. Banner Image by Gary Hundt

Community Education
Walks, Talks & Classes


The Laguna Foundation is proud to collaborate with local biologists, artists, educators, naturalists, and partner organizations to offer a wide range of natural and cultural history online programs, presentations, and outings all year long. Whether youd like to learn a new skill, enjoy the beautiful Laguna scenery, or attend a fun event with your family, the Laguna Foundation has a variety of offerings to deepen your appreciation for the Laguna de Santa Rosa, connect with nature, and inspire a vibrant community dedicated to lifelong learning.

Please note that all in-person outings follow current Sonoma County health orders and guidelines for group activities to keep everyone safe during COVID-19. Heavy smoke, excessive heat or heavy rain cancels in-person programs. Lastly, please let us know in advance if you can no longer attend an outing so we can offer a spot to someone on the waitlist.

Select webinar recordings can be found on our Educational Resources page or on our YouTube channel.


Photo by Angela Laws/Xerces Society

Our Wild Watershed: Monarch Butterflies
Protecting Monarchs and Other Pollinators in Your Community
Zoom Presentation with Angela Laws, Xerces Society
Wednesday, October 20. 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm.
FREE (Suggested donation $5$15). Pre-registration required.

Learn about the basic biology and conservation status of pollinators, with an emphasis on Western monarch butterflies. Iconic for their awe-inspiring migration pattern up and down North America, Western monarch butterflies have declined an astonishing 99.9% since the 1980's. Angela Laws, Endangered Species Conservation Biologist with the Xerces Society, will discuss the reasons that pollinators like monarchs are declining and highlight the many actions we can each take to protect monarchs and other pollinators in our communities. 

Angela Laws, Ph.D., is the Endangered Species Conservation Biologist and Climate Change Lead for the Xerces Society. Based in Sacramento, CA, Angela is working on habitat restoration for pollinators and monarch butterflies in the Central Valley.  Her role at The Xerces Society also involves incorporating climate resiliency into pollinator restoration projects. Angela has over 20 years of experience studying arthropods in grassland habitats, including studies of how climate change can affect species interactions. She received a M.S. in Ecology from Utah State University, and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Notre Dame.

Presented in Partnership with

Hoot n Howl: Night Critters of the Laguna
Family Fun Event with Christine Fontaine
Saturday, October 30. 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm.
FREE. This event is full. Please join the waitlist.

Location: Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Bats, owls, and spiders, oh my! Celebrate all things nocturnal with this Halloween-themed exploration at the Laguna Environmental Center. We will keep our ears open for hoots, visit an owl pellet dissection station, and use a black light to discover nocturnal insects and arachnids that live at the Laguna. Our celebration finale will be watching our local bats leave the Hop Barn for their nightly hunting. They simultaneously depart from their bat boxes as a group most nights during the fall to catch insects after sunset in a phenomenon called a “fly out”. We can’t wait to introduce you and your family to the evening wonders of the Laguna!

Please Note: This outdoor event is fun for all ages but is geared toward families with young children. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.

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Photo by Steve Gibbs

Presented in Partnership with


Sonoma County Greenbelts: Climate Resilience in Your Backyard
Panel Discussion Webinar with Laguna Foundation, Greenbelt Alliance, and Ag + Open Space
Wednesday, November 3. 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.
FREE. Pre-registration required.

Join this webinar to learn from local leaders and experts on the role of greenbelts in increasing climate resilience in Sonoma County.

What is a “greenbelt” and where are they in Sonoma County? Why are they important to the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed? Join us at the intersection of policy, land protection and people for an engaging panel discussion with three local environmental and conservation organizations. Learn from local leaders and experts on the role of greenbelts in increasing climate resilience in Sonoma County, upcoming legislation protecting these important landscapes, and plans for current and future management of the protected lands you know and love.

About the Panelists

Sarah Cardona is the Deputy Director at Greenbelt Alliance. Sarah leads climate policy and advocacy initiatives, drawing from her prior experiences planning and implementing mitigation and adaptation solutions at international, regional, and local levels. Previously, Sarah managed regional environmental planning efforts in stormwater management, climate resilience, and natural asset management for the Metropolitan Planning Council based in Chicago. She fostered innovative solutions, regional collaboration, and equitable local community engagement, approaches she is passionate to apply in advancing climate-smart development and resiliency across the Bay Area.

Sheri Emerson serves as the Stewardship Manager for the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space). She currently oversees the stewardship of over 122,000 acres of land protected by Ag + Open Space to permanently preserve productive agricultural land, healthy watersheds, functional ecosystems and biodiversity, scenic landscapes and greenbelts, and to provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities for Sonoma County residents and visitors. Ms. Emerson earned her undergraduate degree in Biology from Sonoma State University, and her Master’s degree in Botany from the University of Maine. She is certified as a Professional Wetland Scientist by the International Society of Wetland Scientists, with professional experience in the ecology and restoration of freshwater, estuarine, and marine wetland ecosystems.

Anne Morkill is the Executive Director of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation. She has worked in wildlife conservation for more than three decades, including 24 years as a wildlife biologist and refuge manager with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System in Colorado, Alaska, Florida, and California, and six years as a wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska. She was most recently the manager of the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex which includes seven National Wildlife Refuges in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas and the Farallon Islands. She received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and a M.S. in Zoology from the University of Wyoming. Anne became the Laguna Foundation’s Executive Director in March of 2020.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of  Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax. 

