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.

Making the Connection - Soil Biology & Soil Health | Thurs., Feb. 10, 2022
When: Thursday, February 10, 2022
Interested in learning more about the diverse biology in your soil and how it impacts plant health and production? Join us as we hear from Dr. Jennifer Moore, Research Soil Scientist at USDA-ARS, about soil microbial community composition, the impacts of drought and heat on soil organisms, and how soil organisms respond to different management practices. A panel of researchers will take questions and discuss the most current thinking and research, following Dr. Moore’s presentation. 
For questions please contact Anya Starovoytov, Project Manager at
Post-Wildfire Recovery Workshop for Land Managers | Fri., Dec. 3, 2021
When: Friday, December 3, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Sonoma RCD invites landowners and managers across Sonoma County who were impacted by recent (and past) wildfires to join a discussion on post-wildfire recovery in your natural landscapes. We will highlight immediate post-fire BMPs, things to keep in mind over winter, tackling invasive plants, and highlight grazing as one tool for vegetation management post-fire. A Q&A session will follow a series of short presentations from our panelists so please come with your questions or concerns about natural lands recovery!


Kevin Cullinen, Certified Professional in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC), Sonoma RCD

Jason Mills, Senior Restoration Contractor, WRA, Inc.

Stephanie Larson, Livestock & Range Management Advisor/County Director, UCCE

Joseph Thiel, Forester, NRCS

For questions please contact Anya Starovoytov, Project Manager at or call (707) 569-1448 x 109.

Funding for this project has been provided in full or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board under the Federal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program (Clean Water Act Section 319). The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the foregoing, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

SWEEP Grant Funding for Producers: Online Informational Workshop | Thurs., Nov. 18, 2021
When: Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 10:00 – 11:30 AM


California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is offering its next round of State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) funding. SWEEP provides financial grants to implement irrigation system improvements that reduce greenhouse gases, and save water on California agricultural operations. Eligible system components can include soil moisture monitoring, drip systems, pump retrofits, variable frequency drives, installation of renewable energy, and other items that save energy and reduce water use.

Sonoma RCD and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau are offering a workshop to introduce the program and application process on November 18 virtually from 10 – 11:30 am.  Sonoma RCD will also be available to answer questions about the program, discuss your potential projects, and in some cases assist with quantifications and filling out applications.

View & Download PDF SWEEP virtual workshop flyer

View &  Download PDF SWEEP informational flyer

View & Download PDF Eligibility Decision Tree/Road Map for SWEEP Applications

Program and application information can be found on CDFA’s website at:

Questions? For more information, contact Keith Abeles, Sonoma RCD, at or call 707-569-1448 ext 112. 

Funded by California Department of Water Resources. Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014 (CWC §79707(g)  

NBFIP Application Webinar | Wed., August 4, 2021
EVENT CLOSED. North Bay Forest Improvement Program Application Clinic
When: Wednesday, August 4, 6:00-7:30pm (Q&A 6:30-7:30)

Where: On Zoom

What: Assistance to applicants of the North Bay Forest Improvement Program. Panelists will discuss resources and take questions about the program and application process.

About the Forest Improvement Program: Rebuild NorthBay Foundation (RNBF), in partnership with the five Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) of Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa counties and Clear Lake Environmental Research Center, is offering the North Bay Forest Improvement Program to forest landowners across the four-county north bay region.  This three-year pilot program is made possible thanks to $1.5M in Proposition 68 funding awarded via a CALFIRE Wildfire Resilience and Forestry Assistance grant.

This program brings critical resources to treat wildfire hazards on private properties throughout the region, with a focus on serving disadvantaged communities. The North Bay Forest Improvement Program (NBFIP) supports planning and implementation of projects on private forested lands to reduce risks of wildfire and promote forest health. The program provides financial incentives to landowners to conduct this critical work.

Applications for this round of funding are due September 30, 2021.

This clinic should be attended only after interested applicants have reviewed the following materials:

Compost on the Farm | Thurs., June 17, 2021
EVENT CLOSED. Thank you for attending the Compost on the Farm virtual workshop last week. If you missed the workshop, here is a link to the recording.

A catolog of the links discussed during the workshop and some additional information you might find useful can be found in the following PDF documents:

Compost Links

Compost Simple Guide

Interested in soil health? Join us for a virtual field day on compost as a tool for improving soils. 

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Sustainable Agriculture program, Shone Farm and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District invite the agriculture community to a free webinar focused on making and using compost on farms.

Keynote speaker Phil Foster will share details from his many years of producing and applying significant amounts of compost on his central coast fruit and vegetable farms. Will Bakx of Renewable Sonoma will describe the covered aerated static pile composting system and on-farm composting education at Shone Farm. SRJC faculty member Dr. Josh Beniston will introduce the Shone Farm Healthy Soils Demonstration Project that is utilizing compost to improve soil health in pastures. A panel of expert growers of both wine grapes and vegetables will share the nuts and bolts from their experiences with using compost in their farming systems. There will also be time for questions and answers. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain a better understanding incorporating compost into your farming!

