Soaring to New Heights
Thanks to You!
What a fantastic evening we had at our Taking Flight benefit on April 18th! Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed, we gathered at the Wild Oak Saddle Club for an unforgettable night among friends.

Thanks to the incredible generosity of both our long-time supporters and many new faces, we soared to new heights and raised an astounding $185,000 in critical funding. This incredible support is going to propel us forward in our mission of restoring and conserving the Laguna, all while igniting public appreciation for this Wetland of International Importance.

A special thanks to our guest speakers Vic Trione and Grant Davis, who each inspired our guests to join in the spirit of giving, alongside auctioneer extraordinaire, Kenn Cunningham.
Funds raised will support our collaborative efforts alongside partners around the watershed to re-create hundreds of acres of lost habitats for preserving biodiversity, improving water quality, and adapting to a changing climate. These funds will also contribute to expanding our education programs for thousands of children and people of all ages, fostering a sense of place, and teaching life-enriching skills to ensure a healthy environment today and tomorrow.

On behalf of the Laguna Board of Directors and Staff, THANK YOU for your support!
Together, we will realize our vision of a resilient, vibrant Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed that supports both wildlife and people.

With Gratitude to our 2024 Sponsors, Food and Beverage Partners, and Auction Contributors:
Steward Sponsor

Sailing Sponsors
Friends of the Laguna
Andy Werback
Arthur & Jan Hayssen
Clayton Creager & Linda-Marie Koza
Franny & Glenn Minirvini-Zick
Spring's Abundance - A Testament to Vernal Pool Conservation
Spring is the busiest time of the year in vernal pools. The wildflowers are blooming in profusion, and our field staff is bustling around, conducting surveys and collecting data on the abundance and distribution of endangered plants that we can only record during this time of year. The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s vernal pool flower monitoring program started in 2007 and is still going strong! This year, for the first time ever, we added surveys for endangered California Tiger Salamander. It’s a lot more effort to run a net through a vernal pool to capture fast swimming larvae than it is to count stationary plants. We netted (and quickly returned to the water) dozens and dozens of the endangered salamander, and found Pacific Chorus Frog tadpoles, clam shrimp, aquatic snails, and dragonfly larvae. This fun day was in collaboration with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Spring is also the season when we can observe, learn from, and enjoy the results of all our hard work that happens during the rest of the year when the pools are dormant. The two previous drought years were tough on vernal pool life, but last spring was a recovery year, and this spring is looking like a “celebration of abundance” year for both plants and animals in vernal pools. Look no further than along the Laguna de Santa Rosa Regional Trail in Sebastopol, our longest running vernal pool restoration and stewardship project, where we just observed a bumper crop of the endangered Sebastopol meadowfoam! Our field team has estimated over 500,000 plants this year, and what's truly remarkable is that almost all of them are the great-great-great-grandchildren of the seeds we nurtured in our nursery and planted back in the fall of 2019. This now thriving population was only 50 plants in 2017 - conservation pays off!
Adventure Seekers Wanted:
Now Hiring Camp Counselors and Naturalists
We are looking for dynamic teens, aspiring environmental educators, and energetic naturalists who want to be outside this summer and help kids ages 6 to 12 learn about the plants and animals of the Laguna de Santa Rosa ecosystem. The Camp Tule leadership team fosters a positive, vibrant camp culture, leads nature investigations, and brings out the creative, playful, curious explorer in each camper, all the while building their own leadership and teaching skills.

Our summer day camp is made great because of the spirt of the campers, and the skill and expertise of the camp naturalists, counselors and counselors-in-training. If you know a responsible, energetic teen or young adult who loves nature and kids, please send them our way!

