... to protect the land forever

Past On the Land Outings

Winter Outings 2017

Winter Bird Walks on San Pablo Bay
First and Third Saturdays, December through February
9:30—11AM
Each year, hundreds of thousands of birds migrate to the San Francisco Bay estuary and stay for the winter. These include many species of shorebirds, including the willit, greater yellowlegs, long-billed curlew, least sandpiper, western sandpiper and dunlin, which are commonly seen at Sears Point at this time of year. Join Sonoma Land Trust’s docent bird guides for a walk along the tidal marshlands to observe these and many other bird species who utilize this rich habitat with its abundance of food. Open to seasoned birders and newcomers alike!

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Winter Raptors Along the Bay

With Raptor Guide Larry Broderick

Skaggs Island Walk
March 5 (Sunday) 10AM—2PM
Join staff from the San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge and learn about the fascinating history of this former naval base, soon destined to be returned to marshland, as we explore the island in search of raptors.

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Restoring a Floodplain at Live Oaks Ranch in Knights Valley
With Stewardship Project Manager Trevor George
February 25 (Saturday) 1—4pm

Live Oaks Ranch contains the headwaters of Bidwell Creek, a tributary whose waters eventually reach the Russian River. Restoring upstream habitat keeps rivers and streams clean and healthy for the steelhead, salmon and other animals who depend upon their waters. Join Trevor George for an exploration of the creek and the floodplain, and of the riparian enhancement project currently underway.

Visit With a Mountain Lion
A Special Tour of Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Near Cotati
March 3 (Friday) 1—2:30pm or 3—4:30pm
One of Sonoma Land Trust’s big projects is keeping the wildlife corridor that extends from Marin to Lake Berryessa open and functioning. Join us for a special tour of Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue for an in-person look at a young mountain lion named Nicole and other species that inhabit the corridor, and observe the work they do to rehabilitate and release native wild animals back into local ecosystems.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

 

Kayaking
February 8 (Wednesday), 9AM—1PM
February 23 (Thursday), 9AM—1PM
One of the best ways to experience the new tidal wetlands at Sears Point is by kayak! Join us for a paddle around the 1,000-acre restoration site and observe the marsh creation in action. You must provide your own kayak for this outing.

Explore, Level 4
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Manzanita Blooms at Glen Oaks Ranch in Sonoma Valley
With Botanist Peter Warner
February 12 (Sunday) 1—4pm
The hillsides at Glen Oaks Ranch support an abundance of manzanitas, which bloom in many different shades of pink during the early part of the year. Join botanist Peter Warner for a walk to see and learn more about these beauties!

Sears Point Walk
February 11 (Saturday) 10—11:45AM or NOON—1:45PM
Celebrate the San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival and learn about the raptors and other birds inhabiting the area as we walk along the newly evolving tidal marsh.

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Raptor ID Slideshow
At the Sonoma Land Trust office
January 26 (Thursday) 7—9PM
Ever wish you could see those big birds just a little bit closer and in better light? Ever wonder how to identify the raptor you are seeing in the sky? Join Larry Broderick for this slideshow of over 100 photos and capture his expert tips before heading into the field.

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Tolay Creek Ranch Walk
January 29 (Sunday) 10AM—1:30PM
Meet our partners from Sonoma County Regional Parks as we explore together SLT’s recent 1,665-acre donation to Tolay Lake Regional Park while scouting for the resident golden eagles and other birds of prey in the sky.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Late Fall Outings 2016

Raptor Hike at Pole Mountain
A History of Winemaking at Glen Oaks Ranc
Raptors and Shorebirds at the Bayland
Autumn Tales at Tolay Creek Ranch


Raptor Hikes

Pole Mountain Raptor Hike
With Larry Broderick
November 20
Observe the skies, and the birds of prey flying in them, from high atop the mountain on this 6-mile roundtrip hike from our Little Black Mountain Preserve.

Level 4
Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Wildlife and Humanity at Glen Oaks Ranch

This series of activities is focused on our historically and naturally rich Glen Oaks Ranch. This preserve sits at the heart of a wildlife corridor pinchpoint. Join us in getting to know the land and its inhabitants as we track wildlife, harvest wild foods and journey into the past.

Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Winemaking in the Sonoma Valley — A History of Grape-growing, Innovative Women and Transformed Landscapes
November 12 (Saturday), 10am—1pm

Free and open to all
Join Arthur Dawson and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District to discover the rich history of wine grapes in Sonoma Valley and the women who became leaders of the industry. Also enjoy stories of the past while visiting the historic mansion and vineyard at Glen Oaks Ranch.
This outing is part of the Agricultural Heritage Series brought to you by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District in partnership with Sonoma Land Trust. The outing is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the Ag and Open Space District's work with a quarter-cent sales tax, and supporters of Sonoma Land Trust.

Level 1
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Lectures at the Ralph Benson Baylands Center

Deepen your knowledge of the bay with special hour-long presentations at the Ralph Benson Baylands Center. Afterwards, join in free docent-led tours of the newly restored tidal marsh.

Raptors and Shorebirds — They Love the Bay, Too!
With Larry Broderick
November 5 (Saturday), 9—10am
$10 members/$15 non-members
Hundreds of thousands of birds migrate through and live by the bay. Learn which birds are likely to be seen and discover how to spot them in the sky, on the water and on the landscape.

Level 1
Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Autumn Tales at Tolay Creek Ranch
With Arthur Dawson
November 13 (Sunday) 10am—2pm
Free
Abundant wildlife and views stretching from the Petaluma River to Mount Diablo make Tolay Creek Ranch an exceptional place. Equal to its natural beauty is Tolay’s rich human history, which spans at least 8,000 years. Join historical ecologist and storyteller Arthur Dawson for an autumn ramble across space and time. Well hear old stories about how the world began on top of Sonoma Mountain, catch a glimpse of Tolay as it was just before 19th-century settlement, and recount how that world ended and the one we know today began.

The 1665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch is owned by Sonoma Land Trust, with a conservation easement held by Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. It protects a habitat corridor which stretches from the foothills of Sonoma Mountain to the wetlands of San Pablo Bay. Tolay Creek Ranch includes two and a half miles of Tolay Creek, and will soon be added to the adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park.

This outing is provided by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space (District), and through a partnership among Sonoma Land Trust, the District, and Sonoma Ecology Center. There is no cost for this outing, thanks to the voters of Sonoma County who fund Sonoma County Agricultural and Open Space Districts work with a quarter cent sales tax.

Fall Outings 2016

Always in Transition — Ongoing Changes in the Baylands from the Ice Age to the Future
With Arthur Dawson
September 3 (Saturday), 9—10am
$10 members/$15 non-members
This event is over.
Join Arthur Dawson in tracing the story of the lands along the bay from prehistoric times to the future, looking at the human and natural forces that have been at work on the land over the past millennia, with a special focus on the farming period from 1890 to 1940.

Level 1
Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Adapting to Sea Level Rise in the Bay
With Roger Leventhal
October 1 (Saturday), 9—10am
$10 members/$15 non-members
Look into the future of the bayshore as climate change raises the level of the sea — and learn about adaptation strategies designed to meet the reality of that future.

Level 1
Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

Evoking a Creative Response to Nature — A Writing Adventure with Dave Seter
August 20
(Saturday), 4−6pm (Preserve open until 8pm)
$20 members/$35 non-members/kids free
This event is over.
Join writer Dave Seter in exploring the juncture of humans and landscape, nature and the built world. Taking inspiration from the creative work of John Muir, Mary Oliver and writers of the wild, we will learn techniques for making an impact with our words, spend time in the field observing nature and develop strategies for capturing our impressions on the page. Open to all ability levels.

Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Reading the Landscape — Wildlife Tracks and Signs in the Heart of a Wildlife Corridor
With Meghan Walla-Murphy
September 11
(Sunday), 9am—noon (Preserve open until 2pm)
$20 members/$35 non-members/kids free
This event is over.
The landscape can tell us so many things if we pause to learn its language. Join wildlife ecologist and tracker Meghan Walla-Murphy for a morning of developing pattern literacy and understanding the signs of nature, and leave with a sense of knowing your surroundings in a more intimate way.

Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Wild Edible Plants — Fall Feasts in the Forest with Tamara Wilder
October 9
(Sunday), 10am—12:30pm (Preserve open until 2pm)
$20 members/$35 non-members/kids free
Bay nuts, acorns, manzanita berries — the forest provides an abundance of wild foods. Explore the fall abundance with Tamara Wilder, and gain an introduction into how to harvest and process these gifts of nature.

40th Anniversary Field Trips

This fall, gain insight into some of the projects with which Sonoma Land Trust has been involved in the forests of northwest Sonoma County on these day-long catered and chauffeured field trips.
Members only. $60. Transportation and local, seasonal lunch provided.

The Benefits of Forest Management
Berry's Mill, Jenner Headlands, Coast Ridge Community Forest
September 10
(Saturday), 9am—6pm
This event is over.
The forested landscapes of Sonoma County have been shaped by logging, fire and other human activities that have evolved over the years. Join SLT's Amy Chesnut and Ariel Patashnik, Brook Edwards of The Wildlands Conservancy, the Berrys, and members of the Coast Ridge Community Forest to learn about the benefits of actively managing our forests for a healthy ecosystem, economy and community.

Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

The Spectrum of Forests — From Sustainable Harvests to Protecting Old-Growth
Redwood Empire Sawmill and Howlett Ranch
October 21
(Friday), 9am—6pm
Howlett Ranch spans 1,400 acres in northwest Sonoma County and contains one of the county’s last remaining stands of privately held, old-growth redwood forest. Join us for a visit to this jewel that Sonoma Land Trust and our partners are working to protect. We’ll start the day with a visit to Redwood Empire Sawmill to learn about locally-produced wood products. From there, on our way to Howlett Ranch, we’ll drive through Buckeye Forest (formerly known as Preservation Ranch), a 19,645-acre protected and managed forest.

Yoga in Nature Hike at Laufenburg Ranch
October 8 (Saturday), 2—6pm

Join viniyoga instructor Leslianne Lee and naturalist Bruce Hartsough for a nature walk and mindful yoga alongside Bidwell Creek in Knights Valley. Journey through the oak woodlands and integrate awareness of nature with awareness of the inner self. Beginners and up are welcome.

Summer Sunset Hikes

Enjoy the long summer days and join SLT staff for an evening stroll with amazing views!

Free to all


Sunset Hike at Live Oaks Ranch
Thursday, July 14th, 6—9pm
Enjoy the scenic vistas from the Mayacamas Mountains at our beautiful Live Oaks Ranch preserve. We will hike through oak woodlands and climb the ridgeline to take in the sunset over Knights Valley.

Explore, Level 3
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Some steep inclines and/or no trails.

