July E-News
Becoming Story: A Journey among Seasons, Places, Trees, and Ancestors
We are thrilled and honored to be hosting author and tribal leader Greg Sarris on August 2nd for a book reading and conversation with Caryl Hart about his new memoir, Becoming Story: A Journey among Seasons, Places, Trees, and Ancestors. In this powerful new work, Sarris offers a searching portrait of his own life, from his upbringing in Santa Rosa’s Indian Country to the discovery of his own Indigenous ancestry to his work serving as Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. Many of his beautiful stories take place on the plains, rivers and mountains of the Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed in the heart of the ancestral territory and still home today of the Southern Pomo and Coast Miwok tribes. Caryl Hart, Ph.D., has extensive experience in land conservation practice and policy, with a focus on land use and climate change. She is currently serving as Vice Chair of the California Coastal Commission and previously served as Interim Director of Sonoma County Agriculture and Open Space Preservation District and Director of Sonoma County Regional Parks. Space is limited! Click here to learn more and register for this special event!
Meet the Camp Tule 2022 Leadership Team
We are thrilled to introduce our Camp staff and volunteer counselors-in-training!

Lizbeth "Ladybug", Chelsy "Mountain Lion" and Stephany "Butterfly" joined us as last summer, and all just graduated from Elsie Allen High School. Before they head off to UC Davis and Sonoma State in the fall, they wanted to come back to Camp Tule to increase their leadership skills and have fun working with this year’s campers . It is an honor to have them return!

Joining them is Cydnee "Badger" who grew up in Santa Rosa and just completed her first year at the University of Washington. Naturalists Sarah "River Otter" and Julianne "Jack Rabbit" are both experienced environmental educators. Sarah just graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in Biology where she also led field trips for school children to the Fairfield Osborn Preserve. Julianne has a MS degree and served as an educator in classrooms, enrichment programs, and outdoor nature education programs over the past twelve years. Most recently she worked as an ecologist at Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Modini Preserve.
To top-off and round out our staff we started a Counselor-in-Training program this year. Hanne "Fence Lizard" and Leilah "Tick" are friends who attend Montgomery High School together. Arlo "Muskrat" is a student at Credo High School, and Jayden "Eagle" attends Windsor Middle School.

With our Environmental Educator Carlos "Osprey" & Education Director, Christine "Elderberry", we sure have a great team, all here to make sure our campers learn, grow and have lots of summer fun!

Thanks to the support of the Kimball Foundation, the LEAP Initiative and Fledgling Fund, we are providing a robust and meaningful summer job program while we also prepare teens to become future counselors and illuminate career pathways to environmental fields.
Expanding Our Nursery
to Grow More Native Plants
We are in the midst of nursery expansion! Thanks to a combination of grants, contracts and generous contributions from supporters, we are in the midst of expanding our nursery facilities. This winter we built a hoop house for our endangered species propagation program and now we are in the midst of a 1,200 square foot expansion to our original nursery.
 
In 2018 we collaborated with the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and built a shared nursery space. This 7,200 square foot structure was created in compliance with all the new nursery best management practices to protect native plants from disease. It has been a great success for both organizations!
CNPS now holds their annual plant sale at the Laguna Environmental Center, and we grow our own plants for restoration projects, like the recent Colgan Creek restoration and the violas that we propagated for Salt Point State Park. Together we have grown thousands of native plants that are now healthy and thriving in people’s back yards and on our public lands.
Over the last four years we have learned the importance of having even more space in the direct sun to keep the wide range of species that we grow happy, and the imperative of toughening up young plants to ready them to plant in the field. We also need more quarantine space so that we can carefully test plant material that we take from the field before introducing it to the clean nursery environment. Finally, we have also learned important lessons about how to best use our irrigation system for plant health and water conservation. This new expansion will fine tune our nursery for even greater success!
Events
The Magic of Twill in Basketry with Charlie Kennard
Saturday, August 13, 2022  9:30 am – 3:30 pm
We will learn basic twill weaves using single-color bamboo or cattail, reweaving the same strips for different exercises.
Fresh Pressed Flowers
Workshop with Jan Lochner
Saturday, August, 27, 2022, 1:00pm-4:00pm
$35 All proceeds benefit the Laguna Foundation Pre-registration required.
In this make-and-take workshop, local gardener, Jan Lochner, will share the simplicity and beauty of the art of pressed flowers.
Art Walk at the Laguna Environmental Center
Art Gallery and Grounds Open at the Laguna Environmental Center
Saturday, August 20, 11am – 2pm
Free! No RSVP needed. More info here!

Enjoy our current exhibit “Protecting the Environment that Sustains Us”, featuring the Pointless Sisters Art Quilt Group, then walk around the native plant demonstration garden. Visitors are also welcome to bring lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables.

The Pointless Sisters have immersed themselves in fabric and thread, in surface design, and in unusual techniques. They challenge each other to produce uncommon works with various common themes using paints and dyes, surface design, and stitching on fabrics from cottons and silks to brocades. The Pointless Sisters have contributed artworks and raised money to benefit local non-profits. The group is committed to bringing art quilting to the community.

Of the 40+ members of the Pointless Sisters Art Quilt Group, this exhibit features the artwork of: Elizabeth Anderson, Kathleen Archer, Jennifer Baker, Lyra Bobo, Cheryl Braswell, Sharon Cahn, Angie Frey, Trudi Chamoff-Hauptman, Ann Hines, Carroll Hirsch, Jo Kellar, Sue Kelly, SuLin Mangan, Judy Mathieson, Linda Morand, Jan Nilsen, Gerrie Peterson, Metha Schuler, Gina Statler-Calhoun, CL Tree, Andrea Van Voorhis, and Ellindale Wells.
These Volunteers Help Our Garden Grow
Every June we honor our amazing volunteer gardeners who work diligently September through May to grow native plants. This year, we celebrated them with a delicious fruit basket cake and practical party favors for everyone - cooling neck ties! These bandanas are filled with polymer crystals that slowly release water - perfect for the hot summer ahead.
 
Our native plant demonstration garden requires many volunteers to help manage it. Over the past 10 months, 120 volunteers have attended our monthly Garden Volunteer Days, dedicating over 360 hours to creating healthy wildlife habitat. Our top volunteers, in order of number of volunteer hours, were: Marna McKenzie, Deeanne Edwards, Betty Young, Jim Citta, Linda Widdifield, Skip Ginsburg, Marcia Johnson, Wendy Krupnick, Wendy Born and Tricia Ialeggio.
 
Thanks to these volunteers, the Laguna Environmental Center landscape is thriving! It is remarkable to see the number of swallows, bluebirds, finches and killdeer that are all regular nesters on site. Several species of snakes have been spotted, and even quail are here taking advantage of all of the available food and shelter.
 
Come visit us to learn more about how native plants can be used in your own backyard! Email Maggie Hart to make an appointment.
Summer Office Hours
The Laguna Environmental Center grounds remains open by appointment to see the Pointless Sister art exhibit and lunch on the grounds. If you can't make the event on Saturday, August 20th, please schedule an appointment to see the exhibit, “Protecting the Environment that Sustains Us" during the weekdays by contacting Maggie Hart.
 
We hope to see you soon!