Board approves Community Education Program

Board approves Community Education Program

October 14, 2014

Posted in: Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Amy Ricard | SCAPOSD
707/565.7261
amy.ricard@sonoma-county.org

Board Approves Community Education Program

Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District Board approves contracts with community groups for science education and outings

SANTA ROSA, CA (October 14, 2014) – The Board of Supervisors, acting as Directors of the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District (District), today approved three-year contracts with four  experienced community groups who will offer educational opportunities and outings on District-protected properties to over 12,000 students and adults.

On lands the public has protected, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Gold Ridge Conservation District, LandPaths and the Sonoma Ecology Center will provide experiential education, interpretation, vocational, and stewardship models for residents of all ages to learn about the District, Sonoma County habitats and species, land conservation and stewardship, and local agriculture. Students from the elementary level through high school can engage in field-based classroom programs that will explore the important relationship between healthy agricultural systems, a healthy environment, and healthy communities. The public at large can experience outings on protected land throughout the County that reflects the diversity and natural beauty of where they live.

“The educational program at the District is a very important way in which we provide access to our properties and share the values and benefits of land conservation in Sonoma County,” says Bill Keene, District General Manager. “With our partners, we educate school kids and the community in outdoor classrooms – such as family farms, ranches or fragile watershed areas that are protected by conservation easements. This is a great way to keep the next generation informed on the important natural resource and agricultural investments being made by the visionary voters of Sonoma County.”

An important goal of the Education Program is to engage a broad diversity of county residents and visitors of all ages and cultural backgrounds. The chosen providers’ strengths, such as bilingual and diverse program staff and outreach materials, strong community networks, and strategies for staying relevant and addressing social and socioeconomic barriers, will go far in enticing all Sonoma County residents outside to enjoy the agricultural, natural and cultural resource, scenic and recreational lands it protects.

“I support the District’s educational programs because many of the outdoor classroom programs have become an integral part of the public school science curriculum,” reports District Board member, Efren Carrillo. “They are experiences that many students would never have if the District didn’t exist. And the outings get people of all ages outside to enjoy the natural beauty of our County we sometimes take for granted. They also create an opportunity to exercise in the fresh air. And a guided experience may encourage individuals to explore or plan a future adventure on their own.”

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About the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation & Open Space District
The Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District permanently protects the diverse agricultural, natural resource and scenic open space lands of Sonoma County for future generations. Since 1990, the District has protected more than 109,000 acres. Agricultural and open space lands have been protected through a 1/4-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1990 and reauthorized in 2006. For more information, please visit www.sonomaopenspace.org