Sunset Hike at Finley Creek Preserve at Ocean Song
Thursday, July 28th, 6—9pm
Join us for a lovely stroll along the coastal hills of west Sonoma County. We will enjoy the golden hour from a promontory above the Pacific and listen for the sounds of distant waves— which give Ocean Song its name.

Explore, Level 2
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Sunset Hike at Bohemia Ecological Preserve
Thursday, August 4th, 6—9pm

Spend a summer evening hiking with us to the "top of the world" at Bohemia Ecological Preserve. We will take in the stunning scenery as we watch the sun go down over the coastal hills.

40th Anniversary Field Trips!

To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we will be offering special trips each season spanning the breadth of our work from some of our earliest projects to some of our biggest hallmark properties. Meet the people behind the conservation and visit natural places not often seen!

Members only. $60/trip. Transportation and local, seasonal lunch provided.

Santa Rosa Plain: SE Greenway, Laguna de Santa Rosa, Pitkin Marsh
Featuring Wendy Eliot, Gene Cooley, Jon Sassin and Linda Proulx
June 11 (Saturday), 9am—5pm, Level 2
This field trip will take us through both ends of the spectrum of land conservation, from the embrace of human integration to the necessity for human exclusion. We will begin the day with a visit to Santa Rosa’s Southeast Greenway, a stretch of open land surrounded by an urbanized area, which will ultimately allow for unrestricted access and public use. Following that, we will take a rare visit to Pitkin Marsh, an area that is home to a small population of an endangered sedge that exists nowhere else on earth, and is such a sensitive, fragile habitat that humans are hardly ever allowed access. We will also visit an area of the Laguna de Santa Rosa that contains vernal pool habitat and is home to several plant species that exist nowhere else.

Glen Oaks Ranch Open Days

These open days are an opportunity to enjoy a park-like preserve with established hiking trails and picnic areas for visitors. Join in the nature activities, learn about Sonoma Valley’s Wildlife Corridor, enjoy local foods, or picnic and walk the trails on your own, in addition to enjoying our featured events of the day.

Bird Language with Jay Markert
June 12 (Sunday), 9am—2pm
Have you ever wondered what birds are saying as they make their various calls? Unveil the secret language of birds and learn to understand the world of nature beyond our sense of sight. Instruction will alternate with sitting and listening as we practice what we learn.

Discover, Level 3
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some steep inclines and/or no trails

A Geology Transect of Sonoma County with Glenn Melosh

Spend a weekend learning, seeing and building concepts about the dynamic geologic history that spans Sonoma County from the Pacific Plate all the way to our youngest volcanoes.

These members-only field trips are offered as a three-part package. The intro is a prerequisite but may also be taken on its own and is open to all. All are free.

Intro to the Geology of Sonoma County
June 2 (Thursday), 7—9pm
at the SLT office
This presentation will lay a foundation for understanding the features of our local geology.

Bodega Head — Shell Beach — Jenner Headlands
June 3 (Friday), 3—9pm, Level 3

Visit the granitics on the Pacific Plate, look at the variation in the Franciscan mélange and enjoy a sweeping view of the Sonoma Coast.

Bohemia Ecological Preserve
June 4 (Saturday), 10am—3pm, Level 4

Explore an area of the conservation region known as the Occidental Serpentines as we set off on foot for an up-close look at the serpentinite rocks, the Sargent Cypress trees and a view across the landscape.

Live Oaks Ranch
June 5 (Sunday), 10am—2pm, Level 4

Discover the layers of rock that tell the story of volcanism on the eastern ridge of the county in the foothills of Mount St. Helena.

Spring 2016

Wildflowers

Jenner Headlands Preserve: Coastal Prairie Wildflowers
May 22 (Sunday), 10am—3pm

Free
Join Sonoma Land Trust staff for a 4.5-mile hike through the coastal prairie at the Jenner Headlands Preserve. Enjoy sweeping coastal views as we traverse the hillside on our way to the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow, where we will picnic amidst the vast carpets of miniature serpentine wildflowers.

Explore, Level 4
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.

Farms

Watson Ranch (Valley View Farm), Singing Frogs Farm, Redwood Hill Farm
Featuring Amy Chesnut, Chris and Eugene Camozzi, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser, and Jennifer Bice
May 14 (Saturday), 9am—5pm, Level 2
Spend a day learning about Sonoma County’s agricultural heritage, what it takes to be a farmer in this day and age, and what we need to do to preserve local agriculture into the future. We’ll begin with a visit to Watson Ranch, the oldest agricultural conservation easement in Sonoma County, dating back to 1979, currently a working organic dairy called Valley View Farm; continue with a visit to Singing Frogs Farm, a successful biodiverse vegetable farm; followed by a tour of Jennifer Bice’s locally-renowned Redwood Hill Farm goat dairy during baby goat season.

Glen Oaks Ranch Open Days

Take It Outside, California! Dia del Niño
April 30 (Saturday), 10am—4pm
Free
Enjoy a day of family nature exploration with hands-on activities, presentations from the Sonoma Resource Conservation District, guided nature walks and more! Offered in conjunction with the California Council of Land Trusts (CCLT) and the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC).

Strawberry Feasts with Slow Food
May 21 (Saturday), 2—7pm
$20 non-members/$15 members/$5 kids
There are 100+ varietals of strawberries, but only a few are commercially available. Slow Food Russian River aims to preserve the biodiversity of foodstuffs and to support local farmers. Taste the difference between a number of lesser known, locally grown varietals and enjoy Sonoma County beverages and delicious strawberry treats, while learning about the what? and how? of strawberries while relaxing at beautiful Glen Oaks Ranch.

Spring Flowers and Sumptuous Food with Peter Warner

Walk amidst the wildflowers with botanist Peter Warner and take the time to appreciate the intricacies of these plants that blanket our spring hillsides in color. Enjoy spectacular views while partaking of a delicious, locally-sourced picnic lunch provided by Earth’s Bounty Kitchen.
$35 non-members/$25 members. Lunch provided.

Little Black Mountain near Cazadero
April 23 (Saturday), 10am—3pm
The clear skies of spring present a spectacular time to get up to the higher elevations and look out across the landscape. Join botanist Peter Warner on a journey through a mixed conifer and hardwood forest, crossing a natural spring and some open meadows where spring wildflowers take advantage of the exposure to the sun. We will enjoy a delicious picnic lunch while gazing out across the landscape.

A Backcountry Adventure: Jenner Headlands
to Pole Mountain

With the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District and The Wildlands Conservancy
May 7 (Saturday), 8:30am—6:30pm, Level 8 (this means twice as hard as Level 4!)
Free
We invite you to join your friends at Sonoma Land Trust, The Wildlands Conservancy and your Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District in celebrating many decades of working together to preserve land and connect our community to the places in Sonoma County that we treasure. We couldn’t think of a better way to welcome spring, honor our partnerships and thank our community for supporting our vision, hard work and success. Join us to partake of the astounding beauty of the Jenner Headlands Preserve and the recently protected 238-acre Pole Mountain property and, together, let’s climb to one of the highest points in the region — Pole Mountain.

Your guides will provide historical context and discuss property features as they lead the epic 15-mile roundtrip hike from the Jenner Headlands, across the coastal prairie and up the ridge through the coastal woodlands to the flanks of Pole Mountain. Enjoy spectacular scenic vistas of the Sonoma Coast and the surrounding wild landscape. We’ll enjoy a BYO picnic lunch as we take in the beautiful sights and sounds from the very top of the Sonoma Coast Range.

Pole Mountain: Wildflowers and Views
April 17 (Sunday), 10am—4pm

Free
This strenuous, six-mile roundtrip hike begins at our Little Black Mountain Preserve and has a 1,000-foot elevation gain as we hike up the north side of the mountain along old ranch roads. We will enjoy the spring wildflowers on our way to a picnic lunch at the top of Pole Mountain, where we will bask in panoramic views from the Sonoma Coast’s highest peak.

Explore, Level 4
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.

Tolay Creek Ranch: Grazing and Serpentine Wildflowers
With Sonoma Resource Conservation District
April 10 (Sunday), 10am—2pm

Free
Walk with stewardship director Bob Neale and learn how cattle grazing is helping us manage and protect the 1,665-acre protected Tolay Creek Ranch, while gazing at the spectacular blooms of spring wildflowers endemic to the serpentine soils found here. Enjoy a BYO picnic lunch atop a stunning vista overlooking the Baylands and a vibrant wildflower extravaganza!

Part of the Agricultural Heritage Series brought to you by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District & the Sonoma Resource Conservation District in partnership with Sonoma Land Trust.

Discover, Level 3
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some steep inclines and/or no trails

 

Small Stuff at the Cedars: How Microorganisms Survive and Thrive in Serpentine Springs

by Nealson Lab
April 7 (Thursday), 7—9pm at SLT office
Free
The Cedars is a truly unique place, home to exciting geology and rare plants. It also hosts a number of specially adapted microbes that can survive the harsh conditions of the spring water bubbling up from the deep underground. These organisms have evolved to survive in the highly alkaline, highly reduced conditions of the springs at The Cedars and may even be influencing the geology found there. In this talk, we will describe what we know about these bacteria and what questions remain to be answered.

2016 Winter Outings

40th Anniversary Field Trips

To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we will be offering three special trips each season spanning the breadth of our work from some of our earliest projects to some of our biggest hallmark properties. Meet the people behind the conservation and visit natural places not often seen!

For members only. Cost: $60. Trips include transportation and meals.
Special package: $225 for all three trips in a season. Includes 40th Anniversary water bottle.

Sonoma Valley: SLT Origins and the Wildlife Corridor
Oak Hill Farm, Stuart Creek Run, Secret Pasture
February 20 (Saturday), 9am—4:30pm
Featuring Anne Teller, Tony Nelson, John McCaull and Jen Stanfield

We begin our 40th Anniversary field trip series with a visit to Oak Hill Farm, a Sonoma Land Trust conservation easement property owned by Anne Teller, widow of the late Otto Teller, one of the original founders of Sonoma Land Trust. We will learn about the wildlife corridor that runs through Sonoma Valley as we tour the area and visit SLT-owned Stuart Creek Run and Secret Pasture, one of SLT’s first properties, which was donated by Otto Teller in 1979.

Level 3
Some steep inclines and/or no trails

Mayacamas and Knights Valley: The County’s Rocky Eastern Edge
Nefertierra, Laufenburg Ranch, Live Oaks Ranch
March 5 (Saturday), 9am—4:30pm
Featuring Susan Manuel Smith, Bob Neale and Reta Lockert
$60

The second trip in our 40th Anniversary series begins with a visit to Nefertierra, SLT’s first conservation easement dating back to 1979. Susan Manuel Smith, who has lovingly cared for the land all these years, will show us around and introduce us to some of the 300 species of native plants she has identified. We will then continue on to Laufenburg Ranch and Live Oaks Ranch, properties that were bequeathed to SLT by Charlie Laufenburg in 1988 and Marie Rogers in 2010, respectively. Learn these properties’ histories, experience their beauty and be inspired by the foresight and generosity of these donors.

