Join LandPaths and ethnobotony expert Autumn Summers in partnership with the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District as we steward this culturally and historically rich parcel of open space, while learning the ancient skill of weaving rope out of Dogbane. Click here to learn more.
Just off of Highway 101 near the Wells Fargo Center on the north side of Santa Rosa is a little known but very special parcel of open space - the Dogbane Preserve. The 3.3 acre, greenbelt property was protected by the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District in 1997, in large part because it is home to the Dogbane plant – an important cultural resource of the Native American community.
Creating cordage, or rope, out of fibers such as Dogbane is the backbone of California native technologies. For centuries, Native Americans have come to this particular spot from all over the state, and beyond, to harvest the plant for use in making cordage, nets, bags, baskets, snares, sandals, fish lines, boats and belts. This Santa Rosa site was known by tribes as far away as Oregon to have superior Dogbane that possessed exceptionally long fibers and cordage of an unusual reddish brown color.
Dogbane's scientific name is Apocynum cannabinum and refers to the plant's toxic nature, which has been described as "poisonous to dogs." Apocynum means "Away dog!" and cannabinum means "like hemp," referring to the strong cordage that can be made by weaving together the stem's tough fibers; hence the common name - Dogbane.
Please join us for this very special day of stewardship and skill building, as we gather together at this culturally and historically rich parcel of open space. When and where: Saturday, February 20th at the Dogbane Preserve. Preregistration required. Click to register.
Even in the midst of a strong El Niño winter, experts say that it is unlikely to erase California’s four-year drought. Driven by an acute awareness of climate change, and the possibility that multi-year droughts will become the "new norm," LandPaths is working towards an innovative and large-scale water harvesting project at Rancho Mark West.
Under the expert guidance of two of LandPaths highly skilled and motivated volunteers - Richard Baril and Michael Diskin, we recently finished installation of two, 5,000 gallon rainwater catchment tanks at Rancho Mark West. This volunteer-led project completes phase one of a three component rainwater catchment plan on the property. Phase two and three involve installation of a DIY Bluebarrel Systems kit off the historic outhouse roof, and a 34,000 gallon tank harvesting water off the iconic barn.
The Mark West Watershed is one of three Coho and Steelhead refugia in the Russian River Watershed. This project will conserve and contribute to restoring the historic flow regime in Mark West Creek--the flow regime that is critical to support salmonids, in addition to offsetting garden water use from the local well during the dry months. Combined with outreach and engagement, LandPaths hopes that this project will become part of a larger watershed effort, where landowners can work together to identify and implement conservation solutions.
The system in the above photo was designed in coordination with the Russian River Coho Partnership and made possible by Jackson Family Wines funding for the Flow for Fish Rebate Program.
Los estudiantes de IOOBY cuidan la tierraEstimados padres de IOOBY,
¿Qué es IOOBY?
En nuestro propio patio por sus siglas en Ingles IOOBY. IOOBY es el programa principal de LandPaths de educación ambiental que tiene como objetivo cultivar un nivel de comodidad, conexión, y aprecio ala naturaleza en los estudiantes involucrados. A través de cuatro excursiones temáticas, esperamos despertar los sentidos en cada uno de los estudiantes para el mundo que les rodea a través del descubrimiento y la exploración, avivar su curiosidad acerca del mundo natural a través de divertidas investigaciones de cuencas y vida natural, Por ultimo, inspirar a respetar y proteger la tierra
La misión de LandPaths es de promover el amor a la tierra en el Condado de Sonoma. Visite landpaths.org para ver como puede tomar el primer paso hacia el “gran afuera."
¿Interesado en ver fotos de los estudiantes IOOBY en el campo? ¡Visite iooby.shutterfly.com
para ver, agregar e imprimir las fotografías!
To read this message in English continue below.
¿Quieres ver más?
Haga click aquí par ver, agregar e imprimir fotos de los paseos de su hijo/a
de la Preservación
Agrícola del Condado
de Sonoma y Distrito
del Espacio Abierto
por su apoyo continuo.
In Our Own Back Yard provides opportunities for students to learn science, math, and language arts through hands-on activities, immersed in Sonoma County’s big outside. Each outdoor visit reinforces concepts learned in the classroom and introduces new and exciting educational experiences all while fueling curiosity and imagination!
