The RCD offers a number of ways for the community and agricultural producers to get involved with our programming: LandSmart workshop series for land owners and managers, annual partner events like the Petaluma River Fall Trash Cleanup in September, volunteer opportunities as they arise in conjunction with our On-the-Ground projects. We also attend a number of community events annually! See the listings below for ways to get involved today:

Vineyard Soil Health Symposium | Friday, Mar. 9, 2018

Friday, March 9th
9:00 AM – 12 Noon
Sonoma County Farm Bureau Office
3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Hosted by the Sonoma and Gold Ridge RCD’s: Professionals and growers will discuss vineyard practices that improve soil health and sequester carbon.

Topics include cover crops, compost, alternative tillage techniques and planting woody plants. Each topic will feature an introduction from a knowledgeable professional, followed by a grower panel who will share their experience, perspective, and considerations for implementing the practices. Professionals introducing topics include: Glenn McGourty, UCCE Farm Advisor-cover crops, Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost-compost, Charles Schembre, Napa County RCD-tillage, and Rachael Long, UCCE Farm Advisor-planting hedgerows and woody plants. Additionally, Renata Brillinger, Executive Director from the California Climate and Agriculture Network will share a brief overview of the State’s Healthy Soils Program and other climate smart agriculture programs. Experienced growers featured on the panels include: Tom Gore from Constellation Brands, Jake Terrell from St. Francis Vineyards, Kris Hicks from Vimark Vineyard Management and several other notable local producers. There will be time for Q&A and lively discussion between panelists and attendees. It promises to be an informative and illuminating event.

9:00        Introduction and Acknowledgements

9:05        Panel 1: Cover Crops (40 mins)
Glenn McGourty, UC Cooperative Extension Mendocino County
Jake Terrell, St. Francis Winery
John Gorman, Stuhlmuller Vineyards
Mike Stutler, Constellation Brands

9:45        Panel 2: Alternative Tillage Practices (40 mins)
Charles Schembre, Napa County RCD
Kris Hicks, Vimark Vineyards
David Gates, Ridge Vineyards
Ross Cannard, Enterprise Vineyards

10:25     Break (5 mins)

10:30     Overview of Healthy Soils and other State Climate Smart Agricultural Programs (10 mins)
Renata Brillinger, California Climate & Agriculture Network

10:40     Panel 3: Compost (40 mins)
Will Bakx, Sonoma Compost/Renewable Sonoma
Mike Stutler, Constellation Brands
Dave Huebel, Hafner Vineyard
Tate Soinila, Jackson Family Wines

11:20     Panel 4: Hedgerows (30 mins)
Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension Sacramento Valley
David Gates, Ridge Vineyards
Lou Preston, Preston Farm and Winery

11:50     Closing Remarks
12:00     Adjourn

Post Symposium
PowerPoint Presentations:
 Visit the North Coast Soil Health Hub to learn more:
Take our survey here to help us improve future workshops!
To Live or Die: A Post Fire Tree Assessment Workshop | Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018

Sunday, February 25th
9:45 AM – 12 Noon (FULL)
1:45 – 4 PM (FULL)
Pepperwood Preserve’s Dwight Center for Conservation Science
2130 Pepperwood Preserve Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Open to the general public. FREE.
Space is limited, RSVP required: REGISTER HERE

How can you tell if one of the trees on your property is dead or alive after the fire?
Once you identify a dead tree, should you leave it or have it cut down? At this workshop, you’ll learn how to assess trees damaged by fire—including oaks, firs, redwoods,
bays, and madrones—and learn steps you can take to help your property rebound. A short
classroom presentation will be followed by a walk to observe trees damaged by the Tubbs Fire
at Pepperwood. Light refreshments provided. Dress to be outdoors, rain or shine.

Featuring presentations by:

  • Greg Giusti, Registered Professional Forester and UC Cooperative Extension Advisor (emeritus)
  • Michael Gillogly, Preserve Manager, Pepperwood Preserve
  • Anya Starovoytov, Project Manager, Sonoma Resource Conservation District
Fire Recovery and Replanting: Information and Free Resources for Landowners | Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018

Saturday, February 24th
3:00 – 4:30 PM
Location: Heron Hall, Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
FREE. Pre-registration required (see below).