Level 3
Some steep inclines and/or no trails

Sonoma Mountain: An Ecological and Historical Exploration
Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation and others!
March 19 (Saturday), 1—7:30pm
Featuring Wendy Eliot, Tony Nelson, Jeff Wilcox and Arthur Dawson
$60

Sonoma Mountain has long been a conservation focus of Sonoma Land Trust. It serves as a vital connecting corridor for wildlife in the greater Marin Coast to Blue Ridge critical linkage. Hike around the Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation and enjoy panoramic views across the county as we learn about the area’s history and ecology, current management practices and wildlife discoveries, and future visions for ongoing conservation in the region.

Level 3
Some steep inclines and/or no trails

San Pablo Bay Ecology — A Presentation by Peter Baye
At the Sonoma Land Trust office
February 10 (Wednesday), 7—9pm

Free and open to all.
Longtime wetland ecologist Peter Baye will highlight the distinctive evolution of the wetlands in the Sears Point area, the restoration efforts underway and their future potential in relation to climate change in the 21st Century. Learn about the vegetation, geology, sea level rise and some of the latest scientific discoveries. This is an excellent opportunity to gain a comprehensive overview of the characteristics that make this area so vital to protect.

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails

SF Bay Flyway Festival:
Sears Point Tidal Marsh Open Day
February 21 (Sunday), 9am—2pm

Free and open to all.
Come walk along the newest section of the Bay Trail and meet fellow birders while observing the shorebirds and waterfowl in the newly created wetlands. Be sure to bring your binoculars and spotting scopes! Drop by any time between 9am to 2pm. Offered by Sonoma Land Trust and San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Explore, Level 2
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails

Winter Raptors by the Bay:
Walks With Larry Broderick

Come join raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick in the Baylands for a look at migratory and resident birds of prey. Possible “overwintering” raptors include ferruginous hawks, merlins, cooper’s hawks and sharp-shinned hawks. Resident birds we may see include red-tailed hawks, kestrels, harriers, kites, red-shouldered hawks and maybe even a golden eagle or two. Join us as we focus on where to look for raptors, what their habits are, how to know what you’re looking at and how to compare the characteristics of species.
Free and open to all.

February 13 (Saturday), 10am—1pm
Tolay Creek Ranch

Tolay Creek Ranch is home to a resident golden eagle, as well as several other raptor species. Take a walk with Larry Broderick along the creek and atop the hills for a glimpse of the bird species that are supported by the different habitat types. The 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch is a swath of grassland and creek habitats connecting the wetlands fringing San Pablo Bay to the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, and will soon be added to the adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

February 27 (Saturday), 10am—1pm
Skaggs Island

This area is rife with raptors, both resident and migratory. Join San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge staff member Melisa Amato and birder extraordinaire Larry Broderick for a raptor walk and tour of Skaggs Island. Learn about the history of the island along with plans to restore it to marsh as we scan the sky for the abundant displays of birds of prey above. We will drive to various locations on the 4,400-acre island, taking walks at scenic locations.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

March 12 (Saturday), 10am—1pm
Sears Point Uplands

Hike the hilly grasslands with long-time raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick as we search for resident and overwintering raptors and learn how to identify the different raptor species. If it is a clear day, we will also enjoy the panoramic views from San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tam. Bring your binoculars!

Discover, Level 3
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some steep inclines and/or no trails

Kayak the Tidal Marsh at Sears Point
February 11 (Thursday), 9:30am—1:30pm


March 10 (Thursday), 9:30am—1:30pm

Must have own kayak and some experience on open water. Requires carrying or wheeling your kayak 500 ft to launch site.
Members only. Free.

Join Sonoma Land Trust staff for a kayak tour of the waters of the new tidal marsh. View the marsh mounds up close, explore the eastern boundary of the restored area and visit the levee breach sites. We will learn about the restoration project as we paddle and enjoy the abundance of birds and views unseen from land.

Discover, Level 4
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.

Pozzi Ranch and Sonoma Wool Company in Valley Ford
March 20 (Sunday), 1—4pm

Members only. Free.
Hike and tour Pozzi Ranch with Joe Pozzi and Amy Chesnut. Learn about land conservation in the Estero watershed, raising grass-fed lamb and what they do with all of that wool! Witness a sheep-shearing demo and beautiful views of Mount St. Helena, Pole Mountain, Estero Ranch and the ocean.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

 

DISCOVER Glen Oaks Ranch — The Heart of the Sonoma Valley!

Jenner Headlands to Pole Mountain Scenic Expedition

Kayak the Estero Americano

Get to Know the Oaks at Live Oaks Ranch


 

DISCOVER Glen Oaks Ranch — The Heart of the Sonoma Valley!


Early Agricultural History and the Wildlife Corridor
Sunday, November 8, 10am–1pm
Free to all
Local historian Arthur Dawson will delight us with stories of the ranch’s agricultural history: from its use as cattle range to its prominence in 19th-century viticulture to the devastating impact of phylloxera. Sonoma Land Trust staff will speak about efforts currently underway to preserve the wildlife corridor that passes through the area. Kids can join in the guided nature activities while adults participate in the discussions. Afterward, enjoy a BYO picnic lunch, take a stroll along the trails or tour the historic mansion.

10am—noon Presentations
10am—noon Kids’ nature activities
12—12:30pm House tour
Noon—1pm BYO picnic, self-guided walks

There is no cost for this event. The outing is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the Ag and Open Space District's work with a quarter-cent sales tax, and supporters of Sonoma Land Trust.

Part of the Agricultural Heritage Series brought to you by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District & the Sonoma Resource Conservation District in partnership with the Sonoma Land Trust.

Explore, Level 4
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.


Kayak the Estero Americano
Thursday, October 29, 10am–2pm

Free to all
Experience the beauty of the Estero Americano from your kayak! Join outings assistant and kayak guide Corby Hines as we launch from our Estero Americano Preserve and paddle at a leisurely pace across the expansive waters of the Estero toward the sea and back, keeping an eye out for wildlife. Total distance is approximately 3 miles. You must bring your own kayak and have some experience on open water.

Experience, Level 4
Activities designed to increase observational skills and use of the senses in getting to know the landscape. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.


Get to Know the Oaks at Live Oaks Ranch
Saturday, November 7, 1–4pm

$10 non-members / Free to members
Join a walk with a very special guest, ecologist and local oak expert Steve Barnhart, retired SRJC professor and former education director of Pepperwood Preserve, for an autumn walk amongst the many species of oaks at our Live Oaks Ranch in Knights Valley. We will learn about the oak woodland habitat and learn to identify the oaks hands-on as we stroll through this protected basin along the headwaters of Bidwell Creek.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

DISCOVER Glen Oaks Ranch — The Heart of the Sonoma Valley!

Enjoy creating connections with local, seasonal food and the land at Sonoma Land Trust’s historic Glen Oaks Ranch, located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley Wildlife Corridor. Activities each day include a guided hike to the Sonoma Valley Overlook, a wildlife-camera photo slideshow, a tour of the historic mansion and guided nature-based activities for kids. Bring your own lunch and enjoy the picnic areas, open hiking trails and a self-guided Nature Quest.

Storytelling and S’mores around the “Campfire”
Saturday, August 29, Open from 4–7:30pm; storytelling at 6pm

Let’s roast marshmallows over the “campfire” and enjoy s’mores and wine as we listen to author, historian and storyteller Arthur Dawson recount some of our best local tales: how the world began on top of Sonoma Mountain, the days when sugar was worth its weight in gold, ghost dogs and buried swords. surviving the Great Fire of 1923, and more. Suitable for all ages.

Apple Cider-Making with Slow Food
Sunday, September 13, Open from 9:30am—1:30pm; cider talk at 11:30am

Join members of Slow Food to make cider using an old-fashioned apple press and learn about the community apple press project. We’ll use apples from your trees or ours. Bring jars if you’d like to take some cider home. For the adults, we’ll also have some local hard cider to taste.

All Things Pumpkin
Sunday, October 11, Open from 9:30am—1:30pm; pumpkin talk at 11:30am

Celebrate the fall with pumpkin carving and a variety of foods made from pumpkins! Join Jane Van Susteren, plant biologist and pumpkin fanatic, for a foray into pumpkin traditions and recipes from around the world. Taste everything from pumpkin custard baked in its shell to Chilean pumpkin fry bread. Pumpkins are provided.

10am—1pm Pumpkin carving
9:45—11:15am Guided hike
10:30—11:30am and 12:30—1:30pm Kids’ nature activities
11—11:30am and 12:30—1pm House tours
11:30am—noon Pumpkin talk
12—12:30pm Wildlife corridor slideshow

Yoga on the Land

Yoga on the Land at Little Black Mountain
Sunday, October 4th, 3—7:30pm


As summer’s heat tempers to a golden warmth, experience the autumnal beauty of Little Black Mountain, a unique landscape in a mixed-conifer and hardwood forest with meadows and spectacular views. The afternoon program will include a hike, yoga class, good company, and wine and gourmet appetizers at twilight.

Yoga Instructor
Shelli Wirz-Morrison, Ph.D., has studied and practiced yoga for 30 years with many teachers and styles of practice. She has taught Psychology of Yoga at SSU and has operated yoga studios in Santa Rosa and Hilo, Hawaii. From an eclectic style of her own, she blends vinyasa flow, restorative poses, breath and mindfulness to enhance body/mind awakened awareness. 

Raptors Raptors Raptors!

Fall is the season for the southern migration of birds of prey. The Sonoma Coast by Jenner has been a terrific place to witness these majestic birds on their lengthy flights. Begin the season with a slideshow providing a sweeping overview of the raptors that can be found in this area and join us on the land for an in-person look, too! We’ll be visiting the Estero Americano, Jenner Headlands and Pole Mountain in our quest to view our feathered friends.
Free to all                

Raptors of Sonoma County — A slideshow by Larry Broderick
Thursday, September 10, 7–9pm at the Sonoma Land Trust office

Raptor ID specialist Larry Broderick, founder of West County Hawk Watch, has a contagious love for raptors. In his exciting presentation, with field photos covering the span of raptor families and characteristics, Larry’s enthusiasm and stories are sure to get you itching to get on your feet and see these birds with your own binoculars.

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails.

