A tale of two Tolays
Photo by Christopher Chung/Press Democrat.
On March 2, after nearly 10 years of creek restoration, habitat enhancement, and wildflower and raptor hikes, we donated our 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch to Sonoma County Regional Parks, doubling the size of Tolay Lake Regional Park and making it the largest park in the county system! Located seven miles southeast of Petaluma, Tolay Creek Ranch provides wildlife connectivity and links Tolay Lake Park with other protected areas down to the bay. For thousands of years, native Californians came to the Tolays for physical and spiritual healing — and when the larger park opens to the public later this year, the two Tolays, now one, will continue to be treasured by current and future generations. Watch this magical story about the Land Trust’s gift of Tolay Creek Ranch on NBC Bay Area’s OpenRoad with Doug McConnell and read about it in the Press Democrat.
For more information, read the press release
Wine Country Weekend grant helps protect redwoods
Photo by Scott Hess Photography.
We are pleased to announce that we have received an award of $10,000 from the 2017 Sonoma Wine Country Weekend Community Grants Program. These funds will be used as a match to help purchase a 40-acre Santa Rosa Creek Redwoods property. We are working with the landowners and other partners to purchase this property to add to Hood Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve. Thank you to Wine Country Weekend for their investment in protecting Sonoma County’s environment! This grant will help protect the last stand of native redwood trees in the upper Santa Rosa Creek watershed and high-quality spawning habitat for an endangered steelhead fishery, and will also help buffer the County’s largest wilderness park from nearby rural-residential development.
Sharing what we’ve learned and learning from others
Each spring, staff and board members from land trusts throughout the state gather for the California Council of Land Trust’s annual conservation conference. This year’s event featured elected officials and agency leaders, conservation experts, and land trust staff sharing their experiences acquiring and stewarding their special landscapes. SLT staff played a big role at this year’s conference in Sacramento. Sonoma Valley program manager Tony Nelson presented on the wildlife corridor and our conservation partnerships, outings manager Ingrid Spetz demonstrated how to put together a meaningful and enjoyable outings program, conservation easement program manager Crystal Simons shared how an easement is letting us restore Tolay Creek on private lands, and land acquisition program manager Ann Johnston served on a panel explaining how the Land Trust Alliance has updated the land trust community’s Standards and Practices. Thanks to all for an informative and inspiring few days!
Join us at the Film Festival!
This year, Sonoma Land Trust is a proud sponsor of the Sonoma International Film Festival. The festival, now in its 20th year, will feature more than 90 films, including documentaries, independent feature films, short films and world cinema shown at intimate locations within walking distance of Sonoma Plaza. Kimberly Hughes, a longtime Evergreen Circle donor to your land trust and a film festival board member, thought our short film Celebrating 40 Years of Land Protection would be a great screening companion to the environmental documentary NORMAL IS OVER. Catch this special short on March 30 at 8pm in the Taiwan Tourism Bureau Theatre or on April 2 at 5pm in Hall Two of the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Building. We’ll see you there!
More information and festival schedule
We asked, you responded!
To date, more than 20 members have responded to our recent mailing asking whether Sonoma Land Trust is part of their estate plans! We are pleased to welcome these supporters to our Legacy League, a donor recognition circle for those who wish land preservation to be part of their lasting legacy. Click here to let donor relations director Reta Lockert know if SLT is part of your estate plans or if you would like more information. Planned gifts come in a variety of forms and are easy to set up, including listing your land trust as a beneficiary of a will or trust, IRA, pension, charitable remainder trust or life insurance policy. We would love an opportunity to personally thank you and let you know it’s an honor to work with you to protect the land … forever.
Spring wildflowers are here!
Join botanist Peter Warner on March 23 for a presentation on our local wildflower families. Follow it up with a walk at Sears Point on April 2, where an abundance of yellow violets, pink mallows and purple lupines will be blanketing the hillsides.
See all of our spring outings
Note that SLT members have access to special “members-only” events and receive priority registration for all outings. Click here to check out our membership benefits and become a member today.
SE Greenway Meeting
March 28, 4pm
The City Council and Planning Commission will make important decisions on the fate of the Santa Rosa Southeast Greenway and provide feedback on the proposed land use alternative at this meeting. It is open to the public — please join us and other Greenway partners and supporters in City Council Chambers. The plan will be available on the City’s website on March 24 to review beforehand.
More info here
Register for the forest conference
Tickets are going fast for the North Coast Forest Conservation Conference
June 7–9! Early bird registration runs until April 1 — act now to reserve your spot at the conference, on the field trips, and at the dinner featuring popular speaker Kat Anderson, author of Tending the Wild.
Reserve your spot
Read staffer Crystal Simons’ touching gem of a post on our Mountains + Molehills blog in which she draws parallels between raising her own child and stewarding our conservation easements.
Read it here
This weekend is the
Artisan Cheese Festival!
Come to the Marketplace on Sunday afternoon and find our booth — we'll be giving all SLT members who come by a fancy new Land Trust pen! Or attend any of the other exciting seminars, demos, food events and field trips. This is a world-class event in Petaluma highlighting our agricultural heritage — and it's delicious, too!