Click here for more information about the paid Naturalist and Counselor jobs and volunteer Counselor-in-Training opportunities at Camp Tule this summer.
Create a Legacy for the Laguna:
Meaningful Impact through Planned Giving
Join us today by becoming a member of the Laguna Legacy Society, and be a part of the vision to ensure that the Laguna de Santa Rosa and all its inhabitants will thrive.
The Laguna de Santa Rosa is a natural legacy for the generations, one that comes with a responsibility to care for, and steward this unique ecosystem forever. For the Laguna to be a healthy, essential resource, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation must also thrive and be sustainable for decades to come. Your bequest or planned gift will help ensure the Laguna Foundation's longevity for this ongoing work to protect, restore, and learn from the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and to educate the public about the Laguna and its important place in our community's future.
By joining our Laguna Legacy Society, you will provide lasting support for the work of the Laguna Foundation and its mission to safeguard the Laguna. Through this simple and effective method, you can commit a future gift - directed for general or specific purposes - and make a lasting difference.
Your bequest or planned gift will include a dignified attribution as an honored member of the Laguna Legacy Society in our annual Impact Report and website. We are also planning to offer special gatherings and exclusive outings for our honored members in the near future. For questions and information about our planned giving program, and other means of supporting the work of the Foundation and ensuring a healthy Laguna, please contact Sierra Castillo.
Blossoms in Wonderland -
A Joyful Return to the Apple Blossom Parade
We were excited to participate in Sebastopol's 78th Annual Apple Blossom Parade with a vibrant float symbolizing community unity and environmental stewardship! Local farmer-florists from Full Bloom Flower Farm, Jenniflora, and Mandalion Designs, joined our Development and Communications Manager, Sierra Castillo, in decorating the Foundation's electric truck "Sparky" in bumper-to-bumper blooms from our native plant demonstration garden, with additional flowers donated from staff gardens, Longer Table Farm, and Sidekick Flowers. Our eco-friendly float was almost entirely compostable and even featured a taxidermy pair of Mallard ducks and a barn owl.
Adding to the excitement was live music by the Ryan Woodard Band, renowned for their eclectic mix of music genres and original songs. Led by the exceptionally talented 17-year-old guitarist and vocalist Ryan Woodard, the band entertained the crowd with their energetic performance. Accompanied by skilled musicians, including Ryan's Uncle Chris Bradley, Conor Manning, and J Stewart, the band's contribution elevated our parade experience, leaving a lasting impression on spectators.
Amidst the festivities, we also distributed native plant seed packets for pollinators, composed of species in our own nursery, and custom stickers to promote our conservation efforts. Local artist Molly Eckler's creative contributions, including a beautiful banner and the stickers, added an extra touch of charm to our float. Grateful for the support and recognition, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation celebrated our return to the Apple Blossom Parade, earning accolades including 2nd Place in the non-profit category, and cherishing the spirit of community that made it all possible.
Growing Pathogen-Free Plants for Restoration with AIR Certification
The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s native plant nursery provides locally sourced native plants for restoration projects that are certified “clean!" We do this by growing the plants under the guidelines of the Accreditation to Improve Restoration (AIR) program. Our partnership with the California Native Plant Society’s Milo Baker chapter has been crucial in obtaining this clean nursery certification. All of our plants are grown in pasteurized media and pots on benches at least 3 feet off the ground, using clean tools and hands.

We recently had two plant pathologists come to our native plant nursery to inspect our plants and clean growing practices to recertify the nursery under the AIR program. After they reviewed our best management practices, the inspectors tested 10 batches of our plants and determined that they were all free of Phytophthora species. Phythophthora are extremely harmful plant pathogens that have led to catastrophic agricultural and ecological disasters. The AIR program is voluntary and requires recertification every two years.

Growing native plants using clean practices is a labor of love. Knowing that we’ve done all we can to provide pathogen-free plants for restoration projects makes it all worthwhile. We are proud to be one of the only native plant nurseries in Sonoma County to be certified by the AIR program. Start clean, end clean!
Eco-Friendly Garden Tour
Open House & Native Plant Sale   
Saturday, May 18, 2023 10am-4pm
*Plant Sale from 10am-12pm
The Eco-Friendly Garden Tour is FREE, but pre-registration is required.

Don’t miss the 14th annual Eco-Friendly Garden Tour! This self-guided tour, hosted by the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership, focuses on low water use, sustainable landscaping at 26 inspirational gardens throughout Sonoma and Marin counties, including the personal gardens of local landscape designers, architects, and garden enthusiasts. If you are interested in landscaping your yard like the pros, or simply looking for fresh ideas for future landscaping projects, the garden tour is the perfect event for you!