Raptors at Estero Americano — An Exploration
Saturday, September 12, 10am–2pm

The protected waters of the Estero Americano provide a rich background upon which to view these migratory bird species. Larry Broderick will provide some tips for identifying raptors that you see, and then you will be free to explore the property on your own in search of views. Check back with Larry from time to time to gain insight into what you are noticing in the field, and we’ll wrap up the day by sharing our experiences with each other.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Raptors at Pole Mountain — Guided Hikes

Saturday, September 19, 9:30am–4:30pm
Saturday, September 26, 9:30am–4:30pm
Over the past year, as we’ve started to get acquainted with Pole Mountain, our recently-protected property above the Jenner Headlands, we have witnessed several remarkable raptors from atop the mountain. So we’ve invited Larry Broderick along to guide us as we traverse the northern ridge of Pole Mountain and reach its peak. This is a 6-mile roundtrip hike with 1,000 feet elevation gain beginning at our Little Black Mountain Preserve. You must be in good physical condition and able to hike up steep terrain.

Discover, Level 4
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.

Raptors at Jenner Headlands — A Guided Hike
Sunday, September 27, 10am–3pm

Jenner Headlands is the home of West County Hawk Watch, a group that has been collecting fall raptor migration data since 2010 when the property was first protected. The numbers of raptors have, at times, rivaled those seen at Hawk Hill in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Join Sonoma Land Trust staff as we hike the coastal prairie loop trail up to the Jenner Hawk Overlook. Larry Broderick will join us as a guide on the second half of the hike as we descend through the landscape and catch the birds on the wind. This is a 4.5-mile hike with 800 feet elevation gain on ground with uneven footing.

Discover, Level 4
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders.

Summer Sunset Hikes

Enjoy the long summer days and join SLT staff for an evening stroll with amazing views!
Free to members / $10 non-members


Sears Point Uplands
Thursday, July 16, 6:30—9pm

Look out over San Pablo Bay and the future tidal marsh from atop the foothills of Cougar Mountain.

Explore, Level 3
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Some steep inclines and/or no trails.


Little Black Mountain Lone Antler Lookout
Thursday, July 30, 6:30—9pm

Hike the mixed forest of our oldest preserve and enjoy the sweeping views to the southeast from the foothills of Pole Mountain.

Explore, Level 3
General naturalist hikes that provide an opportunity to enjoy the scenery on protected lands. Some steep inclines and/or no trails.

Experience the Estero Americano Preserve

Learn techniques and tools to enhance your powers of observation in the outdoors.
Free to all

Photography with Corby Hines
Sunday, July 19, 4–8pm

Nature offers an astonishing diversity of colors, shapes and perspectives, providing endless opportunities for the photographer. Join Sonoma Land Trust’s outings assistant Corby Hines, also a professional photographer, to learn how to take advantage of what the moment offers and capture beautiful images using the tools on hand. We will explore the landscape of the Estero Americano, observing how light interacts with water, land and sky during the golden hours prior to sunset.

Experience, Level 2
Activities designed to increase observational skills and use of the senses in getting to know the landscape. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

Nature Journaling with Joseph Kinyon
Sunday, August 9, 10am—2pm

Join naturalist Joseph Kinyon, Sonoma Land Trust’s GIS manager, for a day of nature journaling at Estero Americano Preserve. Learn how to create a nature journal as a tool for deepening your experience of the natural world. Enjoy some time alone exploring the preserve and recording your observations. You don’t need to be an artist or a poet! All it takes is a willing and inquisitive mind.

Experience, Level 2
Activities designed to increase observational skills and use of the senses in getting to know the landscape. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails.

A Geology Transect of Sonoma County

Join geologist Glenn Melosh for a weekend of discovery on the edge of the continent in Sonoma County and form a broad visual concept of its history and structure. The program includes an introductory lecture followed by three half-day field trips to provide direct experience with rocks exposed in several protected areas. This will all be reviewed on the last hike from a viewpoint over the eastern part of the county.

Introductory evening is a prerequisite for all field trips. We encourage attendance to all three field trips in order to get the complete experience, but you may also register for field trips individually.

Intro lecture free to all. A ($50) Sonoma Land Trust membership is required to attend the field trips ($90 value). Special “Sonoma Geology” t-shirt included for all participants.


Intro to Sonoma County Geology in Santa Rosa
Thursday, August 13, 7— 8:30pm
This presentation will introduce simple geologic concepts, visualizations of the large-scale processes and the broad-brush geologic history of the county. The ideas introduced will set the stage for understanding what we will be seeing in the field.

Discover, Level 1
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Mostly flat with well-maintained trails.

Bodega Head – Shell Beach – Kortum Trail on the Sonoma Coast
Friday, August 14, 3—8pm

Beginning at Bodega Head, we will visit the western boundary of North America at the San Andreas Fault and the birthplace of the environmental movement in Sonoma County. We will proceed across the fault by car and hike down onto Shell Beach to look into the tortured and fragmented Franciscan Formation and the overlying young marine sediments. We will enjoy a BYO picnic supper overlooking the ocean, and finish with a hike up the Kortum Trail to visit rock outcrops on the coastal plain that have been interpreted as mammoth scratching posts.

Discover, Level 2
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails


Harrison Grade Ecological Reserve ­Ward Creek in West County
Saturday, August 15, 9am—3pm

We will begin with a short hike across a chunk of the upper mantle at Harrison Grade Ecological Reserve with its unique serpentine plant community. We will then journey past Cazadero for a hike up SLT’s Ward Creek conservation easement where we will see a range of rocks from deep to very shallow portions of the Franciscan Formation.

Discover, Level 4
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Live Oaks Ranch in Knights Valley
Sunday, August 16, 5—8:30pm

This hike will take us into Live Oaks Ranch and the overlying volcanic rocks at the base of Mount Saint Helena, which buried the eastern portion of the county in widespread glowing cloud ash flows about two million years ago. From an overlook, we will see another fault member of the San Andreas system and review our geologic experiences over the last few days in light of a crustal-scale interpretation of the county.

Discover, Level 4
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field. Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Traditional Uses of Native Plants at Glen Oaks Ranch
Sunday, May 17, 10am2pm

Explore beautiful Glen Oaks Ranch in Sonoma Valley and learn the traditional and indigenous uses of native plants. Herbalist Madelene McCann will lead a leisurely walk through the oak groves while we learn through stories about the plants we discover along the way.

Discover
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field.
Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails

Explore Pole Mountain Wildflowers and Views
Sunday, May 10, 10am4pm

Join Sonoma Land Trust in celebration of our recent acquisition — Pole Mountain! This strenuous, 6-mile roundtrip hike begins at our Little Black Mountain Preserve and has a 1,000-foot elevation gain as we hike up the north side of the mountain along old ranch roads. We will enjoy the spring wildflowers on our way to a picnic lunch at the top of Pole Mountain, where we will bask in the panoramic views from the Sonoma Coast’s highest peak.

Discover, Level 4
Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Explore Wildflowers and Views at the Jenner Headlands
Saturday, May 9th, 10am3pm

Join Sonoma Land Trust staff for a 4.5 mile hike through the coastal prairie at the Jenner Headlands Preserve. Enjoy the sweeping coastal views as we traverse the hillside on our way to the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow, where we will picnic amidst the vast carpets of miniature serpentine wildflowers.

Discover, Level 4
Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Discover Wildflowers at Sears Point
Sunday, April 12, 10am2pm

Join Baylands program manager Julian Meisler for a hike up the foothills of Cougar Mountain and learn about the diversity of spring wildflowers that cover these grasslands. Be prepared to walk at a leisurely pace and spend time on hands and knees examining these flowers along the way. We will enjoy vistas over San Pablo Bay, as well as a bird's eye view of the stunning 1,000-acre tidal marsh restoration project now underway.

Level 3
Some steep inclines and/or no trails

Spring Equinox Open Day at Sears Point
Saturday, March 21, open from 9am2pm

The winter rains have temporarily filled the newly-constructed 1,000-acre tidal marsh basin with water and it’s stunning! Celebrate the first day of spring by taking an easy stroll along the levee to get a glimpse of shorebirds and restored tidal marsh on one side, and waterfowl and future tidal marsh on the other. Sonoma Land Trust staff will be on hand for orientation and to answer questions, and birder expert Larry Broderick will assist with bird identification. Dogs on leash are welcome!

Raptors at Haire Ranch/Skaggs Island
Sunday, March 15, 10am-1pm

This area is rife with raptors, both resident and migratory. Join San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge Manager Don Brubaker and birder extraordinaire Larry Broderick for a raptor walk and tour of Skaggs Island and Haire Ranch. Learn about the history of the island along with plans for the restoration of Skaggs Island to marsh as we scan the sky for the abundant displays of raptors above. We will drive to various locations on the 4,400-acre island, taking walks at scenic locations.

Discover
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field.
Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails

Discover Raptors Above Our Lands
Along the Pacific Flyway

SF Bay Flyway Festival Shorebirds and Waterfowl Walk at Sears Point Ranch
Sunday, February 15, 1—3pm

Join Sonoma Land Trust at Sears Point for the 19th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival. Walk with Certified California Naturalist Dave Barry along the newly-dug future tidal marsh and observe the thousands of shorebirds and waterfowl that are inhabiting this wetland. Bring your binoculars and spotting scopes!

Discover
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field.
Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails

SF Bay Flyway Festival Raptor Walk at Sears Point Ranch
Sunday, February 15, 10am—12 noon

Join Sonoma Land Trust at Sears Point for the 19th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival. Hike the hilly grasslands with long-time raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick as we search for resident and migratory raptors and learn how to identify the different raptor species. From this vantage point, we will also get to look out over the  in-progress, 1,000-acre tidal marsh restoration project area and enjoy the panoramic views of San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tam. Bring your binoculars!

Discover
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field.
Level 3
Some steep inclines and/or no trails

Raptor Walk at Tolay Creek Ranch
Sunday, January 25, 10am—1pm

Tolay Creek Ranch is home to a resident golden eagle, as well as several other raptor species. Join San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge staff and birder extraordinaire Larry Broderick along the creek and atop the hills for a glimpse of the bird species that are supported by the different habitat types. The 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch links a habitat corridor extending from the wetlands fringing San Pablo Bay to the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, and is soon to be incorporated into adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park.

Discover
Outings with experts on special topics that allow time for in-depth hands-on learning in the field.
Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails


Raptors at the Jenner Headlands
Saturday, September 27, 10am3pm
With Larry Broderick

Saturday, October 11, 10am3pm
With Dave Barry

birds on branchesThe Jenner Headlands Preserve has proven to be a spectacular destination to observe birds of prey during the annual fall migration. Notable species identified include ferruginous hawks, sharp-shinned hawks and broad-winged hawks, along with the more usual red-tailed hawks, kites and kestrels. Join leaders of the Jenner Headlands Hawk Watch team to learn raptor identification techniques in real time as they take advantage of the wind on the coastal prairie mountainside. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation. Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.

