November E-News
Giving Thanks for Rain... and You
As I write this, the first rain of the season has (finally!) arrived. I find myself inhaling the smell of rain and wet earth, feeling tremendous gratitude. We've all felt the strain of drought, record high temperatures, and red flag warnings – all contributing to an overwhelming sense of climate anxiety. But in the midst of it all, I have so much hope. I work with some of the most caring, passionate, and compassionate people I've ever come across. They are incredibly smart, creative, and determined to make a difference. I see the impact the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation is making on our local landscape. Today in so many areas throughout the watershed, where there was once barren landscape, there are now trees, native flowers, and wildlife corridors. The rain is a welcome relief to these areas, helping them flourish even further. As I talk with our restoration technicians, I am filled with the hope they have for the future. I see the same in the eyes and actions of our educators, who share their deep love for nature with young and old alike, far and wide. None of this would be possible without you. As we enter into November, what I consider to be the month of gratitude, I'd like to thank each one of you for your unwavering support. You make this work possible. I hope you take a moment to appreciate the now greening landscape and the knowledge that our Laguna de Santa Rosa is healthier because of you. 

Thank you,
Anne Morkill
Executive Director
Donate to protect the Laguna de Santa Rosa
Sonoma County Greenbelts: Climate Resilience in Your Backyard
Panel Discussion Webinar with Laguna Foundation, Greenbelt Alliance, and Ag + Open Space
Wednesday, November 3. 5:00pm – 6:30pm.

Join this webinar to learn from local leaders and experts on the role of greenbelts in increasing climate resilience in Sonoma County.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.

Laguna Stewards at Irwin Creek
Stewardship Day with Ag + Open Space
Saturday, November 13. 9:00am – 12:30pm.

Build community, get your hands dirty, and improve our wild landscapes—all while learning about the plants and wildlife of Irwin Creek! This special restoration site is an important wildlife corridor down to the Laguna in the Santa Rosa Plain.

There is no charge for this event, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.
Remember the Pollinators
This Planting Season
Eye-opening. That’s how we would describe the excellent webinar we had the privilege of hosting in partnership with Angela Laws of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. For those of you who didn’t attend, the resources discussed were so great, we want to share them now. Along with the sobering knowledge about the decline of pollinators—including the fact that Monarch butterflies are slated to be on the endangered species list in 2024—Angela provided excellent tips on actions we can each individually take to help Monarchs and pollinators such as bumblebees. The answer always comes back to plant native plants. Even if a single pot on your patio with native flowers contributes to the cumulative effect. If you have a patio or other outdoor space and don’t yet have a pot filled with native plants, the time is now. And if you have a garden space for natives, so much the better.
Let’s all think about habitat on the community landscape-scale. Grow your plants from seeds to ensure they aren’t full of pesticides which can inadvertently have harmful and deadly impacts on animals like Monarch caterpillars who eat the leaves. And, choose your plant nursery carefully. Xerces Society has an incredible list of pollinator conservation resources and reputable native seed and plant vendors, including our local California Flora Nursery right off Fulton Road. Take a minute to look at the Xerces website. We bet you will become even more of a native plant super fan.
To watch the webinar, visit the Laguna Foundation YouTube channel.
Welcome Heather
Please give a warm welcome to our new Administrative Assistant, Heather Baggett. Heather graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Conservation and Restoration and a minor in Biology. She has a background in international and wine country tourism and as a safari tour guide for Safari West. She loves to travel, garden, preserve food, and take her dog on hikes. She is very excited to join a team of like-minded individuals where she can pursue her passion of working toward a better environment with a local conservation organization.
Restoration at Colgan Creek
Colgan Creek is waterway that starts on the flanks of Taylor Mountain and travels through southwest Santa Rosa before it joins the Laguna de Santa Rosa near Llano Road. Much of Colgan Creek flows through urbanized areas where flood control is a concern. This project will improve storm flow capacity, but that does not mean that we cannot improve habitat at the same time! This project includes widening and contouring the channel from a generic, trapezoidal shape to a more complex and varied channel that now includes pools, riffles, boulders and log structures that improve habitat variability. Though it may not look natural now, we will be planting over 1,700 native plants along the channel to shade the water and provide habitat for aquatic, terrestrial and avian species.
We will be embarking on this new restoration project in collaboration with the City of Santa Rosa’s Storm Water and Creeks stewardship team on Colgan Creek. This is Phase 2 of a 3-phase project designed to reduce flooding, while restoring the creek, improving public access and promoting community stewardship along the creek. You can get an idea of how this project will look in a few years by checking out Phase 1 near Elsie Allen High School, close to the intersections of Bellevue Avenue and Dutton Meadow in Santa Rosa.
Most of the funding for this project comes from an Urban Creeks Renewal Program grant from the California Natural Resources Agency and includes other funding from the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County Ag + Open Space. The Laguna Foundation will be responsible for the revegetation component. Now that the wet season has begun, please stay tuned for information about upcoming planting and volunteer stewardship opportunities at Colgan Creek!
Donate today to increase habitat in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed
Closing Reception for Art Exhibit in Heron Hall
“The Russian River and its Watershed” Oils, Pastels and Drawings by Richard McDaniel
Sunday, December 5. 12:00pm – 4:00pm
FREE. No RSVP necessary. Light snacks provided.

Are you looking for an extra-special holiday gift? Come visit the art exhibit and gift store in Heron Hall, open every Friday from 9am-noon (schedule an appointment by contacting Maggie Hart) and mark your calendar for Richard McDaniel’s closing reception on December 15th! 
Please note, eight additional paintings have been added to the exhibit since the opening in September! Over the course of three years, artist Richard McDaniel explored the length and breadth of the Russian River watershed, painting the free-flowing landscapes that come to life in his new series, The Russian River and its Watershed, with a corresponding book of the same name released earlier this year. The series portrays several aspects of the river and illuminates areas beyond those that people already know.
About the ArtistThe Russian River and its Watershed is the 6th book published featuring the paintings and drawings of Richard McDaniel. His work has been included in 15 books by other authors, and presented in feature articles in several magazines. After working on the East Coast for over 20 years, most of the time teaching at the Woodstock School of Art in New York, Richard returned to his native state of California in 1997 and settled in Santa Rosa.
Thank you for following CDC guidelines while visiting our gallery and gift shop for this closing reception. We look forward to seeing you! A virtual gallery of all paintings in this series is available online.
Office Closure Dates
Our offices will be closed to observe the Thanksgiving Holiday, November 25-26, 2021. We will re-open, by appointment only, on Monday, November 29, 2021.

Wishing you a wonder-filled holiday season ahead!