LandPaths' Happenings Blog

Directors View: A Shared Community Tragedy and Shared Need for Engagement with Land


Even though LandPaths has been working this past ten years to reach out in an authentic and heartfelt way to the diversity that is Sonoma County - to those historically left out of the benefits that come from conservation work and with having parklands near where they live.

Even though we have envisioned, built and run the Bayer Farm and Gardens in Roseland this past six years – as a place of hope in partnership with the City of Santa Rosa and the people of Roseland,

Even though we have provided for the past 14 years a place-based, multi-visit environmental education program for nearly 1000 students per year – many of them from Latino families,

Even though this is all true we have realized there is so much more work to do.  In fact, in the face of the gun violence that took so many innocent lives at Sandy Hook Elementary school in December of last year I penned a letter stating on our website, in effect, 

“LandPaths must and will do more for our youth, that they have the chance to be touched by the power of land and connection to it and both the opportunity to be young and outdoors but the responsibility to help care for it, and we will do this as an Community-based Organization that uses the connection of people to land as a means for bettering both land and people. 

Even though this challenge was made and LandPaths staff responded this year by piloting a program entitled Inspired Forward connecting teens from urban and challenged backgrounds to the outdoors through leadership development, healthy food and service to the land, there is still more to do.   

If we as a conservation organization have learned anything from working more closely with the Latino Community this past six years it is the following four things:  

1.   We are most likely to succeed when we arrive with a PURPOSE but not a fully-formed PLAN.   The development of programs and infrastructure to provide people access to land must be done in partnership, and with the input of those being ‘served.’

2.   Consistency, expressed in just showing up and then continuing to show up over the long-term in order to be in relationship 

3.   Volunteers and community members being served respond positively to the dignity of responsibility.  Everyone needs a role, to be entrusted with adding value to a thing larger than themselves.  

4.   LandPaths can’t change anyone or anything unless IT is willing to change from within.  This has included having 3 staff of our 15 staff members who are bilingual and bicultural.  It has also included the LandPaths board of directors to include people from an increasing diversity of cultural backgrounds, points of view and age.   

Ultimately, we ALL can do this – attempt to address a tragedy with both hope and gritty determination to help our community heal.   We have so much going for us; Luther Burbank referred to our county as the chosen place.   With one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, the highest volunteerism rate in California, farms stands and farmers markets, a tax dollar-funded mechanism for protecting lands wild and working, greenbelt and as parks, with people spanning the continuum of the human situation from gay to straight, conservative to liberal, young and old and speaking a minimum of 14 languages and a beautiful spectrum of color of skin, we can do this.   

It will take work, and it will take love.  Above all it will take listening and rolling up our sleeves and being willing to get down to work, together. 

Posted by Craig Anderson at 09:07

Free Lunch and a Chance to "Unplug"

Storytime , Farmstand , And Fall 2008 Planting 014

Free Lunch is back again this year for nearly 100 kids each weekday all summer at Bayer Farm in Roseland. Redwood Empire Food Bank provides a hot meal, LandPaths provides an outdoor gathering place for eating and playing, robust volunteer assistance, and nature-based and health programming.  Free lunch is offered at Bayer Farm to youth 18 and under, Monday-Friday 12:15-1:15pm through August 9th. 

At the heart of Bayer Farm's Free Lunch program is a group of 15 neighborhood volunteers who are stepping up to be a key part of this six-acre, people-powered farm-park.  And they do not stop at lunch! After eating, kids and families gather for crafts, gardening, free-play, or to learn about local park access, recycling, water conservation and nutrition from visiting partners- Regional Parks,Northern California Center for Well-Being and C2 Alternative Services.

Each year, more folks are choosing Bayer Farm for their Free Lunch site.  Maybe it is what these volunteers are contributing.

Alongside a hot meal, kids and families are offered something just as vital as lunch - a chance to meet mentors and gather with community, an opportunity to spend time "unplugged" outdoors each day, to have fun, relieve stress, and learn new skills.