Discover, Level 4
Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Raptors at the Estero Americano Preserve
With Larry Broderick
Sunday, October 5, 10am2pm

raptor viewingCome out and enjoy the wide open vistas of the Estero Americano Preserve without having to hike a great distance to get there. With the help of “raptor magnet” Larry Broderick, we will learn raptor identification techniques in real time as migrating hawks, eagles and falcons fly overhead.

Discover, Level 2
Some inclines with good trails or mostly flat with less developed trails

 

Discover Redwoods

Get a great workout and learning experience among the trees.

Redwood Forest Ecology at the Jenner Headlands
Saturday, November 8, 10am3pm

hiking under the redwoodsThis is an excellent opportunity to get a good workout while also learning something interesting. You’ll learn about redwood forest ecology and how The Wildlands Conservancy and the Sonoma Land Trust plan to care for the Jenner Headland’s 3,100 acres of forest, now and into the future. The Wildlands Conservancy staff will share information about redwood ecology, the plants and animals found among the trees, and how to manage the land for a healthy forest ecosystem. Ecologically-sound management practices are the key to our long-term goal of bringing back the big trees and restoring the native forest. The 5-mile roundtrip hike will travel along Russian Gulch creek, through redwoods grooves and coastal prairie grassland with some sections especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.

Discover, Level 4
Steep routes with questionable trails and fearless hike leaders

Raptors at Haire Ranch/Skaggs Island
Saturday, November 15, 10am2pm

flying raptorThis area is rife with raptors, both resident and migratory. Join San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge Manager Don Brubaker and birder extraordinaire Larry Broderick for a raptor walk and tour of Skaggs Island and Haire Ranch. Learn about the history of the island as along with plans for the restoration of Skaggs Island to marsh, as we scan the sky for the abundant displays of raptors above. We will drive to various locations on the 4,400-acre island, taking walks at scenic locations.

Explore Pole Mountain

Pole Mountain view
Join Sonoma Land Trust in celebration of our most recent acquisition – Pole Mountain! This strenuous, 6-mile round-trip hike begins at our Little Black Mountain Preserve, and has a 1,000-foot elevation gain as we hike up the north side of the mountain along old ranch roads. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the top of Pole Mountain, as we bask in the panoramic views from the Sonoma Coast’s highest peak.

Sunday, September 14, 10am–4pm
Sunday, September 28, 10am–4pm
Sunday, October 12, 10am–4pm
Sunday, October 26, 10am–4pm

 

Experience Nature Observation

Bird Language with Jay Markert
Glen Oaks Ranch in Sonoma Valley
Sunday, August 24, 9am-12pm

birds on branchesHave you ever found yourself wondering what the birds are saying when they sing their melodious songs? Join Jay Markert of Living Mandala to learn the basics of understanding the language of the birds — the different types of calls, what they mean and what they indicate is happening in the environment. We will spend some time listening quietly to the sounds and patterns of nature and gain a deeper understanding of what is happening on the land around us. Please note: This is not a workshop on bird identification.
Experience, Level 2

Photographing Nature with Corby Hines
Estero Americano Preserve on the Marin-Sonoma border
Sunday, August 17, 4pm–8pm

Estero Americano
Nature offers an amazing diversity of colors, shapes and perspectives, providing endless opportunities for the photographer. Join Sonoma Land Trust’s Outings Assistant Corby Hines, also a professional photographer, to learn how to take advantage of what the moment offers and capture beautiful images using the tools on hand. We will explore the landscape of the Estero Americano, observing how light interacts with water, land and sky during the golden hours prior to sunset.
Experience, Level 3

Nature Sketching with Joseph Kinyon
Estero Americano Preserve on the Marin-Sonoma border
Sunday, August 3, 10am–2pm

Estero Americana Join naturalist Joseph Kinyon, Sonoma Land Trust’s GIS manager, for a day of nature sketching as a tool for observation. Learn simple techniques for drawing what you see and deepen your experience of the natural world. Enjoy some time alone exploring the preserve while recording your observations. You don’t need to be an artist! All it takes is a willing and inquisitive mind.
Experience, Level 2

Thursday Evening Sunset Hikes with
Sonoma Land Trust in July

Get out after the heat of the day and enjoy the evening light on the land.

White Rock Preserve near Geyserville
Thursday, July 10, 6–9pm

Jenner RedwoodsEnjoy the juncture of the setting sun and the rising full moon from this rarely-accessed Alexander Valley property named after its predominant geologic feature.
Explore, Level 3

Little Black Mountain near Cazadero
Thursday, July 17, 5:30–9pm

Jenner RedwoodsEnjoy the expansive views from the top of Lone Antler Trail on one of our prettiest preserves.
Explore, Level 3

 

 

Live Oaks Ranch near Calistoga
Thursday, July 24, 6–9pm

Jenner RedwoodsTraverse the ridgeline on the Sonoma-Napa border and take in the sights from this newly-acquired preserve in the Mayacamas Mountains.
Explore, Level 4



Sears Point Ranch by San Pablo Bay
Thursday, July 31, 6–9pm

Jenner RedwoodsWatch the sun set across the Petaluma Valley from the foothills of Cougar Mountain.
Explore, Level 3 

 

 

Family-friendly Picnic Days at Glen Oaks Ranch
in the Sonoma Valley

Bring your little ones and enjoy a picnic under the shade of the oak trees at our historic Glen Oaks Ranch. Enjoy free time to explore the trails and the creek, go on a Quest or participate in special activities that are engaging for the whole family! The ranch will be open from 9 to 1—come anytime!

Open between 9am–1pm

Sunday, July 13, 9am–1pm
Raptors with the Bird Rescue Center, 10:30–11am
Glen Oaks RanchSee a red-tailed hawk and a great-horned owl up close! Learn about these native birds and how they live in the wild.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, July 27, 9am–1pm
Hands-on with Snakes, 10:30–11am
Glen Oaks RanchLook at and touch live snakes with Doug Hall! Watch a snake detach its jaws to eat an egg, listen to stories about these wild reptiles and learn what to do when encountering a snake in the wild.

 

Discover Jenner Headlands

Redwood Forest and Coastal Prairie Ecology at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, June 28, 10am-3pm

Jenner RedwoodsHike the redwood forest and coastal prairie with project manager Brook Edwards and learn about how the Sonoma Land Trust and The Wildlands Conservancy are caring for these important ecosystems. Ecologically-sound management practices are the key to our long-term goal of bringing back the big trees, restoring the native forest and maintaining the coastal prairie. Redwood ecology, native plants and animals, and cattle grazing are all topics of discussion on this guided hike.
Discover, Level 4

Geology of Jenner Headlands
With Loren Raymond
Saturday, July 26 10am–3pm

Jenner RedwoodsRock out with us on the Jenner Headlands as we tour the coastal prairie with Geologist Loren Raymond! Come and learn about the unique geologic history that has shaped the Jenner Headlands and the Sonoma coast over time, and understand what a truly amazing landscape we live in. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and, along the way, hikers will be greeted with dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!) Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
Discover, Level 4

Redwood Forest and Coastal Prairie Ecology at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, June 14, 10am-3pm

Saturday, June 28, 10am-3pm

Jenner RedwoodsHike the redwood forest and coastal prairie with project manager Brook Edwards and learn about how the Sonoma Land Trust and The Wildlands Conservancy are caring for these important ecosystems. Ecologically-sound management practices are the key to our long-term goal of bringing back the big trees, restoring the native forest and maintaining the coastal prairie. Redwood ecology, native plants and animals, and cattle grazing are all topics of discussion on this guided hike.
Discover, Level 4

Explore Wildflowers and Views at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, May 17, 10am-3pm

Jenner WildflowersGrab a hand lens and your favorite field guide, and come out and explore the wildflowers at Jenner Headlands! This spring hike will take a look at the topographical and vegetational diversity in the coastal prairie, with a visit to the serpentine wildflowers present in the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow. This strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and include dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!)
Explore, Level 4

Wildflowers with Peter Warner at Little Black Mountain
Sunday, May 11, 10am-3pm

Little Black MountainThe clear skies of spring present a spectacular time to get up to the higher elevations and look out across the landscape. Join botanist Peter Warner on a journey through a mixed conifer and hardwood forest, crossing a natural spring and some open meadows where spring wildflowers take advantage of the exposure to the sun. We will conclude the day with a hike up to the Lone Antler Overlook for views of Mt. Tam, Mt. Diablo, Sonoma Mountain, Mt. St. Helena and beyond.
Discover, Level 3

Tolay Lake to Tolay Creek with Sonoma County Regional Parks
Saturday, May 10, 10am-3pm

Tolay RanchJoin Sonoma County Regional Parks and Sonoma Land Trust for a hike from Tolay Lake Regional Park to Tolay Creek Ranch and back. We will hike along the west ridge of Tolay Lake Regional Park and continue on to the serpentine meadows at Tolay Creek Ranch property, where we will stop for a picnic lunch and enjoy the breathtaking views. Total distance is approximately 5 miles. The guided hike will be followed by an optional, free one-hour orientation for the Tolay IP Day Use Permit beginning at 3:30pm.
Explore, Level 4

Explore Wildflowers and Views at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, May 10, 10am-3pm

JennerGrab a hand lens and your favorite field guide, and come out and explore the wildflowers at Jenner Headlands! This spring hike will take a look at the topographical and vegetational diversity in the coastal prairie, with a visit to the serpentine wildflowers present in the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow. This strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and include dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!)
Explore, Level 4

Wildflowers and Watersheds at Tolay Creek Ranch
Sunday, April 27, 10am-2pm

Tolay CreekPicnic in the scenic serpentine wildflower fields and meander along Tolay Creek with stewardship director Bob Neale. Witness the results of our collaborative efforts with community groups, volunteers and schoolchildren to restore the watershed by repairing stream banks and planting native trees and shrubs. Enjoy the scenic views and perspective across the upper reaches of San Pablo Bay.
Discover, Level 3

Serpentine Wildflowers at Jenner Headlands Preserve with Peter Warner
Saturday, April 26, 10am-3pm

Jenner HeadlandsJoin Sonoma Land Trust and The Wildlands Conservancy for a hike with botanist Peter Warner to explore the wildflowers at Jenner Headlands! We’ll ascend the rolling coastal grasslands of this exquisite coastal property to reach the serpentinite uplands and adjacent Jenner Gulch for a day exploring grassland and forest plant diversity. Be prepared to hike several miles on cow paths over steep terrain.
Discover, Level 4

