View as Webpage

Copy of Supporting agriculture and conservation since 1941 _3_.jpg

eNewsletter | March 2022

In This Month's Edition

  • RCD Updates: Alder Creek Restoration Project Update, TEAMS Field Trips Are Back!, Board Meeting Info
  • People Spotlight: Will Spangler, Conservation Project Manager
  • Resources: Online Course for Ag Professionals and Farmers on How to Support Birds, California Working, Lands Free Seed Program, Composting on Farms
  • Workshops: Deep Dive: Dragonflies as Bioindicators, Family Camping Adventure, Compost on the Farm, Planting for Pollinators - Addressing the Very Real and Hidden Risks of Systemic Pesticide Contamination, Earth Day Napa Community Cleanup , Spring Break Camp at Sonoma Garden Park
  • Other News: Do You Know Where You're At?, by Jason Kottke, Sonoma RCD is Hiring a Forestry Technician!

What's New at Gold Ridge?

Alder Creek Ranch Restoration Project Update


This winter, GRRCD completed work on the Alder Creek Ranch Erosion Control Project, an effort to improve water quality and fish habitat in Dutch Bill Creek, outside Occidental. Dutch Bill is a critical habitat stream for coho salmon and steelhead trout: adult fish spawn in the creek, and their offspring spend their first year there before migrating to the ocean. It’s vital that cool, clean water flows down the creek, not just in the winter when adult fish lay their eggs in the gravel, but throughout the summer and fall, when juvenile fish are growing in preparation for migration.


Funded by grants from Sonoma Water and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the project aimed to repair eroding streambanks at three locations along Lancel Creek, a major Dutch Bill tributary stream. Oversteepened and failing banks were excavated at all three sites, and at the upstream-most site (where the most severe erosion was occurring) the bank was armored with large rock to prevent future erosion. Preventing bank erosion improves salmon habitat downstream by reducing the amount of fine sediment that washes into the creek. Too much fine sediment can kill fish eggs in the bed of Dutch Bill Creek by preventing the flow of oxygenated water through the gravel.

To further improve water quality for salmon, we worked with our partners at Point Blue Conservation Science’s Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW) program to restore riparian vegetation at the project site. Over 300 willow sprigs and other native plants were planted by students from Salmon Creek School and Montgomery High School, working with STRAW staff. Reestablishing riparian vegetation at the project site will shade the creek and reduce water temperatures and evaporation during the dry season, which benefits juvenile salmon downstream. Willows also offer additional protection against erosion because they develop dense root systems that stabilize the soil of the streambanks. In addition, numerous bird species will benefit by the improvement of foraging and nesting habitat in the riparian zone, and the diverse riparian vegetation will provide benefits for other wildlife species, including amphibians.


Grizzly Corps Fellow, Mason Inumerable's Experience with Students:

I was very impressed with the students of Salmon Creek Elementary. They hopped off the bus after what was probably a bumpy ride with lots of energy and enthusiasm. They knew a lot about what they were going to do and why. Considering they were 4th and 6th graders, I found that impressive as I do not think I even had an idea of what even erosion was when I was that age. 

As we got to work, it impressed me how much they were able to stay on task and work with shovels and hoes, while handling seedlings and protective cages. The groups I supervised were able to work with each other while also having fun throwing the occasional dirt clog at each other. It was great to also get together in a circle with all the students at the end of the day and see them excited about all the work they had done and about the prospect of seeing a wooded riparian area there in their lifetimes.

TEAMS Field Trips are Back!


The Sonoma and Gold Ridge RCDs are very excited to announce in-person 3rd and 4th grade field trips coming up in Spring 2022! In partnership with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District (Ag + Open Space), the TEAM program invites elementary students to experience our diverse agricultural landscapes and ecosystems of Sonoma County. See our TEAM flyer detailing our spring 2022 field trip lineup, learn how to sign-up, and where to submit a request for transportation reimbursement.

For more details visit the TEAM program webpage here. Please contact Christine Kuehn, Education and Communications Manager at if you are interested in participating or learning more. There is no charge for these field trips, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.

Board Meetings

Board Edit.jpg

Want to know more about what the RCD is doing? Want to get to know our Board? You can find details on our Board Meetings here

People Spotlight

Meet Will Spangler, our new Conservation Project manager!


I recently joined the RCD in late February 2022. I am excited to be visiting sites and meeting partners as I get up to speed on how I can contribute to the RCD's impactful work in our community. Previously I was the senior conservation biologist for the Santa Clara Valley Habitat Agency where I implemented restoration projects and helped manage over 6,000 acres of protected reserve lands while implementing a regional plan to recover threatened and endangered wildlife and plant species. 

I have dedicated my career to conservation and ecological restoration and it is an honor to bring the skills and experience I have gathered home to the community where I grew up. I am inspired by the hands-on opportunities to improve stream and soil health and the range of ways the RCD is engaged on the ground and producing tangible benefits across our landscape. There is so much to learn from the staff and partners at the RCD. 

I enjoy time outdoors spent hiking, cycling, surfing, skiing, and managing the forest on my family's property near Freestone. I collect too many books and I'm always interested to learn more about the land use history of a given place. I volunteer as a board member of the California Society for Ecological Restoration and on the science and land management advisory committee for the Big Sur Land Trust. And I'm always game to talk baseball.


