Ground Nesting Native Bees
Look for tiny mounds of soil a sign that ground nesting native bees are emerging from their nests in the bare soils. Up to 70% of our native bees are solitary ground nesting species. Last spring and summer ground nesting female bees, such as mining bee (Andrena sp.), dug little holes in firm, unmulched, untilled dirt to create safe underground burrows to lay their eggs. Then at the bottom of the little tunnel/tube, the female would lay an egg, topped by some 'bread' - a special pollen-nectar mix for the larva to eat when it hatched. Then she would top off this little room with a separator (of dirt or special cut-to-size leaf), then repeat - lay an egg, collect enough pollen & nectar to make another little loaf of bread, then cover that up...and so on. Imagine! Such devotion. Resulting in little bee eggs, becoming larvae, cozied up through the winter in the underground... waiting for just the right conditions (soil temperature? light? etc.?) to signal time to emerge.
Xerces.org is a wonderful resource to learn native bees and other pollinators.
Here is an article about ground nesting native bees from their website.
Back Pocket Activities - Sound Mapping
Sound mapping is an easy activity for a wide range of ages.
Check out this Sound Map lesson from Lifelab
Spring Scavenger Hunt
This is also a great time to create a Spring Scavenger Hunt if your students have access to a park or backyard. Pinterest has loads of ideas for different kinds of spring scavenger hunts.
Help the SongBirds
One of the joys of winter can be observing songbirds at our bird feeders. But unfortunately this winter due to a deadly outbreak of avian salmonella, ornithologists in California are asking everyone to put away their bird feeders. It seems to be affecting Pine Siskins, a winter migrant, in particular.
You can read the full article here in the Press Democrat
Read a Book!
Outside Your Window- A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies
“The buzz of bees in summertime. The tracks of a bird in the winter snow. This beautiful book captures all the sights and sounds of a child’s interactions with nature, from planting acorns or biting into crisp apples to studying tide pools or lying back and watching the birds overhead. No matter what’s outside their windows — city streets or country meadows — kids will be inspired to explore the world around them. “ Google books
The School Garden Network is actively seeking passionate, diverse, and experienced board members to help guide the organization as it grows.
School Garden Network promotes and supports school garden programs throughout Sonoma County. We empower youth to embrace healthy eating habits and to develop respect for and stewardship of all living things.
Learning: We actively support the garden educator community and the children it serves.
Community: We foster healthy relationships with food, the environment, and each other.
Health: We promote healthy choices for students and their families.
Networking: We offer free resources and seasonal opportunities to all schools
Healthy Roots-We provide school garden and nutrition mentoring, workshops, local farm tours, consultations, curriculum support, and more.
School Affiliate Program- Our network of schools within the school garden community have access to free seeds & plants, and receive discounts from local business partnerships.
Teen Apprentice Program – With our our summer program, teens obtain training and employment by participating in the Water Wise irrigation installations and providing garden maintenance to affiliate schools.
SchoolYard Habitat– In partnership with US Fish and Wildlife Services, SGN provides consulting and funding for habitat projects at school sites
WaterWise Mini-Grants– In partnership with Harmony Farm Supply, we offer eligible schools free irrigation design, installation and support.
An Honor to Serve on the Board
SGN board members work collaboratively to direct and support an established and respected organization. Board members are part of a team made up of community members and professionals who come together to make policies and provide strategic direction and oversight.
The School Garden Network Needs YOU if . . .
You are passionate about garden based education
You have an interest in community health
You are excited about being part of a hard-working and respectful team
You are able to commit 6 hours a month to board and committee work
You are motivated to raise funds and network for our organization
You have experience as a leader in a non-profit organization
You are an experienced fundraiser, and enthusiastic about sharing your skills
You have expertise in finance, accounting or law
Next Steps :
SGN is seeking to bring on a few new board members to serve two -year terms beginning in March 2019. Please email Sue Davis to receive more detailed information about the Board of Directors Job Description. Interested candidates will be interviewed by our Recruiting Team. Application deadline: March 1, 2019.