Geology and Spring Flowers at Sears Point Ranch
Sunday, April 6, 10am-2pm

Sears PointJoin geologists James Allen and Loren Raymond for a hike on the uplands to discover the underlying geology of Sears Point. James Allen mapped this area as part of his master’s thesis, and Loren Raymond recently discovered a fossil on the property. Learn about the land while enjoying scenic views and spring wildflowers as we walk approximately three miles across the hilly grasslands, stopping midway for a picnic lunch.
Discover, Level 2

Early Blooms at Glen Oaks Ranch
Sunday, February 23, 10am-2pm
manzanita bloomsEach February at Glen Oaks Ranch in Sonoma Valley, the prolific manzanita blooms color the air. Join us for a walk up to the overlook and delight in the sights and scents of the abundance of manzanita flowers and early spring wildflowers along the way.
Explore, Level 2

SF Bay Flyway Festival Raptor Walk at Sears Point Ranch
Sunday, February 9, 10am-2pm
Sears PointJoin Sonoma Land Trust at Sears Point for the 18th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival. Hike the hilly grasslands with long-time raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick as we search for resident and overwintering raptors and learn how to identify the different raptor species. If it is a clear day, we will also enjoy the panoramic views of San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo, and Mt. Tam. Bring your binoculars!
Discover, Level 3

Raptor Walk at Tolay Creek Ranch
Saturday, January 25, 10am-2pm
bird watching at Tolay Creek RanchTolay Creek Ranch is home to a resident golden eagle, as well as several other raptor species. Take a walk with Larry Broderick in the riparian zone and atop the hills for a glimpse of what bird species the different habitat types support. The 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch preserve links a habitat corridor extending from the wetlands fringing San Pablo Bay to the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, and is soon to be incorporated into the adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park.
Discover, Level 3

Tidal Marsh Restoration at Sears Point Ranch
Saturday, January 18, 10am-2pm
Sears PointJoin project manager Julian Meisler for a walk along the existing and future tidal marsh at Sears Point. We have entered phase one of the 1,000-acre tidal marsh restoration, and this walk will give us the opportunity to see the current land subsidence in comparison to the natural levels of sea water and look at the expanse of future tidal marsh. This is the second walk of a several part series to investigate and observe the tidal marsh restoration project phases.
Discover, Level 3

Fall Public Hikes

Tidal Marsh Restoration at Sears Point Ranch
Sunday, November 10, 10am-2pm
Sears PointJoin project manager Julian Meisler for a walk along the existing and future tidal marsh at Sears Point. We have entered phase one of the 1,000-acre tidal marsh restoration, and this walk will give us the opportunity to see the current land subsidence in comparison to the natural levels of sea water and look at the expanse of future tidal marsh. This is the first walk of a several part series to investigate and observe the tidal marsh restoration project phases.
Discover, Level 2

Redwood Forest Ecology at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, November 9, 10am-3pm

Redwoods at JennerLearn about redwood forest ecology and how the Sonoma Land Trust and The Wildlands Conservancy plan to care for the Jenner Headland’s 3,100 acres of forest, now and into the future. Meet project manager Brook Edwards who will share information about redwood ecology, the plants and animals found among the trees, and how to manage the land for a healthy forest. Ecologically sound management practices are the key to our long-term goal of bringing back the big trees and restoring the native forest.
Discover, Level 4

Tolay Creek Ranch: The Art of Grazing for Conservation
In partnership with Sonoma Resource Conservation District

Sunday, November 3, 10am-2pm

Cattle at Tolay Creek RanchCattle grazing has been a valuable tool for generations in grassland management in the absence of historical wild browsers. Join the Sonoma Resource Conservation District in partnership with the Sonoma Land Trust for a walk at Tolay Creek Ranch and learn how grazing management and watershed restoration are being successfully implemented to preserve our region’s landscape and agricultural heritage. Listen to Stewardship Director, Bob Neale from the Sonoma Land Trust and representatives of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, as to how these techniques are successful in benefitting plant life, wildlife and our diverse ecosystems.
Part of the Agricultural Heritage Series presented by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District & the Sonoma Resource Conservation District
Discover, Level 4

Wild Edibles at Little Black Mountain
With Tamara Wilder
Friday, October 25, 1pm-5pm

Wild Edibles at Little Black MountainJoin us for a walk around the Little Black Mountain Preserve during which we will identify and discuss wild edibles such as acorns, bay nuts, manzanita berries, and other fall abundance.  Hands-on activities will include using stone tools to process manzanita berries and bay nuts to make manzanita berry cider and roasted bay nut nuggets.
 
Tamara Wilder has been practicing & teaching ancient living skills through her company Paleotechnics at numerous locations in N CA since 1989 & is coauthor of the book Buckskin: The Ancient Art of Braintanning.  Info about ongoing programs, workshops and events can be found at www.paleotechnics.com.
Experience, Level 3

Raptors at Jenner Headlands
The Jenner Headlands have proven to be a spectacular destination to observe raptors during the annual fall migration. Notable species identified include ferruginous hawks, sharp-shinned hawks, and broad-winged hawks. Join leaders of the Jenner Headlands Hawk Watch team to learn raptor identification techniques in real time as they take advantage of the wind on the coastal prairie mountainside. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation. Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
Discover, Level 4

Think about attending a Raptor ID class
before you get out on the land!

September 20, 7-9pm
The Bird Rescue Center: Identifying Birds of Prey with Larry Broderick

The Bird Rescue of Santa Rosa is offering a raptor identification class this fall as part of their Natural History Lecture Series. Learn how to spot the different birds of prey as they soar overhead in the upcoming months!
More info

September 24, 7-8:30pm
Santa Rosa REI: California’s Annual Raptor Migration with Larry Broderick

Sonoma Land Trust has coordinated a free raptor presentation at the Santa Rosa REI store for Sept. 24 “Raptor magnet” Larry Broderick will teach you how to identify these majestic birds and where best to spot them this Fall!

hikers observing raptorsRaptors at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, October 19, 10am-3pm

With Larry Broderick




hikers observing raptorsRaptors at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, October 12, 10am-3pm

With Dave Barry





 

 

 

Raptors at Estero Americano Preserve
With Larry Broderick
Sunday, September 29, 10am-2pm
hikers observing raptorsCome out and enjoy the wide open views of the Estero Americano Preserve without having to hike a great distance to get there. With the help of “raptor magnet” Larry Broderick, we will learn raptor identification techniques in real time as these migrating raptors fly overhead.
Discover, Level 2

hikers observing raptorsRaptors at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, September 28, 10am-3pm
With Dave Barry

 


Nature Journaling at Estero Americano Preserve
With Joseph Kinyon
Sunday, July 28, 10am-2pm


Forest at JennerJoin naturalist Joseph Kinyon, Sonoma Land Trust’s GIS manager, for a day of nature journaling at Estero Americano Preserve. Learn how to create a nature journal as a tool for deepening your experience of the natural world. Enjoy some time alone exploring the preserve and recording your observations. You don’t need to be an artist or a poet! All it takes is a willing and inquisitive mind.
Experience, Level 2

Geology of Jenner Headlands
With Loren Raymond
Saturday, July 13, 10am-3pm

Forest at JennerRock out with us on the Jenner Headlands as we tour the coastal prairie with Geologist Loren Raymond! Come and learn about the unique geologic history that has shaped the Jenner Headlands and the Sonoma coast over time, and understand what a truly amazing landscape we live in. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and, along the way, hikers will be greeted with dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!) Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
Discover, Level 4

Discover Redwood Forest Ecology at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, June 29, 10am-3pm

Forest at JennerLearn about redwood forest ecology and how the Sonoma Land Trust and The Wildlands Conservancy plan to care for the Jenner Headland’s 3,100 acres of forest, now and into the future. Meet project manager Brook Edwards who will share information about redwood ecology, the plants and animals found among the trees, and how to manage the land for a healthy forest. Ecologically sound management practices are the key to our long-term goal of bringing back the big trees and restoring the native forest.
Discover, Level 4

Discover Coastal Prairie Grasses at Estero Americano
Saturday, June 1, 10am-2pm
Watching the EsteroJoin project manager Shanti Edwards and botanist Michelle Cooper for a scenic hike and picnic lunch at Sonoma Land Trust's Estero Americano Preserve. Come learn about the unique assemblage of plant species that comprise coastal prairie grasslands, including the top 10-20 native and exotic grasses that occur in our region. Our botanical foray will traverse the coastal hills bordering the Estero Americano, a tidal estuary that forms the Sonoma-Marin border.

Explore Wildflowers and Views at Jenner Headlands
Saturday, May 11, 10am-3pm
Saturday, May 18, 10am-3pm Register Online
Jenner wildflowersGrab a hand lens and your favorite field guide, and come out and explore the wildflowers at Jenner Headlands! This spring hike will take a look at the topographical and vegetational diversity in the coastal prairie, with a visit to the serpentine wildflowers present in the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow. This strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and include dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!)
Explore, Level 4

Discover Wildflowers!

Join skilled botanists out in the field and learn how to identify various species of wildflowers. Be prepared to micro-examine the plants and increase your vocabulary and knowledge of the floral world.

Discover Wildflowers at Jenner Headlands with Peter Warner
Saturday, April 27, 10am-3pm
JennerGrab a hand lens and your favorite field guide, and come out and explore the wildflowers at Jenner Headlands with botanist Peter Warner! This spring hike will take a look at the topographical and vegetational diversity on the property, with special emphasis on the unique serpentine species present on the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow. Be prepared to hike several miles on cow paths over steep terrain—but the wildflowers are worth it!
Discover, Level 4

Explore Wildflowers and Views at Little Black Mountain
Saturday, April 20, 10am-2pm
lavender flowersThe clear skies of spring present a spectacular time to get up to the higher elevations and look out across the landscape. Join us for an Earth Day celebration hike to the Lone Antler Overlook for views of Mt. Tam, Mt. Diablo, Sonoma Mountain, Mt. St. Helena and beyond. We will also journey toward the west through the mixed conifer forest, crossing a natural spring and some open meadows where spring wildflowers take advantage of the exposure to the sun.
Explore, Level 3

Discover Wildflowers at Tolay Creek Ranch with Peter Warner
Sunday, April 14, 10am-2pm
Tolay Creek wildflowersJoin Sonoma County expert botanist Peter Warner for a hike to the spectacular display of native wildflowers on the serpentine fields above Tolay Creek. Learn how the geology influences the soils to make this unique habitat where many native species of wildflowers still thrive. Break out your hand lens and be prepared to spend some time on hands and knees discovering the features of these miniature flowers.
Discover, Level 3

Discover Wildflowers at Sears Point with Julian Meisler
Saturday, April 13, 10am-2pm
Sketching in a meadowJoin program manager Julian Meisler for a hike up the foothills of Cougar Mountain and learn about the variety of species of spring wildflowers that cover these grasslands. Be prepared to walk at a leisurely pace and spend time on hands and knees examining these flowers along the way. We will enjoy vistas over the San Pablo Bay, and also stop to take a look at the newly-created red-legged frog ponds on the way back.
Discover, Level 3

Winter 2013

Saturday, March 2, 10am-4pm
When One World Ends, Another Begins: Tales at Tolay Creek

Tolay hikeAbundant wildlife and views stretching from the Petaluma River to Mount Diablo make Tolay Creek Ranch an exceptional place. Equal to its natural beauty is Tolay's rich human history, which spans at least 8,000 years. Join historical ecologist and storyteller Arthur Dawson for a ramble across space and time. With the land itself as a backdrop, we'll hear old stories about how the world began on top of Sonoma Mountain, catch a glimpse of Tolay as it was just prior to Mexican settlement, and recount how that world has become the one we know today.
This hike is approximately 5 miles.
Level 4

Explore Manzanita Flowers and Scenic Views
Saturday, February 23, 10am-2pm
Clen Oaks RanchEach February at Glen Oaks Ranch in Sonoma Valley, the prolific Manzanita blooms color the air. Join assistant project manager Kara Caselas for a walk on the hillside trails and delight in the sights and scents of the abundance of Manzanita flowers. We will hike to the upper part of the property and have a picnic lunch while enjoying the views stretching across the valley.
This is a Level 2 hike.

