June E-News
Writing Tomorrow's Story Together
I think back on my childhood summers exploring creeks, alternating between turning over rocks to look for bugs in the earth and gazing skyward to watch birds and butterflies. I feel very fortunate to have been connected to the natural world since an early age and cannot help but wonder what stories today’s children will share as adults. What images will fill their minds as they reminisce about growing up in Sonoma County?
 
Here at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, we restore habitats at dozens of sites across the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed — all 254 square miles of it! We also provide hands-on opportunities for children and adults, such as growing new plants in our native plant nursery, tending restored areas, and replanting native species to benefit butterflies, bees, birds, and other wildlife.
 
Together we can re-create the wonder-inspiring landscapes teeming with life that will lead to vivid memories lasting well into adulthood. To learn more about how you can support this work, read here.

Thank you so much for your involvement and support!
Thank you,



Anne Morkill
Executive Director
Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation
There is Still Time to Register for Camp Tule
We are ready for three very special weeks of Camp Tule and a few spots remain to register your young explorer!
 
Each day, children attending Camp Tule will learn about the native plants and animals of the Laguna de Santa Rosa ecosystem in a fun, caring and encouraging environment. We want to make sure these meaningful experiences at summer camp are available to all children! Thanks to our generous donors who have helped us provide financial support, we are able to offer reduced tuition scholarships and 30% discounts to military families.

Click here for more details.
Restoring Colgan Creek
It’s official: Colgan Creek restoration planting is complete! The City of Santa Rosa recently held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of Phase 2 of a three phase restoration project on Colgan Creek.

Colgan Creek starts on the slopes of Taylor Mountain in Santa Rosa, disappears into a culvert under the Costco parking lot, then reappears on the other side of Highway 101 in the Roseland neighborhood, and finally joins the Laguna de Santa Rosa just north of the Laguna Treatment Plant. The Lower Colgan Creek Restoration project is a 1.3-mile reach that extends east from Elsie Allen High School almost to the railroad tracks. It is a collaboration with the City of Santa Rosa and Trout Unlimited to widen the creek channel to increase riparian canopy, improve water quality, and provide much needed flood protection for the surrounding neighborhood. In order to accomplish this mission we needed to remove the existing vegetation and re-grade the channel to give the creek room to meander and create valuable habitat for fish and wildlife.

Our plants are still small—note the red flags indicating new plantings in the photo above. It may not look like much now but similarly sized plantings in Phase 1, which was completed in 2014, are now providing shade, and people are already hiking, jogging and cycling along this great community resource as they enjoy the natural world surrounding them.

 We would love for you to come out and see all three phases of this exciting project. If you park at Elsie Allen and walk east you will start in Phase 1, pass through Phase 3 (still in planning), and arrive at Phase 2 where you will see our plantings and the restored creek channel. We will be out there all summer watering and weeding around our young plants to make sure they get well established. We hope to see you there!
Welcoming Back Elias!
We are excited to welcome back Elias Lopez as a Restoration Field Supervisor. Elias first joined the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation as a restoration intern back in December 2015. While working as an intern he finished his BA in Biology with a minor in Environmental Studies and Planning at Sonoma State. He then went on to complete his MS in Ecology and Sustainability at CSU Stanislaus in 2018.
 
Before returning to the Laguna Foundation, Elias worked at LandPaths as a Bilingual Stewardship Specialist where he helped maintain ecological preserves and connected people to the land. He is inspired to continue protecting and restoring critical habitats and educating the next generation of environmental stewards. We are thrilled to have him return as part of our team!
Making Personal Connections & Creating Learning Moments
 
 
The Laguna Uplands was an ideal place for the field trips, so much so that it was even dubbed an “exploring journey” by one student. In addition to learning from the Laguna docents and engaging environmental education activities, students delighted in counting ladybugs (114 was the record in one small area!) walking on the spongy wetland soil of the Laguna floodplain, being surprised at finding raccoon footprints, observing tree swallow nesting activity, and even catching glimpses of a long-tailed weasel.
 

We are pleased to offer Learning Laguna in partnership with Sonoma County Ag+Open Space. Visit their website to learn all about the important work they do to permanently protect the diverse agricultural, natural resource, and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations.
Student Intern Extraordinaire: Ricky Torres
Ricky Torres, a student at the Santa Rosa Junior College, was our first intern in 2 years! During the pandemic, this important program was put on hold. We took advantage of the time to retool the program. Today’s augmented student internship program allows the intern to work across all three departments: habitat restoration, conservation science, and environmental education.
 
Ricky surely made an impact! He contributed to our Colgan Creek habitat restoration project and attended our Earth Day planting, propagated hundreds of native plants in our nursery, attended multiple Native Plant Garden Volunteer Days, and mastered the electric hedger for keeping the pathways open, surveyed vernal pools for endangered plants and found a population of Burke's goldfields that had not been seen in years (pictured), and he participated in our work at Shone Farm in the Santa Rosa Junior College’s Wildfire Resilience Program. 
 
All of our staff members greatly enjoyed working with Ricky and wish him the best at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, this fall!
Summer Office Hours
Please note that our office will be closed on Monday, June 20th in observance of Juneteenth to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans, and Monday, July 4th for Independence Day.

The Laguna Environmental Center grounds will be closed to the public from June 27th through July 22nd during our Camp Tule summer education program, with the exception of our art exhibit in Great Blue Heron Hall which will remain open by appointment only. Please schedule an appointment to see the exhibit, “Protecting the Environment that Sustains Us" during the weekdays by contacting Maggie Hart.