Calendar

May
15
Sat
Yoga Hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 15 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Enjoy your yoga experience in the beautiful setting of our park! Susan Topf’s Yoga Hike balances a mix of easy hiking and gentle yoga postures, breath work and guided meditation, no mat necessary.
Please wear weather-appropriate clothing to feel comfortable being in a natural setting and bring water (as needed) and your mask.
Route varies on weather conditions and group interest that typically covers 2-3 miles of varied terrain.
Tickets are $30 and include parking if registered in advance online.
All levels and ages welcome. Meet at the Visitor’s Center unless otherwise noted in confirmation email prior to the hike. Limited to 12 participants.

Sonoma County Resident? Free with 2021 ParkRx from participating Sonoma County Medical Provider. Click here for ParkRx info.
Senderos: Arte en el parque @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 15 @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Sábado 15 de mayo, 10am- 12:30pm
Acompañenos en una caminata ligera en el sendero Meadow, en donde pararemos a a disfrutar la naturaleza y pintar en un diario de campo. Si tiene materiales para pintar acuarelas, le invitamos a traerlos, de otra manera, tendremos algunos disponibles.
Nos reuniremos en el área del granero blanco. Este es un evento bilingüe y gratuito, incluyendo estacionamiento. Por favor regístrese
aquí ya que el evento es limitado a 20 participantes. Lluvias fuertes cancelan el evento.
Por favor vista calzado adecuado, capas, y traiga suficiente agua. Si tiene alguna pregunta contacte a alma@sonomaecologycenter.org
Observaremos órdenes de salud del Condado como el uso de cubrebocas y el distanciamiento personal.
Este evento es respaldado por Route to Parks, una beca de Parks California.

English: Art in the Park
Saturday 5/15, 10am-12:30pm
Join us in a short walk on Meadow trail, where we will enjoy nature and stop somewhere to paint on a field journal. If you have water coloring materials, we invite you to bring them, but otherwise we’ll have some for you to borrow. We will meet at the White Barn. This is a free event planned around a primarily Spanish speaking audience of up to 20. Families from underrepresented groups are particularly welcome. Please wear appropriate clothing. Heavy rains cancel.
Email alma@sonomaecologycenter.org with your questions. We will observe personal distancing and mask-wearing in compliance with County Health orders.
Senderos Naturales is supported by Route to Parks, a grant of Parks California.

Herbology in the Garden- Planting for health, home & happiness @ Sonoma Garden Park
May 15 @ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

They say ‘let food be thy medicine’. Herbs have been used for health and healing in Sonoma Valley since the first Indigenous People walked the land. In this workshop, we will use wisdom from east and west to build self-care knowledge and skills with plants you can grow in our area. 

From planting and propagation to processing preparations and using herbs, if your goal is to use nature to become more healthy and self-sufficient, join this workshop!

Many of us are trying to avoid personal care and cleaning products that come in plastic bottles. Let’s go straight to the source and treat Mother Earth kindly in the process.

Participants may bring 2 empty jars for their herbal remedies.

Sonoma Garden Park was protected by Ag + Open Space in November of 2011 for recreation and preservation of its natural resources, and learning classroom environment for agriculture field trips for nearby elementary schools through Sonoma Ecology Center’s “Growing Discovery” program. The 6-acre property, hidden in eastern Sonoma, is an incredible public park and working garden site in Sonoma Valley, containing a wide array of habitats alongside sustainably designed systems for both agriculture use and landscaping purposes.

 

May
17
Mon
Tax Day
May 17 all-day
May
21
Fri
Prescribed Burns at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve @ Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve
May 21 @ 7:00 am – 6:00 pm

We are preparing to conduct another carefully controlled prescribed burn at Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve on May 21, 2021 from 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Unplanned wildfires can be devastating, but planned burns can effectively remove excess flammable vegetation, manage invasive plants, and revitalize native plant communities such as the Preserve’s wildflower meadows.

Since 2004, we have worked with the owners of the Van Hoosear Wildflower Preserve to co-manage the wildflower meadows and grasslands, oak woodlands, and riparian habitats of the Preserve. This 162-acre property is protected forever against future development, to preserve its beauty and its rich and rare mix of native plants and animals.

Several non-native, invasive plant species grow in the Preserve. Some of them are not edible by cattle, so despite careful summer grazing, their populations continue to expand. Medusahead, for example, is an invasive grass that creates a thick layer of persistent, flammable thatch that smothers native grasses and wildflowers and has a prickly seed head that cattle avoid. A prescribed burn in 2020 at the Preserve made a good start at reducing Medusahead and other invasives. You may have also heard about controlled burns in 2018 at the Bouverie Preserve near Glen Ellen, and in 2016 and 2017 at Pepperwood Preserve, northeast of Santa Rosa, that successfully reduced Medusahead and reduced the burn intensity during the Nuns fire.

We are working with prescribed fire professionals, fire agencies, and air quality agencies to prepare for a safe and effective prescribed burn. Several factors could postpone or cancel the event.

