Youth work days at Dogbane Preserve

August 9, 2019

Posted in: News Articles

Youth work days at Dogbane Preserve

Since 1997, Ag + Open Space has owned and stewarded a greenbelt property, Dogbane Preserve in north Santa Rosa between Highway 101 and Old Redwood Highway. Dogbane Preserve is three acres of open space that helps to create a buffer between Santa Rosa and Windsor. Greenbelts preserve the unique character of Sonoma County’s cities and communities, by preventing sprawl and protecting cultural and natural resources. 

Dogbane Preserve is home to the Dogbane plant – an important cultural resource of Native American communities. For centuries, Native Americans have come from all over the state to harvest the plant for use in making cordage, nets, bags, and belts. Ag + Open Space and tribal partners host an annual harvest and stewardship day, which includes cordage-making demonstrations and removal of invasive Himalayan blackberry.

In order to care for the land and its resources, Ag + Open Space partners with local tribes and other community organizations like Social Advocates for Youth and the Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps to organize stewardship days with local youth. These community organizations work together to get youth working outside and learning about Sonoma County’s cultural heritage and the environment during the summer months each year.

During a recent series of workdays, a youth work crew cleared out large swaths of invasive Himalayan blackberry. The removal of invasive plants encourages further growth of native plants, including the Dogbane, that have historically grown on the property. 

Ag + Open Space is proud to work with our indigenous and other local communities to protect Dogbane and ensure it remains a resource for many generations to come.