laguna Watershed Perspectives: North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park Walk
with Laguna Foundation and Regional Parks Naturalists
Sunday, March 11, 9:00am-3:30pm 
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
$10 (non-refundable).  Pre-registration required (see below).

How is Sonoma Mountain connected to the Laguna de Santa Rosa? Find out on this invigorating and informative 4.5 mile hike to the Bennett Valley Overlook where we will enjoy panoramic views and a picnic lunch. This is a moderate to strenuous hike with significant elevation gain (2,000’ plus). Meet at the Laguna Environmental Center for hot drinks and morning snacks for a brief watershed perspectives presentation, then we’ll carpool to the park. On the hike, we’ll stop to catch our breath and enjoy the views, do a little birdwatching, look for signs of wildlife, and see what else pops up to explore. Topics will include watershed connections, conservation, wildlife corridors, and more. Parking fees are included in the $10 event fee. After our hike and lunch on the trail, we’ll carpool back to the Laguna Environmental Center by 3:30pm. This event is suitable for ages 12 and up (12-17 year olds must be accompanied by an adult). Heavy rain cancels. We hope you’ll join us for this fun outdoor adventure!

To learn more about North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve, click here. To learn more about the Laguna de Santa Rosa, click here.

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Spring Birding in the Laguna Series
Birdwatching and Natural History Walks with Lisa Hug
Sundays March 18, April 15, and May 20, 8:30am-1:00pm
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$50 per walk, as a fundraiser for the Laguna Foundation.  Pre-registration required (see below).

In this birding series, we will celebrate Spring by exploring a different non-publicly accessible corner of the Laguna each month. During the March 18th walk, we will enjoy the wide variety of waterfowl that utilizes deep 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. We will begin and end each session at Heron Hall at the Laguna Environmental Center (hot drinks and snacks provided), and carpool to sites along the Laguna. There will be a brief PowerPoint orientation by Lisa at the beginning of the first session (March 18). 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.  In the case of forecasted moderate to heavy rain (determined the afternoon before), we will cancel and issue full refunds. Join us for this incredibly fun learning experience outdoors with one of the area’s foremost birders, while also supporting the Laguna Foundation's restoration, conservation science, and education work for the Laguna.

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 years 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 edited the Birds Checklist for the Laguna de Santa Rosa which can be bought through the Laguna Foundation GiftShop.

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CTS Terrestrial Ecology Workshop
Lecture and Field Trip with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Friday, March 23, 2018 8:00am-5:30pm
Early Bird (ends Jan 19) $225
Regular $250
Student and Combo discounts available.

This one-day workshop is designed to provide practical training to professional biologists, resources managers, and students on the terrestrial ecology, land use management, and regulations of the California tiger salamander (CTS).

Rare Pond Species Survey Techniques Workshop
Lecture and Field Trip with Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez
Saturday and Sunday, March 24-25, 2018 8:00am-10:30pm
Early Bird (ends Jan 19) $375
Regular $400
Student and Combo discounts available.

This one or two-day workshop (depending on which field trip you choose) is designed to provide practical training on aquatic survey techniques for the California tiger salamander, California red-legged frog, and western pond turtle.

About the Instructors
Dave Cook and Jeff Alvarez are experts on amphibian and reptile ecology and conservation, conduct herpetological research, and hold state and federal permits for three pond species.

 

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Messengers of the Landscape: Bird Language of the Laguna
Workshop with wildlife ecologist, Meghan Walla-Murphy
Sunday, March 25, 7:00am-11:00am, (rain cancels)
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$30. Pre-registration required
(see below). 

Join us for this early morning adventure to learn about the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the many bird species that call it home! Have you ever wondered what that bird is singing in your backyard? Are you curious about more than identification and want to know what the birds are saying and why? Through quiet observation, mapping, and group discussion we will decipher the different calls of bird language and become keen observers of behavior. Birds are the messengers of the landscape, and once you begin to recognize territorial calls, alarm calls, and juvenile begging calls, the ecology of the Laguna and other Sonoma County open spaces will become new places of wonder and discovery. Hot drinks and snacks will be provided in Heron Hall before heading out into nature. This outing will take place mostly outdoors, and will involve a short walk to Irwin Creek (~1/2 mile roundtrip) on fairly flat but uneven ground, with lots of sitting, listening, and watching. All ages are welcome, but if you are under 14 years of age, please bring your adult. If the forecast is for rain, we will cancel and provide full refunds.

