Strategic Plan 2023–2028
EDUCATING TO ADVANCE CONSERVATION
A well-informed community is better prepared to identify and support the solutions that can address the challenges from a changing climate. Education about natural systems and conservation is beneficial to all members of our community and vital to how we make decisions that shape our future together. Empowering and educating people across all ages and demographics will help to bring an array of voices that reflect the diverse needs, talents, backgrounds, and beliefs of all residents.
Historically, the conservation movement has excluded the voices of many of the communities it claims to protect. Sonoma Land Trust is working to overcome the cultural, geographic, and economic barriers experienced by communities given marginalized identities. Barriers to access and education will require understanding the community’s perspectives and needs around conservation, and a strategy to address them.
We are deepening our mission to reflect the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the communities we serve to better include their voices, understand their needs, and ensure equitable access and distribution of nature’s benefits. By developing authentic relationships, listening with humility, and co-creating inclusive educational programming for children, teens, families, and adults, we are building a diverse and equitable community that is informed and can advocate with intention to foster conservation in Sonoma County.
Build an inclusive community, encompassing all of Sonoma County’s diverse populations, that is conservation-minded, allied with nature, and has opportunities to act for climate resilience.
Why this matters
Land conservation movements have historically been exclusive of indigenous and other communities of color, focusing only on a small segment of the community with financial assets and land resources. We believe that all people care about nature, but too many lack equitable access to quality environmental information and the opportunity to develop a relationship with their natural surroundings. To sustain land and biodiversity conservation efforts and create climate resiliency in the long term, all community members must be engaged with this effort. This begins with education, opportunity, and access to nature.
Through our nature-based programs, we aim to increase equitable access to natural spaces, environmental information, and opportunities for engagement with projects that reflect and advance nature conservation efforts in Sonoma County.
What We’ll Do
Provide equitable access to nature
We will provide in-person and virtual programming that incorporates culturally relevant and inclusive principles and practices for a diverse range of audiences while introducing them to outdoor spaces, nature, and conservation concepts. We will reach a wide variety of people through offering walks and hikes of various lengths and difficulties for community groups, families, young adults, and the general public in Spanish and English. In addition, we offer transportation in our passenger van to our outings for anyone who can benefit from this service.
Educate the next generation of stewards
We will work to educate and inspire a new generation of nature’s allies by developing and sharing environmental and conservation information through equity-based educational programming, producing English/Spanish bilingual materials, and developing channels of communication that reach diverse communities including participation in public events. We offer science interpretation and education opportunities through school field trips, summer nature camp, a research-based teen program, college internships, public webinars, and bilingual outreach. We provide additional financial stipends or scholarships for many of our equity-based program participants to reduce barriers to entry and participation.
Support community voices to promote action
We will identify and promote opportunities to build an understanding of nature conservation science and practices for all members of our community. Collaborating with community organizing groups to promote activities, including equitable park development projects and nature-based volunteer and internship opportunities offer real ways to be involved and engaged. These programs will include promoting equitable community engagement for the Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway park planning, and providing volunteer opportunities and internships for outings, outreach, advocacy, stewardship, events, and general operational support.