Daily Acts is hiring a Programs Coordinator. They are looking for someone who is detail oriented, a bilingual English/Spanish speaker, and is interested in organizing, promoting, and facilitating workshops, talks, and landscape installations that teach people about earth-friendly practices. This is a full-time job with benefits--the applicant should have an associates degree or higher.
Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM (PST)
Central Santa Rosa Library
211 E Street
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
The Sonoma County Healthy Students Initiative in partnership with the Dept. of Health Services will offer this free workshop to prepare school districts for the first Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) statewide administrative review under USDA Final Rule regulations coming up next year.
Whether your district has just (or even not yet) begun the process of updating policy language to comply with the new requirements or has already implemented changes and is preparing assessment and documentation approaches, this session is designed to help you identify the most impactful next steps you can take toward compliance.
Heather Reed, Nutrition Education Consultant for the California Dept. of Education will offer guidance on how best to prepare for state administrative review under Final Rule, regardless of how much progress you've made to date. Following are breakout working sessions tailored to address your district's specific area of need.
Whether you are accountable for ensuring LSWP compliance within your school district or you are an individual stakeholder working on wellness initiatives, this session is for you. All members of your school wellness team are welcome to join this training. Attendees will network with peers and wellness experts from across Sonoma County, learn key strategies for complying with LSWP requirements under Final Rule and take away tools and resources to efficiently prepare for administrative review.
The School Garden Network is hosting a POP UP & FUNDRAISER this Monday Jan 14th from 5:30-8:30pm at Lagunitas Tap Room in Petaluma.
Join us for an evening of dancing to the popular local band Dgiin, dining on asian street food from Jam’s Joy Bungalow Food Truck, and donating to a great community cause. There will be wonderful auction items and a warm community vibe.
100% of Beer Sales Goes Directly to the School Garden Network!
Bring the family and connect with the community of SGN!
Non alcoholic beverages will be served by Sonoma Enlivened (the people that brought you The Kefiry).
A special thanks to Taylor Lane for helping to sponsor the event!
Email any questions to Lynn
Hope to see you there!
The Worm Wizard of Waste Program is looking for highly motivated schools in Sonoma Valley (3rd grade and up) with the capacity to initiate or improve an institution-wide daily practice of recycling organic waste through on-site vermiculture systems!
If your Sonoma Valley school would like to participate in our Worm
Wizard of Waste program during the 2019- 2020 school year, or you
would like to learn more about our program please go to www.wormwizards.org or contact our ProgramManager Oona Heacock - firstname.lastname@example.org (707) 978-4149.
Strawberry plants can be picked up during the schedule listed below at Bounty Farm (55 Shasta Ave. Petaluma, CA 94952). Their preference is to donate to under-resourced communities that may not have the option to grow strawberries otherwise. If you will take a large number (over50), please contact them ahead of time (email@example.com or (707) 364-4883).
Thursday, 11/29: 2pm - 5pm
Saturday, 12/1: 9am - 12pm
We have two varieties available (more variety information below). Once we run out of a variety, we will post on our Facebook page.
More information on strawberry varieties from Lassen Canyon Nursery website:
Chandler continues to be one of the “go to” varieties for roadside strawberry stands, backyard gardeners everywhere and many commercial growers in the southeast. Chandler produces semi-early delicious sweet fruit. Fruit size is medium to large and medium in firmness. Chandler performs well in the east and is well adapted to the south.
Sweet Ann is a vigorous plant with high productivity and exceptional flavor. The attractive fruit is large in size, with a beautiful long conical shape. It has medium firmness with a good acid-sugar balance and very sweet taste. Sweet Ann is a glossy red color both inside and out. The variety produces few runners in the fruiting field.
Sweet Ann seems quite disease resistant to everything but fusarium wilt. It is an excellent choice for the organic production systems.
Sonoma County Bee Keepers Association offers free educational presentations with activities for classes with grade appropriate material. They prepare several hands-on activities including singing, drawing, and manipulating bee-related paraphernalia. Also covered are more advanced topics in genetics and environmental issues for high schools and adults. Please see this document for a general outline of the various topics covered: Topics Covered in School Presentations (PDF).
For more information and to request a free presentation at your school. Visit their website here.