Adventures with IOOBY keep on rolling. Because we’ve been learning so much about the land on which we depend, it’s time to give back during our Stewardship themed field trip!
Stewardship is the act of taking care of nature. This can take all kinds of forms. We can steward the earth through simple daily acts like sorting our garbage into recycling, compost, re-useable, and landfill items; conserving water every chance we get; picking up trash, even if it’s not our own; and choosing to walk or bike instead of driving our cars. Work with your family to find new ways to steward the land together. Consider getting out on the land with your family through hikes or stewardship workdays offered by LandPaths. See our full calendar and learn more at www.landpaths.org.
We have two more field trips to go! Talk to your child's teacher if you'd like to join us as a chaperone. Thank your teacher for their ongoing dedication to help make IOOBY happen for your child. And please, consider helping IOOBY continue for many children to come by volunteering or making a donation.
During our Stewardship themed field trip we rolled up our sleeves, got our hands dirty, and took action to take care of the earth. Ask your child what they did to take care of the land at their IOOBY field site. To give you a better idea, here are some examples of work we did:
(1) PLANTING NATIVE PLANTS
Native plants are plants that have been in California for a LONG time. This means that local native animals have grown to depend on these as sources of food and shelter. What native plants did your child plant? How is this helping nature?
(2) REMOVING INVASIVE WEEDS Invasive weeds threaten native plants. They come in from other places and tend to take over- pushing native plants out of the landscape forever. Did your child remove an invasive weed? Which one? Was removal fun... challenging?
(3) TRAIL BUILDING
Building trails is an important way to insure that humans can continue to enjoy nature. Some IOOBY students got to build or improve trails. Did your child build a trail? What did it look like? How did they do it?
(4) CREATING CREEK FLAGS is a way for IOOBY students to share their artistic talents while spreading positive thoughts for the world. Creek flags are pieces of fabric that students painted in groups. Each flag represented with paintings and words, ways to care for the land: "Don't Litter," "Keep our Water Clean," "Take Care of the Earth," and more. What message did your child share? What did they draw? Who did they work with?
(5) CLEANING AND INSTALLING BIRDHOUSES
Students helped to maintain over 30 homes for cavity nesting native birds such as Violet Green Swallows, Western Bluebirds and Wrens. These homes provide important habitat near young forests where old hollowed out trees are harder to come by. Did your child find a nest? What was it made of? Was there anything in it?
What is IOOBY?
IOOBY stands for In Our Own BackYard. IOOBY is LandPaths' premier environmental education program that aims to cultivate a level of comfort in, connection to, and informed appreciation of the outdoors for students involved. Through four theme- based field trips, we hope to awaken each students' senses to the world around them through discovery and exploration, enliven their curiosity about the natural world through fun- filled investigations of their own watersheds and local habitats, and ultimately, inspire them to respect, protect, and steward the land.
By the end of the year, your child will be an accomplished recycler, have undertaken a stewardship project to help the land, and used nature as an outdoor classroom to hone skills necessary for academic success. We hope they sleep well after these field days. The adventure will be all the more powerful if you join in by asking questions, being interested, and if you can, getting outdoors to see your child in action
The classes first visit was dedicated to Discovery and Exploration. On this field day students got to know their adopted property, right down to choosing their own special sit spot. Most of our trips included a LOT of hiking as we explored a new landscape. Other activities that your child may have participated in include:
Duplication scavenger huntsengage your child’s memory and identification skills as groups find duplicates of
collected natural objects. We come together for discussion and comparison.
Garbalogy is an interactive way to teach your child about where our trash goes; how to sort recycling, compost, re- useable, and trash items, and our “leave no trace” policy.
Song and Dance gets your kids moving each morning. Ask your kids if they remember the Roots, Stems, Leaves song or the Energy in our Ecosystem Skit.Sit Spots are a time for your child to find solace in nature. We hope to dedicate up to 30 minutes each trip to quiet, solo observations. Your child will return to the same spot on each visit and develop their own, personal relationship with the big outside.
Garden activities were accomplished at Rancho Mark West and Bayer Farm. A beautiful spread of salsas, chips, and fresh garden salads and veggie quesadillas were prepared by and for your child to enjoy!