Meghan Walla- Murphy has had the great fortune of being able to combine her passions for animal tracking, writing and people into vocations of habitat conservation and public awareness. As an educator, wildlife ecologist and writer of books, essays and articles, Meghan strives to help people connect to their external and internal landscapes through observation and tracking. In addition to a formal academic background, Meghan has had the privilege of tracking across the U.S. and internationally with indigenous cultures who continue to live close to the land. This academic and practical training has given Meghan the ability to meet and unravel some of our most pressing environmental, social, and political challenges from many diverse perspectives. Some of Meghan’s current work projects in California include a habitat connectivity project in Sonoma County, a black bear project in the California’s North Bay Area, and a Russian River Watershed Collaborative. In addition, Meghan is faculty in the Natural Resource Management Department at Santa Rosa Junior College and an instructor for University CA Master Naturalist Program. To contact Meghan or read more about her background and work, please visit her website.

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Inside the Earth
Presentation with geologist, Dr. Jane Nielson
Thursday, March 29, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12
(non-refundable) Pre-registration required (see below).

What makes the Earth work, and how do we know that our modern concepts are completely factual? California’s earthquakes and thermal springs, such as occur locally in Sonoma County, were the focuses of scientific studies that helped to resolve those questions. Geology combined with physics (Geophysics) developed inventions for detecting earthquake waves, thermal variations, and density differences that together revealed the Earth's internal structure and compositional differences—and eventually confirmed the processes that created and still modify oceans and continents. This talk will describe the signal discoveries that led to worldwide acceptance of mobile Earth (Plate Tectonics) concepts. This is the second in a series of three talks Dr. Nielson is presenting this spring. The last one will be "From Earth to the Moon and Back Again" on April 26.

Jane Nielson has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG).  Dr. Nielson worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999, and in 2003 was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group and the Sonoma County Water Coalition. She also serves on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action and the O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.

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Early Spring Blooms: Vernal Pools of the Santa Rosa Plain, botanical field trip
With Sarah Gordon, Laguna Foundation's Conservation Science Program Manager
Saturday, March 31, 9:00am-1:00pm
Meeting at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401 
$25-$50 sliding scale. Pre-registration required.

The Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed has some very unique wetland ecosystems called “vernal pools,” temporary pools of water that provide habitat for distinctive plants and animals. Every year is different for vernal pool flora, which depends on many factors such as timing of rainfall, total amount of rainfall, and daytime temperatures, to name a few. This botanical field trip will begin in Heron Hall with hot drinks/snacks and a brief overview of Santa Rosa Plain vernal pool ecology and the Laguna Foundation vernal pool conservation program, followed by a tour of one to two vernal pool sites where we will identify early season vernal pool plants (those that typically flower when the wetlands are still holding water). Depending on March weather conditions, we may be able to see endangered Sonoma sunshine and Sebastopol meadowfoam in flower, in addition to other early season native vernal pool forbs and grasses. The site(s) will be identified just prior to the field trip, but may include both natural and created vernal pools. This outing will include walking over uneven, possibly very wet and muddy ground, and is suitable for 12 years old and up (minors must be accompanied by an adult). Rain will cancel (in which case we’ll fully refund your fee). A field guide to Vernal Pool Plants of the Santa Rosa Plain ($15) is available for purchase from our GiftShop

Sarah Gordon joined the Laguna Foundation staff in February of 2017 as Conservation Science Program Manager to expand and develop a Santa Rosa Plain vernal pool conservation program. Sarah is a plant ecologist with experience in seasonal wetland plant ecology and rare plant conservation. She completed her M.S. degree at Sonoma State University and has worked as a lecturer, researcher, and ecological consultant specializing in botany, rare plants, and vernal pool ecosystems primarily in Sonoma County.

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Exploring the Historic Headwaters of the Laguna de Santa Rosa
Walk with Jenny Blaker, Michael Knappman, Patrick Lei, and Kate Symonds
Sunday, April 8, 10:00am-2:00pm
Meeting in Cotati
(directions and details sent upon registration)
$10-50 sliding scale
(benefits the Laguna Foundation). Pre-registration required (see below).
This walk is most suitable for adults (slow with lots of stops). Only heavy rain cancels.