LandPaths is proud of our volunteers.  This dedicated group at Bayer Farm is establishing a connection to the land and the community, while taking the time to reach out and spread the word to neighbors and friends.  Thank you!  

Please contact us by clicking here if you are interested in presenting at the Free Lunch program.

Posted by Meg Hamill at 12:29

Adopt a Fruit Tree at Bayer Farm! ¡Adopta un Árbol Frutal en Bayer Farm!


Adopt a Fruit Tree at Bayer Farm!  ¡Adopta un Árbol Frutal en Bayer Farm!

(Para español lea abajo) There are so many ways to support Bayer Farm, but this is one of the sweetest!  Select a tree from the list below and be its adoptive parent for 2012 with just a $75 donation!  You will have first option to renew each year so you can form a special connection with your tree over the years.  Come visit your tree, enjoy the fruit as it begins to bear, sit in its shade as it grows bigger, and most of all, enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that through your support hundreds of Bayer Farm community members have the chance to also form a special connection with fruit trees right in their neighborhood.  What is a more tangible expression of hope and love than a tree?

The benefits to you are:

-Your name on a hand-painted sign beside your special tree

-The opportunity to come visit your tree whenever you like!

-An intimate relationship with this urban farm that almost always has something in bloom - come visit with the garden coordinator and take pride in your special role within our community!

-A great excuse to come to a workday and do a little tree-tending with the other awesome Bayer Farm volunteers and supporters!

-Our eternal thanks and gratitude

To adopt a tree, please contact Omar Gallardo at [email protected] to reserve your favorite!  The full list of trees is below.


Hay un sin límite de maneras de apoyar a Bayer Farm, pero de todos ¡ésta es una de las más dulces! Escoja un árbol de la lista debajo y sea su padre adoptivo por 2012 ¡con solo una donación de $75! Tendrá la primera oportunidad de renovar cada año, para asegurar formar una conexión muy especial con su árbol a través de los años. Venga a visitar su árbol, disfrute de las frutas mientras empieza a producir, descanse en su sombra mientras crece, y más de todo disfrute de su satisfacción al saber que su apoyo ha brindado una oportunidad a cientos de personas en la comunidad de Bayer Farm para también formar una conexión con árboles frutales justo en su barrio. ¿Que hay que sea más palpable una expresión de esperanza y amor que un árbol?

Los beneficios que recibe usted son:
-Su nombre en un letrero pintado de mano al lado de su árbol especial
-¡La oportunidad de venir a visitar su árbol cuando quiera!
-Una relación muy cercana a esta granja urbana que casi siempre tiene algo floreciendo. Venga a visitar con el coordinador del jardín y ¡tenga orgullo en su especial posición dentro de nuestra comunidad!
-¡Una excusa muy válida de venir a uno de nuestros días de trabajos y cuidar su árbol un poquito con la ayuda de nuestros otros voluntarios!
-Nuestro agradecimiento sincero

Para adoptar a un árbol favor de comunicarse con Omar Gallardo ([email protected]) para reservar su favorito.  Vea la lista para escoger su árbol favorito:



  • "Tydeman's Orange" -
  • "Liberty" -
  • "Honeycrisp" -


  • "Blake's Pride" - ADOPTADA/ADOPTED

Asian Pear/Pera Asiática:

  • "Shinseiki" - ADOPTADA/ADOPTED


  • "Elephant Heart" - ADOPTADA/ADOPTED
  • "Santa Rosa" - ADOPTADA/ADOPTED


  • "Harglow" - ADOPTADA/ADOPTED

Fig/Higo - 


Lime/Limon -

Kiwi Vines/Viñas de Kiwi -

Thank you to Rotary West for their support and sponsorship of the fruit orchard!  Without their contributions in 2011 the orchard would not have been possible!  

~¡Gracias al Club Rotario West por su apoyo y patrocinio de la huerta!  ¡Sin no por su contribución en 2011 la huerta de árboles frutales no habría sido posible!

Posted by Magdalena Ridley at 11:25
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