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Nonprofit of the Quarter: Sonoma Ecology Center

May 15, 2020

Sonoma Ecology Center works to address challenges related to water supply and quality, open space, rural character, biodiversity, energy, climate change, and a better quality of life for all residents.

Since 1990, we’ve worked to increase appreciation and stewardship of Sonoma Valley’s natural heritage and create measurable benefits in areas of land, water, climate change and biodiversity.

Vision

We envision a future where people, land, water, and wildlife thrive.

Mission

Our mission is to work with our community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley.

Values

We embrace and practice the following values in order to achieve our vision:

  1. Biodiversity: We value natural ecosystems and the diverse animals and plants they support. We are inspired by the beauty of Sonoma Valley. We work to protect and restore native species and habitats of our region for future generations.
  2. Sustainability: Economic vitality rests on a foundation of social well-being, which in turn rests on a foundation of ecological health. We seek multi-benefit solutions to the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing our community.
  3. Evidence-Based Action: Watershed management actions should be informed by science and local empirical data. We conduct environmental monitoring to inform local and regional decisions.
  4. Education: Sharing science-based information equips people to make the best decisions for themselves and the earth. We have education programs for youth, teens, and adults to support an informed and empowered community.
  5. Stewardship: Every action counts. Individual participation is essential to protect and restore our natural resources. We engage community members as partners in our work.
  6. Collaborative Problem Solving: For every problem there are common-ground solutions that can be discovered through open discussion and innovation. We strive to work with all stakeholders—including residents, government, agriculture, students, and businesses—to solve problems and build community.
  7. Be the Change: Act locally to replicate globally. We learn from others and create and share models, techniques, and tools that others can use.

Our Programs Include:

  1. Research to understand the condition of Sonoma Valley and the Sonoma Creek watershed, which informs projects and priorities for the ecological health of the region.
  2. Education to support sustainable practices and create future leadership for Sonoma Valley.
  3. Restoration to repair damage to waterways, natural habitats, and publicly accessible open spaces.
  4. Preservation to protect our natural heritage and public lands.
  5. Data & Mapping (GIS) Services using technology to manage and share environmental information for greater efficacy and impact.

What’s important about Sonoma Valley?

Sonoma Valley is home to an amazing variety of species living in a small space. As many as a quarter of California’s species exist in this compact area, a place that comprises only a tenth of 1% of California’s entire land area! Since the Valley is mostly privately owned over thousands of parcels, it needs all of us to be good stewards to sustain this amazing legacy for the future. Our valley is also a watershed–a basic unit around which life on earth is organized. It’s also economically and socially diverse. In short, it offers a lot of what other places offer in a small, human-scale valley. It’s a place that may be just the right size to get important things done together. And as we learn more about how to take care of our special place, we may help others do the same in theirs. Please join us!

Source: Sonoma Ecology Center

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