IOOBY stands for In Our Own BackYard. IOOBY is LandPaths' premier environmental education program that aims to cultivate a level of comfort in, connection to, and informed appreciation of the outdoors for students involved. Through four theme- based field trips, we hope to awaken each students' senses to the world around them. Through discovery and exploration we enliven their curiosity about the natural world, including fun- filled investigations of their own watersheds and local habitats. We ultimately strive to inspire them to respect, protect, and steward the land.
LandPaths' mission is to foster a love of the land in Sonoma County through access, education and stewardship. Find more ways to love the land at www.landpaths.org.
Want to see more?
Click here to view, add, and print pictures from IOOBY field trips
Support LandPaths! Your donation can help plant the seeds of future conservationists! Click here to donate now!
Love IOOBY? see more FREE LandPaths events on our outings calendar here.
LandPaths' mission is to foster a love of the land in Sonoma County. Visit our website to learn more about how to step into the outside.
Proud Partners with your
Thanks to SCAPOSD for ongoing programmatic support!
A 72-year old fellow - slight of build, lean and wiry, weathered from years of climbing, paddling and adventuring but still exceptionally strong and a warrior – died of hypothermia in an icy Chilean lake kayaking last Tuesday. While at first Doug was distrusted and discounted (and worse) by some of the power elite in Chile as a North American industrialist, according to his son-in-law Dan Imhoff, “there has been an outpouring of emotion in Chile and Argentina not seen since the death of Evita Peron.” No question, Douglas R. Tompkins has left an enormous mark on this earth, the wild corners of which he loved in a way perhaps that only great adventurers ever can.
Locally he left behind members of his immediate family – all of whom are deeply involved with Doug’s conservation work through the Foundation for Deep Ecology, and in their own related work publishing books on ecologically-considered food and farming. These family members are also friends of LandPaths and dear personal friends – and we are incredibly fortunate to have benefit of their practice and voice in Northern California. Beyond the region and even our continent, Doug was and will long-be known for championing conservation of vast areas – saving entire landscapes and ecosystems that might have otherwise been lessened by ill-placed development and complete fragmentation. His wife of the past 20 years, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins – a former Patagonia Inc CEO and conservation leader – will need both our prayers and our support as their organization, Conservacion Patagonica, continues its work.
On a personal note, I first met Doug at a book signing a a number of years ago in the Marin Headlands, where I was accompanying the benefactor of our recently-created wildland Riddell Preserve – Mrs. Kay Riddell. Doug appreciated Kay for her foresight and philanthropy, even referencing a recent gift later in the day to all those assembled that Kay had granted towards the stewardship of her family’s beloved 400 acres of madrone, oak, redwood and prairie. Years later, at the home of his daughter Quincey outside Healdsburg, when others in his family were enjoying their “down time” from being in South America – time spent in part organizing and surveying, selling the idea of these protected regions to people of all walks and even cutting their hands deeply through the act of pulling errant fences from their preserves (the largest privately-owned preserves in the world – ones being transferred to the people and governments of Patagonia forever), I spied Doug bent over air photos from the Patagonia region on his Apple laptop at the kitchen counter. “Those are beautiful images” I remarked, “I took those from my plane” Doug replied. When he found that I knew a just a little bit more than ‘garden-level-knowledge’ about erosional gullies and sediment moving through a system, he focused on me with what I can only imagine was standard Tompkins-laser-gaze and we discussed in broad and specific terms the formation of such gullies from human activity, addressing them with restoration treatments, the plight of water quality and habitat and on the conversation went.
After Doug’s burial last week, paddler and conservation supporter in his own right, Jib Ellison - who is on the board of Russian River Keeper and was paddling in this small group of adventurers last week with Doug – sent an email to those of us who had reached out to him with our thoughts after hearing the news. In the note, Jib wrote: “please hasten personally working hard to influence the trajectory of society towards one where people live in balance with nature, wild creatures and each other. Let beauty guide you. Do your part. Start now if you’re not doing something already. If you’re doing something already, take it to the next level. This is what Doug would have wanted. So let’s impress him.”
It is my fervent desire – one that I know I share with our staff, board of directors and volunteers – that we do just that. The planet figuratively and literally burns as do the hearts of those that are disconnected from both the land and their fellow humans. Being connected provides opportunities that engender respect, communal and hard (!) work outside and finding joy – curiosity - inspiration in lands open to the sky. May LandPaths’ work continue to inspire those of us that seek this real and striving-towards-reciprocal connectivity to land, to individual and community health and to one another.