Official Plant List of Sonoma County

View a beautiful online guide of plants well suited to our area, and get detailed recommendations on where to plant, when and how much to water, valuable rebate programs, and more.

Visit the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership today.qwel-logo-transparent

Do-It-Yourself or find a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper in your area. Trained in water-wise landscape practices including plant selection, irrigation system design and water management, a QWEL graduate will help meet your landscape needs while keeping your outdoor water use in check.

Check the list to choose a QWEL Landscaper from the many who serve Sonoma Valley.

Is your current landscape company conspicuously missing from the QWEL list?

Ask them why they aren’t training and certifying their employees in the latest best practices.

Transition Streets – Comes to Sonoma

Do You Know Your Neighbors? Evidently 43% of Americans do not, according to Pew Research.

TRANSITION STREETS  is a pilot program recently launched by Transition Sonoma Valley to see if we can begin to change that, making Sonoma a better, more resilient place to live in the process.

We believe that no amount of nonsense or political gridlock can hold back neighbors who know and care about one another, who want to improve their community, and are ready to work together to make a difference for the better.

Transition Streets is based on a very innovative and successful program first developed by Transition Towne Totnes, a town in the UK about a three-hour drive southwest of London.

Continue reading Transition Streets – Comes to Sonoma

PRMD Winery Events Public Hearing

The proliferation of public wine tasting venues and events on agricultural land has provoked substantial backlash in both Sonoma Valley and Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Road area over the past few years. Some larger wine facility proposals have also drawn substantial neighborhood opposition.

The hot-button issue of winery events will be discussed by the Sonoma Valley Citizen’s Advisory Commission in a public workshop at the Sonoma Veterans Center on Jan. 27.

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Image: The Drunkenness of Noah by Giovanni Bellini (1515)

MARCH TO SONOMA PLAZA FOR CLIMATE ACTION

On the eve of the critical United Nations COP21 Climate Summit in Paris (Nov 30 to Dec 11), concerned citizens all around the world will be coming together for a week of marches and demonstrations to ensure that world, national and local governmental leaders understand that people demand action to stop the increase of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere.

Transition Sonoma Valley and the Earth Care Committee of the First Congregational Church of Sonoma are co-hosting a local “Global Climate March” around the Plaza on Sunday, November 29. Beginning at 12:00 noon, a pre-march rally in Burlingame Hall (252 W. 252 W. Spain Street), will convene for making posters and signs and receiving actionable items before the March kicks off at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome including senior citizens, students, children, grandchildren and pets, for the march from Burlingame Hall around the Plaza before congregating near the sidewalk at the intersection of Broadway and Napa Street for a public witness in support of sustained political action on behalf of the environment.

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Protecting and Preserving Sonoma Valley

Protecting and Preserving Our Beautiful Sonoma Valley: What Needs To Be Done?

An Evening of Dialogue with Richard Dale Executive Director Sonoma Ecology Center, and Dave Koehler Director Sonoma Land Trust

November 13 – Burlingame Hall 7:00PM  <add to calendar>

As population, housing, and commercial development have increased, there has been consequent challenge to the Sonoma Valley. Bio-diversity in agriculture has been sacrificed and now California’s sustained drought has placed further stress upon the environment of this special valley.

You are invited to bring your questions and opinions to this evening of dialogue with two thoughtful leaders whose organizations are working to respond to such environmental issues as water supply and quality, protection and purchase of open space, access to public lands, biodiversity, the challenges to the wildlife corridor in the Valley, energy source and use, and climate change.

These issues affect your quality of life and that of your children and grandchildren. What should we do to sustain this valley for the future? How can we ensure the preservation and restoration of waterways, natural habitats for animals and the protection of our natural heritage and public lands? How can we preserve open space? And how can you best join these efforts?

Download the Flyer >>

Harnessing the Economy

In a talk entitled Harnessing the Economy to Fight Climate Change: Carbon Fee and Dividend, Dr. Peter Joseph will address why he believes that the quickest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to put a meaningful price on carbon through adoption of a carbon tax (fee) combined with a re-distributive dividend policy.

Dr. Joseph has been invited by the Earth Care Committee of The First Congregational Church (FCC) United Church of Christ in Sonoma to engage the public on this timely and critical subject on Tuesday evening, October 20th at 7:00 pm in Burlingame Hall, on the FCC campus, located at 252 West Spain Street.

Continue reading Harnessing the Economy

Peak Wine? Let Them Eat Cake

Sonoma County’s 40+ year love affair with grape alcohol may be on the rocks. Or is it time to pop a cork to celebrate the apex of high times in Wine Country?

It depends on whom you ask.

Writing for The Bohemian, Stephanie Hiller reports that Big Vineyards Face a Sustainability Gap in Sonoma County. Napa winederkind [sic] Joe Wagner’s proposal to build a huge new winery, distillery and events center at Dairyman ranch off Highway 12 near Sebastopol has led to a groundswell of opposition.

Does Wagner care?

Continue reading Peak Wine? Let Them Eat Cake

Faith and Science – Who Believes?

For a long time, we’ve been having a pretty confused discussion about the relationship between religious beliefs and the rejection of science — and especially its two most prominent U.S. incarnations, evolution denial and climate change denial.

Josh Rosenau, an evolutionary biologist who works for the National Center for Science Education  has published a chart that, no matter what you think of the relationship between science and religion, will give you plenty to think about.

Crunching data from the massive Pew survey of American religious beliefs (2007), Rosenau plotted different U.S. faiths and denominations based on their members’ views about both the reality of specifically human evolution, and also how much they favor “stricter environmental laws and regulations.” Continue reading Faith and Science – Who Believes?

TSV Sustainability Scholarship 2015

Transition Sonoma Valley is extremely pleased to announce that Stephanie Angulo has been selected to become the first recipient of our first annual, Transition Sonoma Valley Sustainability Scholarship. Ms. Angulo is a graduating senior at Sonoma Valley High School and also an intern at TSV.
Ms. Angulo was selected because we believe in planning for and investing in the future, and we consider her intellectual talents, communication skills, and work ethic to merit our support. We also appreciate all the time and good work she has contributed as a volunteer for our organization.
Ms. Angulo received her award, a check in the amount of $500, on May 18, 2015 at Sonoma Valley High School. She also has been accepted into Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute in Washington. In the Fall of 2015  she will enroll in the 3/2 Engineering Program at Occidental College, where she will have the opportunity to complete her studies at Caltech or Columbia University.

Sustainable Sonoma – What It Is, and Isn’t

Fueled by nearly five years of discussions with you, our beloved neighbors in this feisty Bear-Flag-loving pueblo, The Sun has asked us to comment on a surprisingly moveable topic: ‘Sustainability’.

Like Thomas Jefferson, we generally find the truths about sustainability to be ‘self-evident’. Nevertheless, we offer up a few observations we find neither too obscure nor too convenient to ignore.

What We Know

“Sustainability is permanence.” Soil advocate Lady Eve Balfour said this almost 40 years ago, and it still rings true today. She went on to quote Aldo Leopold, “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise”.

Sonoma is blessed with an abundance of natural — and increasingly cultural — amenities that inspire our spirits and make almost all of us happy to live here. Sonoma also has a proud tradition of iconoclastic independence. It should come as no surprise that our new vecinos de Michoacán have independence in their tradition too. We have much to learn from one another in the years to come.

Continue reading Sustainable Sonoma – What It Is, and Isn’t

Networking for Resilience