Photo by Jerry Dodrill

Presented in Partnership with

Laguna Stewards at Irwin Creek Stewardship Day with Ag + Open Space
Saturday, November 13. 9:00 am – 12:30 am.
FREE. Pre-registration required.

Location: Park at the Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Rd

Build community and learn about plants and wildlife during our hands-on stewardship day out at Irwin Creek! This special restoration site is an important wildlife corridor down to the Laguna in the Santa Rosa Plain. In recent history, the project area was heavily cultivated and was almost completely devoid of native trees and shrubs. After a couple of phases of habitat restoration work, Irwin Creek now has a young forest of native riparian trees, a more diverse understory, and plenty of shrubs to provide habitat for wildlife. Join us to continue our ongoing stewardship and maintenance tasks, learn about the site history, and practice your plant identification skills!

PLEASE NOTE: Minors must be accompanied by an adult. No experience is necessary; tools and training are provided. We will be walking about three quarters of a mile off-trail on flat but uneven ground to the project site. Please let us know in advance if you can no longer attend so we can offer a spot to someone on the waitlist. Heavy smoke or rain cancels.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of  Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax. 

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Our Wild Watershed: Beavers
Zoom Presentation with the Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman
Wednesday, December 1. 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm.
FREE (Suggested donation $5$15). Pre-registration required.

We have a lot to learn from beavers. These important, uncommon animals are ecosystem engineers, keystone species that improve the lives of other wildlife, and they can be pivotal in California land management. Join us to discover how beavers could help both urban and rural communities across California restore watersheds, recover endangered species, and increase climate change resiliency. Kate Lundquist and Brock Dolman of the “Bring Back the Beaver” campaign will share recent findings in their research evaluating the historic range of beaver in California and how you can contribute to the Bring Back the Beaver campaign.

Kate Lundquist co-directs the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s WATER Institute and the Bring Back the Beaver Campaign in Sonoma County, California. Kate is a conservationist, educator, ecological artist and wildland tender. She collaborates with landowners, communities, conservation organizations and resource agencies to uncover obstacles, identify strategic solutions, and generate restoration recommendations to assure healthy watersheds, water security, listed species recovery and climate change resiliency. In addition to providing species management consultations, Kate gives presentations across the west on the importance of beaver stewardship to watershed restoration.

Brock Dolman is a co-founder of the Sonoma County based Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, where he co-directs with Kate Lundquist the WATER Institute’s Bring Back the Beaver Campaign. He is a wildlife biologist and watershed ecologist who has been actively promoting the idea of Rewilding Beaver in California since the early 2000’s. He was given Salmonid Restoration Federation’s coveted Golden Pipe Award in 2012 for his leading role as a proponent of "working with beavers" to restore native salmon habitat.


Presented in Partnership with

Watershed Perspectives: The Unseen Biodiversity of Alpha Farm
Guided Walk with Denise Cadman
Saturday, December 4. 9:00 am – 11:30 am.
This event is FULL.

Location: Alpha Farm, 3000 Llano Road in Santa Rosa, CA

Discover a rarely-visited wildlife area along the banks of the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Did you know that Alpha Farm, a City of Santa Rosa working farm, also has a 100-acre natural area along the main channel of the Laguna? A restoration effort to increase Laguna riparian biodiversity, Alpha Farm hosts wildlife and wonders not often seen by the public. And, there’s no better guide than longtime steward and expert naturalist Denise Cadman to tell the stories and nature notes of this landscape during California Biodiversity Week. Bring your coffee or tea and enjoy a morning outdoors together learning and experiencing nature.

Denise Cadman has been an environmental steward of the Laguna for more than 25 years. She grew up in the wilds of Rincon Valley and earned her BA, secondary teaching credential, and Master of Arts degree in biology from Sonoma State University. She works as an Environmental Specialist for Santa Rosa, focused on creek stewardship, environmental education, and resource management. Additionally, she teaches at Santa Rosa Junior College as an adjunct faculty member in the Life Science Department. Denise has been integral to teaching and inspiring a love of the Laguna through the Laguna Foundation's docent training program since its inception in 1998. Denise attributes her career in natural resource management to a love of birds.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of  Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax. 

Cordage-Making Materials and Techniques
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, December 11. 9:30 am – 3:30 pm.
$100. Pre-registration required.

Spend a day working with your hands and learning one of the fundamental skills in basketry and other fiber arts in the peaceful setting at the Laguna Environmental Center. String and rope are made from various parts of many native and non-native plants, taking on distinctive appearances, fragrances and strengths. 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!

Please note: This workshop is suitable for adults and teenagers. This workshop will follow all current Sonoma County COVID-19 safety guidelines; unvaccinated participants must wear a mask. All cordage-making materials are included in the registration fee. Participants should bring a small water bowl, pocket knife and scissors. Please bring snacks and a lunch to be eaten outside the Hall if desired. Hot water, coffee, and tea will be provided.

Charlie Kennard of San Anselmo is a long-time basket weaver and student of California Indian and other traditional basketry techniques. He has taught for the Point Reyes Field Institute, East Bay Regional Parks Botanic Garden, the Laguna Center in Santa Rosa and in many schools and at teacher trainings. Tule boats made in his workshops can be seen at the Bay Model in Sausalito, Lake County Museum, and another is in the collection of the Oakland Museum. You can also visit a basketry plant garden Charlie 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.

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For more information, contact Christine Fontaine, Director of Education
(707) 527-9277 xt. 102 or by email at Christine@LagunaFoundation.org.

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