January 17, 2019
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RP Downtown project underway ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency RP has a new director of public safety USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA 2018 local stories which made history Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation Help save lives by donating blood El Camino graduates A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities PG&E has a prediction model Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cougars beat Bulldogs Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion Rohnert Park road updates Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! 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Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve

  • Fairfield Osborn Preserve

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
January 11, 2019

The Fairfield Osborn Preserve, one of the three preserves owned and managed by Sonoma State University, is inviting community members to participate in a special winter naturalist program. The docent training will educate participants about the natural and cultural history of Sonoma Mountain and how to share this knowledge with others, especially school children. 

“What is unique about this particular winter naturalist program is that it is for community members, specifically,” says Julie Wittmann, Naturalist Training Coordinator for the Center for Environmental Inquiry at Sonoma State University. “Historically our programs have been geared towards Sonoma State University students. But what we’re doing here is creating an environmental education docent training program to support our other naturalists in the future for our other programs. It’s really important that we have community members support this program because they’ll go on to continue to support other naturalists in training and the field trip programs that we have at Fairfield Osborn Preserve.”

The university received a grant for the sole purpose of conducting this special training program geared towards community members. Once trained, docents are expected to commit to leading at least five tours for elementary school children, primarily on Fridays from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

“Our field trip programs typically focus on 3rd through 5th grade,” says Wittmann. “We provide field trip opportunities for a lot of students in the North Bay, especially in Sonoma County.”

The four-day training takes place on Jan. 13, 20, 27 and Feb. 3. Participants are required to be available all four days, as well as a practice tour on Feb. 8. All training and tours are hosted at the Education Center at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve, a 15-minute drive from Sonoma State’s campus to Lichau Road in Penngrove.

Trained naturalists become part of a community of volunteers -who not only have the chance to learn more themselves about our local flora and fauna, but also obtain access to exclusive events, hikes and overnight field trips with regional experts.

“Becoming part of the local community in supporting school children and having an exploration-based way to enjoy our natural environment would be the number one benefit of participating,” says Wittmann. “Also, it’s really important for folks to know about our local natural and cultural history in Sonoma County, including on Sonoma Mountain which is where Fairfield Osborn preserve is located.”

At the time of this writing there is still room to participate in the program and interested volunteers can contact Julie Wittmann at