Did the fires directly impact your property or do you live in the wildland urban interface and want to incorporate native, resilient plants into your landscapes? Do you need help with erosion control and assessment? Are you not sure how to assess whether your burned oaks will survive or not? Join us to find out what resources are available to you. The Laguna Foundation is teaming up with Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, the Sonoma Resource Conservation District and the Milo Baker Chapter-California Native Plant Society to restore and replant native plants in areas impacted by the October 2017 fires. This presentation will include an overview about the fire’s impacts in the Laguna de Santa Rosa Watershed and the region, and will provide information about soil erosion, native plants, and water quality. While the information and resources are meant especially for landowners impacted by the October fires, the general public is welcome to attend (pre-registration is required so we know how many people will attend and because seats are limited). Whether your land is a tenth of an acre or 100 acres, the native plants on your property provide wildlife habitat, prevent erosion, and improve water quality. We are growing a variety of native trees and shrubs with seeds collected locally to share with landowners next fall. Attend this presentation to learn more and to sign up for the free resources.

Speakers will include Dr. Wendy Trowbridge, Director of Restoration and Conservation Science Programs at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, as well as the Foundation’s Ecological Program Manager, Brent Reed.

Photo credit: oak re-sprouting photo by Gary Morgret

Hydrologic Study to Inform Future Water Resiliency in Mark West Watershed | Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018

Saturday, February 17th
10:00 AM – 12 Noon
Monan’s Rill Community Building (address given to those who register)
Snacks and light refreshments provided. Please carpool.

Sonoma RCD, Coast Range Watershed Institute, and Friends of Mark West Watershed invite you to join us to listen to Matt O’Connor (Coast Range Watershed Institute Hydrogeologist) describe a multi-year study of the Mark West Watershed that is starting this year and how you can get involved to help gather data. The goal of this study is to produce a detailed watershed model that describes how geology and soils interact with water as it moves through this watershed.

Who should attend?

  • Folks concerned about future water security in our watershed
  • Potential citizen volunteers interested in gathering data and stream observations
  • Landowners willing to share well depth and monitor water elevation in wells
  • Landowners and residents curious about the complex relationship between soil/geology and water in this watershed
  • People who are dedicated to protecting our endangered Coho population

This study is funded by the State of California’s Wildlife Conservation Board

Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival | Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018

Saturday, February 10
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
That’s when we’ll do it all again at the fantastic Lake Sonoma Steelhead Festival, held on the grounds of the Milt Brandt Visitors Center!  Rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Food, wine, beer, silent auction, live music, archery, fishing, tours, demonstrations — just about anything you can imagine, and it is FREE!

Come on by to visit with staff and see our interactive watershed model!

More information here:

27th Annual Dollars & $ense Seminar and Trade Show | Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018

Thursday, January 11 
7:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Join Sonoma County Winegrowers for the 27th Annual Dollars & $ense Seminar and Trade Show on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 from 7:00 am – 1:30 pm at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts located at 50 Mark West Springs Road (behind the Sutter Hospital).

Our theme for the event is “Sonoma County Strong and Sustainable.” We hope to see you there as we reconnect and rebuild with friends and colleagues, reflect on the past season and the challenges our community has faced, and celebrate the New Year and the great successes to come!

Dollars & $ense is always a wonderful opportunity for our growers to gather as a community. We hope you will join us for another great program, trade show featuring more than 50 vendors, and a delicious luncheon with Sonoma County wines. The Sonoma RCD is excited to participate in this annual event!  Click here to register for Dollars & $ense.

For general information about the seminar, please contact Andriana Duckworth, Relationships & Programs Manager, at

LandSmart Workshops

These unique workshops are targeted to support land owners and managers with natural resource conservation practices and cutting edge land management techniques. Expert practitioners offer insights and resources to participants through detailed presentations and field tour sessions. Collaboration with other local and regional stakeholders to design and execute these informative workshops provides an invaluable opportunity for agriculturalists to gain tangible tools to support the efficiency and sustainability of their operation.