Engaging the Community
The Sonoma RCD provides local forums to support land managers, K-12 and college students, and the broader community to learn about and discuss conservation of natural resources. These forums include workshops, watershed meetings, educational presentations, tours, mailings, media outreach, special events, classroom visits, and internship opportunities. The RCD values local community engagement and participates in a variety of public events annually throughout Sonoma County, reaching thousands of attendees. Sponsoring and supporting local river cleanups, technical workshops, and natural resource management conferences is our way of showing our support for the positive actions of our local and regional partners.
The RCD takes an active role in educating youth and community members about agriculture, resource conservation and watershed health. Our staff prepares materials and educational displays suited to our audience and focused on soil and water conservation and best management practices. We participate in the annual Steelhead Festival, Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Ag Days, Petaluma River Watershed Cleanup, Russian River Watershed Cleanup, Petaluma Youth Ag Day, and a number of other community organized educational events.
Technical workshops that bring a diversity of land managers together to share experiences on the land and learn about innovative conservation practices or local tour demonstration sites. 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 adaptability of their operation in the face of climate change.
The RCD inspires local students to learn about and participate in natural resource conservation activities through a variety of opportunities. The RCD offers on-farm youth education programs to students ranging in age from elementary to high school combining innovative hands-on experiences with classroom learning to help students develop leadership skills and understand local agriculture and our diverse ecosystems. We have formal education programs that serve 3-5th graders, high school, and opportunities for college students to learn about conservation careers.
In partnership with local colleges and universities, the RCD sponsors internship opportunities to students interested in watershed protection, resource conservation, and conservation education. These are valuable internships for students to gain experience in the field.
Through LandSmart Education we also provide formalized opportunities to engage youth, landowners, and natural resource managers. For more detailed information on these programs, go to our Education page.