 

 

Discover Raptors! with Larry Broderick
Come join raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick in the Baylands for a look at overwintering and resident birds of prey. Possible overwintering raptors are ferruginous hawks, merlins, cooper’s hawks and sharp-shinned hawks. Resident birds we may see include red-tailed hawks, kestrels, harriers, kites, red-shouldered hawks, and if we’re lucky we might even spot a golden eagle. Join us as we focus on where to look for raptors, what their habits are, how to know what you’re looking at and how to compare the characteristics of species.

Raptor Walk at Tolay Creek Ranch
Sunday, February 17, 10am-1pm

Tolay raptor hikeTolay Creek Ranch is home to a resident golden eagle, as well as several other raptor species. Take a walk with Larry Broderick in the riparian zone and atop the hills for a glimpse of what bird species the different habitat types support. The 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch preserve links a habitat corridor extending from the wetlands fringing San Pablo Bay to the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, and is soon to be incorporated into the adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park.
This is a Level 3 hike.


SF Bay Flyway Festival Raptor Walk at Sears Point Ranch
Sunday, February 10, 10am-1pm

Sears PointJoin Sonoma Land Trust at Sears Point for the 17th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival. Hike the hilly grasslands with long-time raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick as we search for resident and overwintering raptors and learn how to identify the different raptor species. If it is a clear day, we will also enjoy the panoramic views of San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo, and Mt. Tam. Bring your binoculars!
This is a Level 3 hike.

Fall 2012

DISCOVER! WILDLIFE and more with Sonoma Land Trust this fall

This fall, get out on Sonoma Land Trust’s preserves around the county and discover what makes Sonoma County such a special place. Our fall DISCOVER series of hikes has three points of focus: wildlife, historical ecology and land stewardship.

DISCOVER Wildlife!

Sonoma County has a rich abundance of wildlife. Witness the fall raptor migration, look for signs of wild cats and canids, and learn about the burrowing owls in various areas of our region.

August 26, Raptors at Jenner Headlands w/ Dave Barry
September 16, Raptors at Estero Americano w/ Larry Broderick
September 22, Raptors at Jenner Headlands w/ Larry Broderick
October 14, Burrowing Owls at Sears Point w/ Tom Rusert
October 20, Raptors at Jenner Headlands w/ Larry Broderick
October 27, Signs and Scat at Little Black Mountain w/ Jim Sullivan

DISCOVER Historical Ecology!

Many factors play a role in developing a sense of place. Part of understanding the land is learning its history. Join us for this series of walks with historical ecologist Arthur Dawson and discover how to observe the landscape, look for clues to its past, understand its present and think about its future. Gain skills that will deepen your ability to read the landscape wherever you are.

September 8, Mystery of the Estuary at Sonoma Baylands
October 7, Unraveling the Layers of the Landscape: Historical Ecology at the Headwaters
December 2, When One World Ends, Another Begins: Autumn Tales at Tolay Creek Ranch

DISCOVER Land Stewardship!

Protecting land consists of much more than just purchasing a property. Join our stewardship project managers in the field to learn about and see the results of land management techniques we use on our grassland and forest preserves.

October 21, Grazing for Grassland Management at Tolay Creek w/ Bob Neale
November 4, Forest Fuels Reduction at Little Black Mountain w/ Shanti Wright
December 1, A Hike in the Forest w/ Brook Edwards

Sunday, August 26, 10am-3pm
Raptors at Jenner Headlands w/ Dave Barry

JennerJenner has proven to be a spectacular destination to observe raptors, and notable species identified on the Jenner Headlands last year included ferruginous hawks, bald eagles and golden eagles. With guidance from Dave Barry, a local birder and naturalist, we will observe the migrating raptors as they take advantage of the wind on the coastal prairie mountainside. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation. Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
Level 4

Saturday, September 8, 10am-2pm
Mystery of the Estuary at Sonoma Baylands

EstuaryTo know a place, you have to learn to read its hidden story. This is especially true for the estuaries of the North Bay, which have seen dramatic changes since the last Ice Age. How was this landscape transformed into the one we know today? Together we’ll become hands-on detectives to unlock its mysteries.  We’ll walk and observe, investigate historical evidence, and play with mud to put the story together, revealing the natural and human forces that have shaped, and continue to shape, this beautiful place.
Level 2

Sunday, September 16, 10am-2pm
Raptors at Estero Americano w/ Larry Broderick

EsteroCome out and enjoy the wide open views of the Estero Americano Preserve without having to hike a great distance to get there. With the help of “raptor magnet” Larry Broderick, we will learn raptor identification techniques in real time as these migrating raptors fly overhead.
Level 2

Saturday, September 22, 10am-3pm
Raptors at Jenner Headlands w/ Larry Broderick

Raptor hikeJenner has proven to be a spectacular destination to observe raptors, and notable species identified on the Jenner Headlands last year included ferruginous hawks, bald eagles and golden eagles. With the help of “raptor magnet” Larry Broderick, we will learn raptor identification techniques in real time as these migrating raptors take advantage of the wind on the coastal prairie mountainside. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation. Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
Level 4

Sunday, October 7, 10am-4pm
Unraveling the Layers of the Landscape: Historical Ecology at the Headwaters

HeadwatersJoin historical ecologist Arthur Dawson for a visit to the Santa Rosa Creek Headwaters, a 162-acre parcel protected through a Sonoma Land Trust conservation easement. As we explore this beautiful and surprisingly remote spot, Arthur will lead the group on a hunt for clues to the layers of the Headwaters’ human and natural history. We’ll learn how to deepen our powers of observation and ‘think like an oak,’ to discover the ‘story of the land.’ We may even catch a glimpse of the future!
Level 4

Sunday, October 14, 11am-1pm
Burrowing Owls at Sears Point w/ Tom Rusert

Burrowing owlThe western burrowing owl, which historically inhabited the Sears Point Ranch area, is listed as a California Species of Special Concern. Last year, volunteers installed five artificial burrows as part of a critical regional effort to entice the declining burrowing owl back to Sonoma County for breeding. Join Tom Rusert, co-founder of Sonoma Birding, as we learn about the burrowing owls and visit the habitats we created for them. Perhaps we’ll even catch a glimpse of one or two!
Level 2

Optional burrowing owl installation 9am-11am

In partnership with Sonoma Birding and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we will create additional artificial habitats for this charismatic owl. The burrow installation will include moderately strenuous digging accompanied by snacks and beverages provided by Sonoma Land Trust.

Saturday, October 20, 10am-3pm
Raptors at Jenner Headlands w/ Larry Broderick

Raptor hikeJenner has proven to be a spectacular destination to observe raptors, and notable species identified on the Jenner Headlands last year included ferruginous hawks, bald eagles and golden eagles. With the help of “raptor magnet” Larry Broderick, we will learn raptor identification techniques in real time as these migrating raptors take advantage of the wind on the coastal prairie mountainside. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation. Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
Level 4

Sunday, October 21, 11am-3pm
Grazing for Grassland Management at Tolay Creek
TolayThis outing is offered in partnership with the Southern Sonoma Resource Conservation District www.sscrcd.org. Please contact Alison Malisa at Alison.Malisa@sscrcd.orgfor more information and to register.
Cattle grazing has been used as a tool for grassland management in absence of historical wild browsers. Come join Sonoma Land Trust’s stewardship director Bob Neale for a walk at Tolay Creek Ranch and learn about how grazing management and watershed restoration are being successfully implemented side by side to preserve our region’s landscape.
Level 4

Saturday, October 27, 1-5pm
Signs and Scat at Little Black Mountain w/ Jim Sullivan
LBM hikeTracking and bird language are about getting inside the minds of the animals. Join internationally-certified tracker and 4th generation Sonoma County native Jim Sullivan as we head out onto the land for some "dirt time" using what Nature gives us to practice the ancient art of Tracking. As the day proceeds we'll construct an ongoing story to describe what we find.
Level 4

Sunday, November 4, 10am-2pm
Forest Fuels Reduction at Little Black Mountain

LBMLittle Black Mountain Preserve was donated to Sonoma Land Trust after being devastated by the Creighton Ridge fire of 1978. Since that time, we have done significant work to manage defensible space and safety issues while improving forest health. Join project manager Shanti Wright and other members of the Coast Ridge Community Forest to see the work on the ground and learn about resources available for forest management.
Level 3

Saturday, December 1, 10am-3pm
A Hike in the Forest

Read More
Jenner ForestThis is the rare hike that goes into the forest of the Jenner Headlands! Learn about forest ecology and our plans to care for the Jenner Headland's 3,100 acres of forest, now and into the future. Ecologically-sound management practices are the key to our long-term goal of bringing back the big trees and restoring the native forest. We'll hike four miles. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy.
Level 4

Sunday, December 2, 10am-4pm
When One World Ends, Another Begins: Autumn Tales at Tolay Creek Ranch
Read more
Tolay CreekAbundant wildlife and views stretching from the Petaluma River to Mount Diablo make Tolay Creek Ranch an exceptional place.  Equal to its natural beauty is Tolay’s rich human history, which spans at least 8,000 years.  Join historical ecologist and storyteller Arthur Dawson for an autumn ramble across space and time. With the land itself as a backdrop, we’ll hear old stories about how the world began on top of Sonoma Mountain, catch a glimpse of Tolay as it was just prior to Mexican settlement, and recount how that world has become the one we know today.
Level 4

Summer 2012

EXPERIENCE and EXPLORE this summer 
with Sonoma Land Trust!