Explore the upper reach of the Laguna de Santa Rosa from downtown Cotati to the historic “headwaters” on a gentle, level, (but not wheelchair accessible) 3-mile loop walk. A number of local experts will share their knowledge and insights of the natural and cultural history of the area. This leisurely amble will include highlights about the Ross Street vernal pools; Cotati Creek Critters restoration and education work; Rohnert Park's Lydia Commons Community Garden where we’ll stop for a picnic lunch; and the surprising historic headwaters of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Bring your own lunch, but delicious cookies will be provided! Jenny Blaker and Michael Knappman will lead the loop walk from downtown Cotati to the historic headwaters of the Laguna and back, along with Laguna Foundation staff and Guides, and special guest speakers Patrick Lei and Kate Symonds. Check out this descriptive article from the Press Democrat about the headwaters walk.

Jenny Blaker co-founded Cotati Creek Critters habitat restoration project in 1998, and was Outreach Coordinator from 2006-2012, when thousands of volunteers planted and maintained native trees, shrubs and understory plants alongside the Laguna de Santa Rosa channel in Cotati. She helps maintain an informational website, Headwaters of the Laguna de Santa RosaPatrick Lei is a Technician with the Sonoma County Water Agency’s Stream Maintenance Program. Michael Knappman has been on the Lydia Commons Community Garden organizing committee since its inception in 2009. He has been active as a Master Gardener, helping promote community gardens and school gardens in Sonoma County. He has been walking the Laguna channel in his neighborhood for the past 25 years and has recently been organizing nature walks along the Laguna in Cotati for the students at University Elementary School. Kate Symonds is a biologist with 30 years of experience, including 20 years with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, specializing in habitat restoration and native plants for the last 12 years (recently retired). She now volunteers with various organizations on habitat restoration projects and is a docent naturalist at Sonoma State University's Fairfield Osborne Preserve and with WildCare at Spring Lake, Santa Rosa.

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From Earth to Moon and Back Again: Stories from "Lunar Analog Studies"
Presentation with geologist, Dr. Jane Nielson
Thursday, April 26, 7:00-8:30pm
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
$12
(non-refundable) Pre-registration required (see below).

Debris from space constantly rains onto the Earth’s surface; by the 1950s, meteorite studies showed that the variety of known space materials could represent a destroyed Earth-like planet, or raw materials that could have coalesced to create one. In 1963 the U.S. Space program provided funding for studies of suspected meteorite impact craters, and focused Earth Science into the debate about the origins of supposed extra-terrestrial masses, which also funded studies of deep Earth rocks. This talk will focus on some passionate 1960s debates, which space exploration and lab studies eventually resolved --including speculations that proved to be hilariously wrong.

Jane Nielson has three degrees in geology, including MS in Geochemistry from The University of Michigan and Ph.D. in Geology from Stanford University, and is a California Licensed Professional Geologist (PG).  Dr. Nielson worked 18 years for the U.S. Geological Survey as a field and research geologist, and taught undergraduate geology courses at Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; California State University, Hayward; and Pomona College, Claremont CA. After retiring from USGS, she moved to Sonoma County in 1999, and in 2003 was a co-founder of the Sebastopol Water Information Group and the Sonoma County Water Coalition. She also serves on the board of directors for Sonoma County Conservation Action and the O.W.L. (Open-Space, Water, and Land Conservation) Foundation. She is co-author of The American West at Risk: Science, Myths, and Politics of Land Abuse and Recovery, published by Oxford University Press in 2008.

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Also on tap, coming up . . . Stay tuned for details!

  • Winter Flash Kayaking opportunities (make sure you're on our E-News list!)
  • Dia del Nino Open House, April 29
  • Delta Pond Rookery Walks, May 6
  • Laguna Trail Walk with Regional Parks and Laguna Foundation, May 13
  • Animal Sign and Bird Language of the Laguna, field trip with Marley Peifer, June 3
  • Nina Antze colored pencil drawing workshop, June 30
  • Dragonflies workshop with Kevin Munroe, July 8
  • Vernal Pool presentation with Sarah Gordon, September 27
  • Nina Antze colored pencil drawing workshop, September 29
  • Behind the Scenes Restoration walks with Laguna Foundation stafff
  • Nature Journaling classes
  • Wildlife Watching Evenings at the Laguna Environmental Center
  • Laguna for Little Ones, playscape fun for moms and toddlers
  • Talks about climate adaptation, botany, anthropology, reptiles, arachnids, bats, and butterflies
  • And much, much more!!!

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

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CANCELLATION POLICY: If you are registered for an event and need to cancel, please notify us as soon as possible. Cancellations received more than 30 days in advance of the event date will receive a refund minus a $10.00 processing fee. Cancellations made between 30-7 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 administrative costs and significant processing fees associated with online registration services such as Eventbrite. Thank you for your understanding and for your interest and support of our programs!

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