Watershed Restoration Day with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation

Watershed Restoration Day with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation

  • Tuesday, February 6, 8:00am – 2:00pm
  • $15, includes transportation from the conference hotel to the site and back, a simple lunch, water, and all necessary tools and equipment
  • Rain or shine, but heavy rain or mud may cancel the event
  • Participants should bring their own personal gear (boots, hat, rain gear, water bottle) and come prepared for a fun day in the field!
  • Space is limited to 20 participants

The field day will be an opportunity for Western Section professionals and Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation (Laguna Foundation) staff and volunteers to work together on a revegetation project in beautiful Sonoma County.  Professional biologists know that strong bonds between colleagues are built by sharing time in the field together.  This will be a great opportunity to learn about the Laguna Foundation’s on-the-ground restoration and contribute directly to important restoration efforts, all while sharing experiences with other professionals and volunteers.

Project Details: Founded in 1989, the Laguna Foundation is a place-based, non-profit organization focused on the Laguna de Santa Rosa (Laguna), a Wetland of International Importance. Their mission is to restore and conserve the Laguna, and to inspire public appreciation of this important ecosystem.

The Laguna is Sonoma County’s richest area of wildlife habitat and the most biologically diverse region of Sonoma County. The Laguna is a unique ecological system covering more than 30,000 acres and comprising a mosaic of creeks, open water, perennial marshes, seasonal wetlands, riparian forests, oak woodlands, and grasslands. The Laguna is an important stopover for thousands of birds migrating along the Pacific Flyway and is home to a wide variety of life: more than 200 species of birds, rare and endangered salmon, salamanders, mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, mink, badger, and river otter. In addition to the habitat it provides for wildlife, the Laguna is used for agricultural, recreational, and educational purposes. It serves as a natural holding basin during our wet season and as an overflow area for the Russian River during floods, slowing and capturing floodwaters and easing their impact on lower Russian River communities. As the receiving water of a watershed where most of the county’s human population lives, it is a landscape feature of critical importance to Sonoma County’s water quality, flood control, and biodiversity.

Since 2008, the Laguna Foundation, in partnership with City of Sebastopol, Open Space District, California State Parks, and California Wildlife Conservation Board have been working to restore Meadowlark Field, a 60-acre swath of the Laguna flood plain. Meadowlark Field was at one time an airfield, a wrecking yard, and a dumping ground for apple waste.  Now it is a wildlife preserve owned by the City of Sebastopol. The project is a continuation of efforts to restore this portion of the floodplain to oak woodland and riparian forest. Participants will join Laguna Foundation staff and volunteers in the removal of invasive species and in planting native plants for habitat restoration.