Farming During Drought: Sonoma County | Mon., April 19, 2021
With 40% average precipitation and reservoirs at half capacity, North Bay farmers and ranchers (like much of California) are bracing for another dry year, if not full-scale drought. Join the CAFF Sonoma County chapter and the Sonoma RCD for this month’s Farmers Guild gathering to explore “farming during drought”, from practical tips on water conservation and farm adaption to government response and recovery resources. Hear from the experts and share your own experiences growing under dry conditions. Whether it’s getting through the summer or entirely re-thinking California’s agricultural norms, the time to get water smart is now. We hope you’ll join us.
– Keith Abeles, Soil & Water Specialist at Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD)
– Elliot Marshall, Irrigation Manager at New Family Farm
– Sara Tiffany, Ecological Farming Director, CAFF
– Brittany Heck, Gold Ridge RCD
This event is Free Event sponsored by CAFF and the Sonoma Resource Conservation District.
Petaluma River Baylands Strategy | Tues., April 27, 2021

EVENT CLOSED. Sonoma Resource Conservation District and Sonoma Land Trust are hosting a discussion related to our conservation planning efforts in the Petaluma River Baylands. This virtual meeting at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, April 27th will include an overview of our work followed by a moderated opportunity for your questions, ideas, concerns, and interest. This webinar will provide an explanation of the actions that spurred this work, why it is important, and how this study will be used once complete.

View the meeting recording here. For questions regarding the event please contact Kati Robbins, Project Manager from Sonoma RCD at

2021 Virtual Soil Health Symposium | March 11-12, 2021

The North Coast Soil Hub’s fourth annual Soil Health Symposium will be held virtually from 8:30 am – 12 pm both days, March 11-12, 2021. This event will bring together growers, vineyard managers, scientists, agency representatives, and others to provide an overview of vineyard soil health and potential climate change impacts and to discuss the cutting-edge practices and the latest data from the field.

Agenda Day 1: Climate Change and Soil Health: Global and Regional Perspectives

Day 1 recording:

Agenda Day 2: Shop Talk: Soil Health in the Field

Day 2 recording

The first day will focus on Climate Change and Soil Health on the global and regional scales, as well as an overview of the North Coast Soil Hub project. The second day, “Shop Talk: Soil Health in the Field,” will feature growers and researchers discussing undervine management practices improving soil health, compost and the soil biome, and the benefits of integrating livestock into agricultural systems. We will end the day hearing about how soil health factors into a business’s economics and marketing.

Speakers will include:

• Dr. Greg Jones (Linfield University)

• Greg Pennyroyal (Wilson Creek Winery)

• Lisa Micheli (Pepperwood Preserve)

• Kari Flores (Robert Sinskey Vineyards)

• Tegan Passalaqua (Turley Wine Cellars)

• Stuart Bewley (Alder Springs Vineyard)

• Kelly Mulville (Paicines Ranch)

• Dr. Cristina Lazcano (UC Davis)

• Ryan Johnston (Biotic Beverages)

• Paul Dolan (Truett-Hurst)

• Julie Johnson (Tres Sabores Vineyard)

• North Coast Resource Conservation Districts

For the latest information on the Symposium and more soil health news, make sure to sign up for our eNewsletter on our website,, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have any questions please contact Katy Brantley, Project Manager from Mendocino County RCD at Visit the North Coast Soil Health Hub for information on soil health trials and research going on in our region:

Range Tailgate 3: Cows, Compost & Carbon | Thurs., December 10, 2020

When: Thurs., Dec. 10, 2020 from 1:30 – 3:30 PM
Sonoma RCD and Sonoma Mountain Institute ( invite ranchers, prospective ranchers and those interested in carbon farming to come learn the latest findings from their third year of the CDFA Healthy Soils Demonstration Project. This demonstration field trail started in 2018 on a private 300-acre ranch owned by the Sonoma Mountain Institute, is looking at how compost application influences soil health and forage productivity on a working rangeland.
Last in series of events showcasing Healthy Soils project at SMI, we’ll hear updates from SMI project over last year, soil samples and long term plans for Carbon Farming at their ranch. We’ll hear from another Healthy Soils project applying compost to rangeland among other regenerative ag practices . Lastly we will talk about future carbon markets with the Carbon Cycle Institute.
Workshop questions? Contact project manager, Kari Wester at or (707) 569-1448 ext. 101
The 2017 Healthy Soils Demonstration Project is funded by the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds and is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment.
Working Lands of the Laguna | Thurs., December 3, 2020
Panel Discussion hosted by the Laguna Foundation, Sonoma RCD and Sonoma Ag + Open Space
Thursday, December 3, 2020. 5:00 – 6:15pm.
Working lands are an important part of the character, history, and culture of the Laguna de Santa Rosa; we are fortunate to have a healthy farm and ranch economy that provides an abundance of local food as well as beautiful rural scenery. Join the Laguna Foundation, Sonoma Ag+ Open Space, the Sonoma RCD, and featured panelists Misti Arias of Sonoma Ag + Open Space, Doug Beretta of Beretta Family Dairy, and Stuart Schroeder of SRJC’s Shone Farm for a discussion on the role of working lands, family farming, and critical connections to the natural lands in the Laguna de Santa Rosa, and foster your own appreciation and understanding of this important part of our watershed and community. 
There is no charge for this outing, which is made possible by the voters of Sonoma County who fund the work of Ag + Open Space with a quarter-cent sales tax.

Post-Fire Considerations: Q&A Session | Tues., November 17, 2020
Post-fire property landowner considerations: erosion, sediment, and forests.

Please join us for a conversation hosted by staff from Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to discuss post-fire considerations on your property.

You will hear from experienced staff who bring a wealth of technical and field expertise the table. We will share information about available resources from your local RCD and NRCS offices, and get your questions answered in a friendly and open environment.

This will be a recorded session for future viewing. Please register at and a link to join the Zoom meeting will be sent to you. Meeting begins promptly at 5PM.

QUESTIONS? Please contact Christine Kuehn, Education and Communications Manager (707) 569-1448 ext 114 or email

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.