It’s our intent to keep landowners near the Preserve informed. We’ll keep adding to this page as the event gets closer. If you have questions or thoughts you’d like to share, please contact Erica Warren at restoration@sonomaecologycenter.orgor (707) 200-8358.

May
22
Sat
Around the Park Hike – With Epic Option @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 22 all-day

Red Barn Remains. Photo by Sharon Beals

As we reopen, we want to celebrate the park and our supporters with our Around the Park Hike (sometimes known as the Headwaters to Headwaters Hike). Details and ticket numbers will change as the Coronavirus restrictions are modified. Each time has 30 slots as of now. Get your tickets soon.

The hike will follow COVID safety protocols for distancing in place at that date.

Details:
The Round the Park Hike will have Two Options:
1. Epic Option: 17.2 miles with 5097 feet of vertical. Start time 7 am.
2. Round Route: 12.3 miles with 3600 feet of vertical. Start Time 9 AM.

The start and finish will be the main day-use parking lot.

The basic route will be down Pony Gate, up Canyon, past Bald Mountain to High Ridge (we’ll turn around at the Red Barn site after lunch), over the ridge on Gray Pine, down Brushy Peaks to Hillside and lastly on the Nature Trail to finish at the main parking lot. The epic option will add Goodspeed to the park boundary after going down Pony Gate.

There will be water and porta-potties along the way. Bring a lunch to enjoy at the Old Red Barn location. We are hoping to have snacks and cold drink or food on drinks at the finish, depending on what the Coronavirus protocols allow at that time, Stay tuned, stay flexible, have fun and support your park!

Tickets
Ticket price: $75 each.

Underwriting Options: Help us defray the costs of the event and make it a true fundraiser.
Epic Underwriter: $500 (includes a ticket to the hike -Tax Deductible)
Round Route Supporter: $250 (includes a ticket to the hike – Tax Deductible)

 

Forest Therapy @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 22 @ 8:30 am – 11:30 am

The practice of Forest Therapy has been shown to improve health and well-being.

Have you heard about Shinrin-yoku or Forest bathing? Here is an opportunity to take a walk and experience the practice for yourself. Learn techniques to maximize the health benefits and stress reducing qualities of this walking practice. Shinrin-yoku originated in Japan and is gaining popularity in the United States for its documented health benefits.

This practice takes a walk in the woods to another level. A centering and calming restorative practice, it promotes balance and restored vitality through a quality of presence and heightened sensory awareness. Recent articles have been written up in Oprah, Time Magazine, and National Geographic, as well as numerous other publications. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park hosts a Forest Therapy Series as part of its ParkRx Program the 4th Saturday of each month. These walks are led by certified ANFT (Association of Nature and Forest Therapy) practitioners. Visit natureandforesttherapy.org for more info about this practice.

Tickets are $20 or free with a 2021 ParkRx from a Sonoma County Medical Provider (click here for more info).

May
23
Sun
Family Hike @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 23 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Come to the park for a peaceful hike through the woods! Join our Docents on this fun family hike that is good for all ages. During this 2-mile hike with 400-ft elevation gain, you will learn about Sugarloaf Park, its plants, animals, and history.
This is a free event  but does require reservations as we are limiting the event to 12. Meet outside the Visitor Center. We will observe social distancing and mask-wearing. Parking fees apply and heavy rains cancel.
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May
26
Wed
Wednesdays Wondrous Nature Walks with a Naturalist @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 26 @ 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm

After an unusually warm and dry spring, the wildflowers are blooming earlier and it’s already butterfly and dragonfly season! We’ll be looking up as well as down to discover what’s flying around while learning a little about riparian, mixed evergreen, and meadow habitats along the way. As always, we will take our time to enjoy and identify the wildflowers, butterflies and dragonflies, and to catch our breath on the uphills.The 5/5 route takes us on the Creekside and Hillside trails returning via Meadow.

On 5/12 we’ll explore Pony Gate to Canyon and back on the upper section of Pony Gate for our only views and anything we might have missed.

On 5/26, we’ll climb up Lower Bald to the Vista with Meadow on the way back. This is a slightly longer (please budget 4 hours) and more strenuous hike but the flowers, butterflies and dragonflies will be be plentiful and worth the extra time and effort.

Meet outside the Visitor Center. Wear hiking shoes, layers appropriate for weather, bring water, your mask, a camera, and wildflower/butterfly/dragonfly guides if you have them. $10 plus parking fee. Adverse weather cancels and will be announced by 9AM the day of the hike.
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For more (socially distanced) events at Sugarloaf, visit our calendar of events.

May
27
Thu
Sugarloaf Trail Crew @ Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
May 27 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Help Sugarloaf with trail restoration work. Work includes bridge and step construction, installing signs, clearing, lifting, carrying and hiking. Bring gloves, hat, and water that you can carry hands-free (i.e. bring a backpack). Wear long pants, boots or sturdy shoes and sunscreen. Poison oak is present, so long sleeves are suggested. We have tools and trained crew leaders with tasks for all. Minors must be accompanied by a responsible adult. We will provide tools, and if allowed, lunch.

If you are a current State Parks volunteer, signup in Volgistics.

Otherwise, sign up here.