Stop by the Laguna Environmental Center to check out our 2-acre native plant demonstration garden and our joint native plant sale with the California Native Plant Society Milo Baker Chapter! Shop for spring additions to your garden from our shared nursery, then join us in the demonstration garden at 11:00am or 1:00pm for a guided walk about planting and maintaining a native plant garden. It will also be a great opportunity to see the new exhibit, The Last Coho in Heron Hall by photographer Kaare Iverson.

Please note the following: The gate will open promptly at 10:00am, so please do not come early or block the gate. No dogs are allowed onsite and we do not allow animals to be left in vehicles, as shady parking spots are not available. If you buy plants, please bring your own box to take them home with you. Thank you!
Get Ready for Summer Camp!
Camp Tule registration is still open! Reserve your spot now so your child can enjoy a week full of fun explorations, science learning, creative expression, nature play, and a joyful community for children (and camp staff)!
Session 1-3 are now Full! Join the waitlist here.
Session 4: July 22-26 (ages 6-9) Register today!
Each camp session runs Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Cost is $350.00. To welcome all families, payment plans, tuition assistance, sibling and military discounts are all accessible within the online registration system.
We can’t wait to see your campers!
Connecting Community to the Land
with Stewardship Days
Once a month, from September through May, we steward the land throughout the Laguna’s 254 square mile watershed with community members like you. Our Laguna Stewardship Days are opportunities for the community to connect with the land by taking care of it. These volunteer days are made possible by support received from Sonoma Ag + Open Space and the State Coastal Conservancy Prop 68.

This past year, we stewarded the vernal pools at Earle Baum Center of the Blind and the Laguna de Santa Rosa Regional Trail. We also planted native plants, such as milkweed, yarrow, and purple needle grass at various locations, including: Laguna's Uplands Preserve, Tomodachi Park, Meadowlark Field in Sebastopol, and Paulin Creek Open Space Preserve in Santa Rosa.

The work of our volunteers is already helping wildlife. A few weeks ago, Monarch butterflies made their way to the milkweed plantings at the Laguna Uplands Preserve, and just a few weeks later, we counted more than 3 dozen caterpillars! This is the first time we have recorded this happening at the Laguna Uplands Preserve.
Thank you to our volunteers for helping us restore and conserve diverse habitats in our watershed. We've had some challenges with the weather this year, and we've been able to work around it. To show gratitude for all of the effort, we celebrated our volunteers with a party. Thank you, Mombo’s Pizza!

Keep an eye out for upcoming Laguna Stewardship Days in September!
Volunteer Spotlight:
Kelley Lamke, Laguna Guide
How did you get started volunteering at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation? 
Growing up in Sonoma County, I have known about the Laguna Foundation since I was a teenager. I had been wanting to volunteer for a while, but the timing just never worked out. When I saw the Laguna Guide training opportunity open last fall, the timing was perfect, so I reached out to volunteer.

What motivates you to give back to the community with the Laguna Foundation? 
The Laguna de Santa Rosa is such an important part of Sonoma County and a lot of people aren't aware of what it is, where it is, or why it's important. The Laguna Foundation provides amazing opportunities to learn more, and share about the Laguna de Santa Rosa and the incredible ecosystems in Sonoma County.

What’s your favorite thing about volunteering with the Laguna Foundation? 
I really enjoy all of the different opportunities there are to be involved with the community, from Stewardship Days, tabling events at festivals, and the art receptions at Great Blue Heron Hall, those are just a few examples.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering for the Laguna Foundation? 
Do it! Honestly, it's amazing. The training is great, both initial and ongoing, and getting to work with the Laguna Foundation staff and other volunteers, they are all such incredible and knowledgeable people. There are so many ways to be more involved with your community, while learning at the same time. I highly recommend it!
Community Education Events
The Last Coho: Presentation
Friday, May 17, 2024. 6pm-7:30pm
Sliding Scale. Register today.

Introduction to Native Bees with Kandis Gilmore
Saturday, May 25, 2024. 10am-3pm
Accessible Spring Birding
with I’m Birding Right Now
Sunday, May 26, 2024. 8:30am-11:30am
Free! Register here.
Visit our website for more events!
Visit Us!
The Laguna Environmental Center remains open by appointment. Visit the gallery and grounds during the weekdays by contacting Maggie Hart.