Online Course for Ag Professionals and Farmers on How to Support Birds

Screenshot from 2022-03-10 12-55-32.png

This virtual course teaches agricultural professionals and farmers how to support beneficial birds and manage pest birds on farms. By learning how to assess the farm’s avian needs and opportunities, farms can be designed to provide for a diversity of beneficial birds. If pest birds are a problem, they can be discouraged with specific practices during the shorter periods when they cause damage. The sessions cover the latest research, tools and resources, and are given by experts in avian pest control, entomology, ornithology and conservation.

Click Here to RSVP

California Working Lands Free Seed Program

Screenshot from 2022-03-14 13-03-54.png

The Monarch Joint Venture is offering FREE technical assistance, milkweed plugs, and a regionally specialized 'More than Monarchs seed mix' for pollinator plantings on private working lands in central California. The More than Monarchs seed mixes include regionally specific wildflowers, including reseeding annuals and perennials, designed with overlapping bloom periods throughout the growing season. We are excited to engage farmers and ranchers in meaningful habitat establishment to support all pollinators.  

Click Here to Learn More
Click Here for the Interest Form

Composting Resources

Compost is the finished product that results from aerobic composting. It is a soil amendment containing a wide variety of nutrients, micro-nutrients, and organic matter, all of which benefits the soil. 

Screenshot from 2022-03-15 09-15-59.png

The Composting Handbook is an invaluable reference for composting facility managers and operators, prospective managers and operators, regulators, policy makers, environmental advocates, educators, waste generators and managers and generally people interested in composting as a business or a solution to managing organic materials. 

Click Here to Read the 1992 version 
Click Here to Purchase 

CalRecycle also has some good resources, you can find them here.



Deep Dive: Dragonflies as Bioindicators

March 17, 10am - 11am, Online

Register Here

Learn all about the strange and mysterious lives of dragonflies, or Anisopterans. They are an ancient and highly adapted insect that can help us "read" and better understand the natural landscapes around us.

Screenshot from 2022-03-14 13-05-01.png

Family Camping Adventure

March 19, 12pm- March 20, 11am, in person

Register Here

Pepperwod Preserve invites your family to join their experienced environmental educators for a weekend of outdoor adventure. Bring a tent to sleep under the stars or reserve the Bechtel House bunk room (one family only – for an additional fee).

Screenshot from 2022-03-14 13-07-39.png

Compost on the Farm

June 17th, Recording

Watch Here

SRJC Shone Farm Virtual Workshop "Compost on the Farm" presented Thursday June 17, 2021 “Santa Rosa Junior College’s Sustainable Agriculture program, Shone Farm, and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District present a webinar focused on making and using compost on farms.


Planting for Pollinators - Addressing the Very Real and Hidden Risks of Systemic Pesticide Contamination

Mar 16, 6 pm-7:30pm, Online

Register Here

Are your pollinator-friendly plants pesticide-free? Learn how to ask the right questions to get the correct answers from your nursery, tree broker or landscape professional.


Earth Day Napa Community Cleanup

April 24, 9am-11am - in person

Register Here

Bring your own bucket, gloves, and trash grabber if you have them, but we will have some to share! Wear sturdy shoes, dress in layers, and bring a full water bottle. We will be done just in time to head to the Earth Day Napa Festival at the Oxbow Commons from 11am-4pm!

Screenshot from 2022-03-14 13-09-27.png

Spring Break Camp at Sonoma Garden Park

March 14 9am-March 18, 3pm - In person

Register Here

Join the Sonoma Ecology Center Earthlings for FREE spring break in the oak woodland and garden settings. This camp is being fully funded by the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation at no cost to families! Together, ages 6-12 will grow as junior naturalists and agriculturists.

Other News

Do You Know Where You're At?, by Jason Kottke

Screenshot from 2022-03-14 13-10-49.png

This article is a great way to look at how well you know your local environment.

People living here 200 years ago — or even 75-100 years ago — would definitely have known all of these and many currently living in the area, especially those who have lived here much longer that I have, would know most of this. Being mostly an indoorsman, I am only am aware of some of these, and even then only partially. How well do you know your local environment?

Click Here to Read

Sonoma RCD is Hiring a Forestry Technician!


The Forestry Technician position offers an exciting opportunity to apply forestry principles and project

management skills to meaningful and impactful conservation work in some of California’s most beautiful landscapes.

Find more information in the job description.

Please submit cover letter, resume, and three references to with the title “Forestry Technician” in the subject line. Applications must be received no later than 11:59 PM PST on April 10, 2022. No phone calls please. 

Join Us


About Our Programs

The District's programs continually evolve to address California's

most pressing natural resource needs like climate adaptation, food security, clean water, thriving habitats, and ecosystem resiliency.


Make A Donation

With a tax deducible donation you can support conservation projects that protect water resources, improve soil health, and restore habitat for endangered species.


FemBluebird _Pc_IsisH_.JPG
Subscribe + Follow 

Make sure you never miss an opportunity to collaborate with us. Subscribe to our monthly eNews and follow us on our social platforms:

Facebook      Instagram      Web

Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District


District Map