May E-News
Sharing Accomplishments
with an Eye to the Future
We are proud to share with you our 2020-2021 Impact Report highlighting an extraordinary year—thanks to you!

As COVID-19 kept many of us isolated during 2020-2021, we stayed connected with you through social media, education webinars, and distance learning - while our field teams forged ahead restoring wetland habitats and conserving some of the most rare and endangered species across the Laguna de Santa Rosa’s 254 square-mile watershed.

One significant takeaway from 2020-2021, it’s that climate change is happening now. Together, we are making the Laguna de Santa Rosa healthier and resilient for decades to come. Read more here.
Camp Tule is Filling Fast!
Make sure your young explorer has a spot in Camp Tule by signing up today. Exciting adventures await!

Three, 5-day sessions to choose from:
· Session 1: June 27–July 1 ages 6-9
· Session 2: July 11-15 ages 6-9
· Session 3: July 18-22. Brand-new! Session for ages 10-12.
Each day will be filled with nature explorations, exciting games, special crafts and science activities all designed to make sure young explorers learn about the natural world as they make friends and are introduced to the plants and animals of the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

Our camp days are 9:00 AM-3:00 PM, Monday-Friday. Tuition is $325.00 and partial scholarships are available. We also offer free scholarships for children in foster care. Registration and camp forms are bilingual (English/Spanish) and the Camp Tule Parent/Guardian Handbook is also available in English and Spanish. This year brings bilingual staff to Camp Tule! Details and registration links are located on the Camp Tule webpage which can also be translated into Spanish by clicking on the Español button in the introductory paragraph.
Let’s give children the opportunity to be together outdoors! They’ll learn, make friends, and grow by leaps and bounds as their curiosity is stimulated by nature. If you are in a position to do so, please consider supporting the children and their families by contributing to the Camp Tule Fund. Your gift today will help a child have an unforgettable summer. Thank you!
Fine Twined Basket Making Workshop
Workshop with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, May 14, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm
$110. This class is now full. Join waitlist here.

Twining is a basketry construction technique in which two weaving elements cross over each other between warps (or spokes). In this workshop we will use the twining method to begin small, fine baskets made with a relative of the wetland plant tule with the botanical name Schoenoplectus americanus, commonly called three-square bulrush or three-cornered sedge. It grows in both freshwater and saline marshes from Alaska to South America and in the east from Nova Scotia to the Gulf Coast, and even in the US Southwest. As well as being fragrant, it is strong and soft, and lends itself to a variety of weaving strokes.
Opening Reception for New Art Exhibit
Protecting the Environment that Sustains Us by the Pointless Sisters Art Quilt Group
Saturday, May 21, 2022. 3:00-5:00pm
Location: Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. No RSVP necessary. Light refreshments provided.

The members of the Pointless Sisters live within an incredibly beautiful and diverse region of forests, agricultural and urban lands in Sonoma and Lake counties. For this exhibit the group challenged themselves to portray the threats our population and environment face from the consequences of fire/flood/droughts and development including loss of species habitat. Their mission for this exhibit is to bring environmental awareness through their art of quilting to the community, using a variety of surface design techniques including mixed media, photography, stitching and painting. The Pointless Sisters Quilting Exhibit will be on display May 5 – August 26, 2022.
Now Hiring: Summer Camp Leaders
Enthusiastic and creative team players are welcome and encouraged to apply to work at Camp Tule this summer. Experienced naturalists, environmental educators, and college students looking to further their teaching careers or environmental leadership skills will help children delight in the natural world. Counselors support all aspects of camp, including ensuring enjoyable experiences for each camper, leading games and helping with art projects. This year, we are expanding our camp leadership team to include Counselors-in-Training (CIT) which are volunteer positions for youth to start building their career paths. CITs attend part of staff/volunteer training and can volunteer during one, two, or all three sessions of camp.

Visit the Camp Tule webpage for all three position descriptions, including links to the online application forms.
A Fond Farewell to Annie
For two years, Annie Madden poured her passion for our local wetlands, plant management, and wildlife studies into our projects as Restoration Field Supervisor. Her contributions helped ensure the success our habitat restoration and contributed to the recovery of the many endangered species we support. As a Fire Forward Fellow (a program of Audubon Canyon Ranch), Annie also helped shape our partnership with the Santa Rosa Junior College's Wildfire Resilience Program at Shone Farm over the last six months, training and mentoring students, and promoting the critical role “good fire” plays in grassland stewardship. As a supervisor, she worked closely with our restoration interns and technicians, helping them gain the knowledge and skills needed to grow their own careers. We know Annie will continue to succeed in her achievements. We wish her well, and hope to see her out on the Laguna de Santa Rosa trails!
Managing Vernal Pools in Dry Years
Despite a good start last fall and the recent storms in April, it is still historically dry. Our reservoirs are only half full and we haven't accessed the Laguna de Santa Rosa for kayaking in months. Much of our work at the Laguna Foundation happens in wetlands, vernal pools specifically, which depend heavily on annual precipitation. These pools support native species because they fill in the winter, drowning the upland plants that live in the surrounding grasslands and allowing the specially adapted vernal pool species to thrive. As a result, you might expect a three-year drought to be a complete disaster for vernal pool plants. Thanks to the resilience of these species and our efforts, such is not the case!

Burke’s goldfields are the most drought tolerant of our endangered vernal pool species. They have been able to shift their flowering time a month earlier than usual and flourish while other plants struggled. At least one vernal pool invader, curly dock, was so badly impacted by drought this year that it withered and dried up before making seed, aiding our restoration efforts by natural reduction of invasive species. Like the goldfields, we also had to modify the timing of our conservation grazing program to keep the vernal pools clear of thatch but not overgrazed.

Other species and sites have been more challenged. Sebastopol meadowfoam, in particular, has not shifted its flowering time earlier, and the warm, dry February and March days took a heavy toll. Our restored population near the Laguna de Santa Rosa Trail managed to survive with a tiny fraction of the numbers that we saw in 2020. While this is a bit discouraging, we must remember that the wetlands support many more native plants and a more extensive population of meadowfoam than when we launched our restoration work in 2018! We hold out hope that in a wet year we might once again see the pools carpeted with meadowfoam.

This kind of variability in rainfall make active management through grazing, mowing and prescribed fire all the more important. This is the work that your efforts support. In turn, healthy, robust, diverse communities of vernal pool adapted species are better able to survive future droughts and other challenges climate change brings to Sonoma County.