This summer, experience our preserves in a different way. Join our EXPLORE hikes to catch some wondrous views of the landscape as we cover some ground on foot. Participate in our EXPERIENCE outings to engage in quiet observation of the natural world.

EXPLOREThursday Evening Sunset Hikes

These outings are a great opportunity to just get out there and hike! Enjoy the spectacular views as the sun reaches low on the horizon. Hike distances range from 3 to 5 miles and will be taken at a moderate pace.
July 19, Little Black Mountain in West County, near Cazadero
July 26, Sears Point Ranch, in the Sonoma Baylands

EXPERIENCESummer Nature Observation series

Take the time to relax and experience Sonoma Land Trust’s preserves in a reflective way. We will use our senses and our powers of observation to deepen our understanding of the world around us and form a personal connection to these special places.
July 15, Bird Language at Tolay Creek Ranch
 w/ Jay Ma of Living Mandala
July 29, Nature Journaling at Estero Americano w/ Joseph Kinyon ofSonoma Land Trust

Sunday, July 29, 11am–2pm
Nature Journaling at Estero Americano Preserve
Nature Journaling at EsteroJoin naturalist Joseph Kinyon, Sonoma Land Trust’s GIS manager, for a day of nature journaling at Estero Americano Preserve. Learn how to create a nature journal as a tool for deepening your experience of the natural world. Enjoy some time alone exploring the preserve and recording your observations. You don’t need to be an artist or a poet! All it takes is a willing and inquisitive mind.
Level 2.

Thursday, July 26, 6–8:30pm
Sears Point Ranch Sunset Hike
Sears PointEnjoy the majestic views and the sunset overlooking the Bay from the foothills of Cougar Mountain. This is a great place to see the landscape that surrounds and shapes the wetlands and tidal marshes of San Pablo Bay and beyond.
Distance: 3 miles.
Level 3 for rugged terrain and moderate elevation gain.

Thursday, July 19, 4–8:30pm
Little Black Mountain Preserve Sunset Hike
LBM PreserveJoin Sonoma Land Trust project manager Shanti Wright for an opportunity to hike the newly-reopened trail out to the western side of this spectacular wooded property. We will enjoy a picnic dinner at a rock outcrop with panoramic views toward the northwest, then hike back over to the Lone Antler Lookout for sunset overlooking the vast expanse of land toward Mt. Tamalpais and Mt. St. Helena.
Distance: 5 miles.
Level 3 for moderate elevation gain.

Sunday, July 15, 10am–1pm
Bird Language at Tolay Creek Ranch
Bird at TolayHave you ever found yourself wondering what the birds are saying when they sing their melodious songs? Join Jay Ma of Living Mandala to learn the basics of understanding the language of the birds — the different types of calls, what they mean, and what they indicate is happening in the environment. We will spend some time listening quietly to the sounds and patterns of nature and gain a deeper understanding of what is happening on the land around us.
Level 2.

Spring 2012

Geology Hike at the Jenner Headlands
Saturday, June 16, 10am-2pm

Jenner HeadlandsRock out with us on the Jenner Headlands as we tour the coastal prairie with Geologist Loren Raymond! Come and learn about the unique geologic history that has shaped the Jenner Headlands and the Sonoma coast over time, and understand what a truly amazing landscape we live in. The strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and, along the way, hikers will be greeted with dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!) Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing; being in good physical condition is a must.
This is a Level 4 hike.

Estero Americano Preserve Grassland Hike
Saturday, June 2, 10am-1pm
EsteroJoin Sonoma Land Trust staff and Bodega Marine Reserve Steward Michelle Cooper for a scenic hike and picnic lunch at Sonoma Land Trust's Estero Americano Preserve. Come learn about the unique assemblage of plant species that comprise coastal prairie grasslands, including the top 10-20 native and exotic grasses that occur in our region. Our botanical foray will traverse the coastal hills bordering the Estero Americano, a tidal estuary that forms the Sonoma-Marin border. Bring your binoculars and a camera for the spectacular views and soaring raptors along the way.
This is a Level 2 hike.

Little Black Mountain Kashaya Stories and Perspectives
Friday, May 11, 10am-2pm

Little Black Mountain PreserveJoin members of the Kashaya Pomo tribe at one of Sonoma Land Trust's first acquisitions, our 550-acre Little Black Mountain Preserve. Learn about Kashaya history, tribal territories, patterns of settlement across the landscape, and uses of plants for fiber, medicine and food. Since 2008, Sonoma Land Trust and the tribe have collaborated with Sonoma State grad student Leslie Smirnoff on historical research and cultural resource management strategies. Hike to a spectacular overlook for lunch and hear tribal members and project manager Shanti Wright share how this archaeologically rich place comes alive within a framework of landscape as storyteller.

Tolay Lake Regional Park and Tolay Creek Ranch
April 29, 9am-3pm

Tolay LakeJoin Sonoma Land Trust, Sonoma Ecology Center and Sonoma County Regional Parks for a hike from Tolay Lake Regional Park to Sonoma Land Trust's Tolay Creek Ranch. We'll check out the late-spring flowers, enjoy the wide-open spaces, and share some stories of the land. Some sections of the off-trail route are especially rough with uneven footing. This hike is not for inexperienced hikers — you must be in good physical condition.

Tolay Creek Ranch
Serpentine Blooms and Vast Views
Hikers at Tolay Creek RanchNo fooling! Join botanist Peter Warner and Sonoma Land Trust stewardship director Bob Neale for a hike up Tolay Creek to see the serpentine wildflowers in bloom. Learn about the ecology of the area, restoration work in the watershed, and plans to connect this property to Tolay Lake Regional Park. Some sections of the off-trail route are especially rough with uneven footing, so please wear sturdy hiking boots. Although we will be going at a slower pace to enjoy the wildflowers, this hike is not for inexperienced hikers — you must be in good physical condition.

CNPS hike

Jenner Headlands
Serpentine Wildflowers for Botany Enthusiasts
April 28, 10am-3pm

Grab a hand lens and your favorite field guide, and come out and explore the wildflowers at Jenner Headlands with botanist Peter Warner! This spring hike will take a look at the topographical and vegetational diversity on the property, with special emphasis on the unique serpentine species present on the Jean Schulz Wildflower Meadow. This strenuous 4.5-mile roundtrip hike will ascend more than 800 feet in elevation and include dazzling views of the Sonoma Coast (on clear days!). Some sections of the route are especially rough with uneven footing so please wear sturdy hiking boots. Although we will be going at a slower pace to enjoy the wildflowers, this hike is not for inexperienced hikers — you must be in good physical condition. Along with the rough terrain comes the varying coastal weather that can bring bright, sunny skies or damp, cold, foggy and windy weather. We highly recommend dressing in layers and including a windbreaker jacket to protect you from the potentially biting coastal winds.

Sears Point Ranch
Wildflowers and Vast Vistas
April 22, 10am-2pm

Hikers at Sears Point RanchCelebrate Earth Day with a wildflower hike led by Baylands program manager Julian Meisler. Identify flowers and learn about restoration plans for this 2,327-acre property bordering San Pablo Bay. This five-mile hike through the grasslands will lead to panoramic views of the Bay Area. Some sections of the off-trail route are especially rough with uneven footing, so please wear sturdy hiking boots. Although we will be going at a slower pace to enjoy the wildflowers, this hike is not for inexperienced hikers — you must be in good physical condition.

Sears Point Ranch
Wildflowers and Moonrise
April 19, 5:30-8pm

Hikers at Sears Point RanchSears Point Ranch bursts into bloom in the springtime. Join biologist John Vollmar of Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting for an evening hike on the colorful grasslands. John is intimately familiar with the property and will explore with us the connections between the landform processes, the soils and the wildflowers that grow there. Some sections of the off-trail route are especially rough with uneven footing, so please wear sturdy hiking boots. Although we will be going at a slower pace to enjoy the wildflowers, this hike is not for inexperienced hikers — you must be in good physical condition.

Winter 2012

Late Winter Raptor Hikes with Larry Broderick

Larry BroderickCome join raptor enthusiast Larry Broderick in the Baylands for a look at overwintering and resident birds of prey during our first raptor identification hikes on these lands. Resident birds we may see include red-tailed hawks, kestrels, harriers, kites, red-shouldered hawks, and if we’re lucky, we might even spot a golden eagle. Possible overwintering raptors are ferruginous hawks, merlins, cooper’s hawks and sharp-shinned hawks. Join us as we focus on where to look for raptors, what their habits are, how to know what you’re looking at and how to compare the characteristics of species.

Sears Point Ranch
March 11, 1–4 pm
hawkSLT's acquisition of this 2,327-acre property in 2005 was the first step in protecting and restoring this scenic property located on the edge of San Pablo Bay between the mouth of the Petaluma River and Tolay Creek. The vision for this restoration is to restore tidal, seasonal and riparian wetlands, streams and upland habitats for a wide range of native plants and animals, to protect open space, and to develop public access and educational opportunities — including extending the San Francisco Bay Trail.

Tolay Creek Ranch
February 25, 1–4 pm

raptor sitting on a rockThe acquisition of the 1,665-acre Tolay Creek Ranch in 2007 completed the protection of a habitat corridor extending from the wetlands fringing San Pablo Bay to the foothills of Sonoma Mountain. The Tolay Creek Ranch was one of the last remaining opportunities in the Bay Area to protect a freshwater-to-salt-marsh ecosystem and includes two and a half miles of Tolay Creek, which flows into San Pablo Bay. The property is now permanently protected and our management incorporates cattle grazing, creek restoration and native habitat improvement. It is slated for inclusion into the adjacent Tolay Lake Regional Park in the near future.

Sunday, February 12, 10am-1pm, Sears Point Cougar Mountain Hike
Sears Point hike Join Sonoma Land Trust for the 16th annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival. Hike the hilly grasslands of Sears Point with Julian Meisler, Sonoma Land Trust's Baylands Program Manager, to learn about habitat conservation and restoration at Sears Point and surrounding lands and take in the wonderful views of San Pablo Bay to San Francisco, Mt. Diablo, and Mt. Tam on a clear day.

For 30 years the Sonoma Land Trust has been a vehicle for people with passion, persistence and a love of the land to come together to protect forever one of the most beautiful counties in America.

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Join the fun this summer as the Go to Gang continues repairs to the rustic caretaker's cabin at the 500-acre Little Black Mountain Preserve located in the hills of West Sonoma County. Carpentry experience is helpful; lunches and refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please send an email.

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