Come experience the Petaluma Watershed for yourself through Friends’ unique, hands-on programming connecting the community to our River. Discover the River on your own steam in one of our kayaks during free Boating at the Barn or participate in one of our on-going activities at Steamer Landing Park like our Nature Camps and Stewardship Days.  Our programming at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center offers great ways to spend some quality time with the family, learn about local history or just connect with nature. Read on for descriptions and registration links for our programs.

Green Heron Nature Camp 2022

This exciting nature awareness program connects children to the Petaluma River Watershed through hands-on learning and exploration. Activities for camp include naturalist games, primitive skills, canoeing, crafts, bird watching, identifying wild edibles and fresh farm food crafting. We will explore the River by boat experiencing the hidden treasures of the River.

We keep our camp sizes small so we can focus on each individual camper and ensure the best possible experience and connection with the Petaluma River. We currently have a 4:1 ratio of campers to staff.

During COVID-19 we are following all CDC and County health and safety guidelines. Camp will take place in 3 cohorts in order to keep groups small. The Coyote and Steelhead Cohorts, for 6-12 year-olds, will follow a similar weekly flow except the Steelhead Cohort will spend an additional day on the water.

The River Otters Cohort is for youth 9-13 years old and will often include a general theme for the week. This group will spend more time on the water, build more advanced nature skills and take a deeper look at the plants and animals found in the Petaluma Watershed.

NEW IN 2022

We are excited to introduce a few new “themed” weeks of camp this Summer!  Each week provides an opportunity for youth to dive deep and connect to place through an immersive experiential-based approach.  Our themed weeks include: Nature’s Chefs, Herbal Medicine Making, Wilderness Skills, Earth Stewards, and Maker’s by Nature. We are also happy to announce a return of our Golden Eagles week – a Nature Connection program for Teens, ages 13-16. Please see below for a further description of each theme.

Each week will include a variety of our deep nature connection routines, including nature games, sit spots, nature journaling and more.

For more information please contact Stephanie Bastianon at stephanie@FriendsofthePetalumaRiver.org, or call (707) 763-7756.

GHNC CAMP DETAILS:

Cost:  Coyote & Steelhead Cohorts $300/wk  |  River Otters Cohort $350/wk

Camp takes place at Steamer Landing Park, Open Field Farms and the Petaluma Marina.

Monday through Friday 9:00AM – 3:00PM

*  This symbol means the cohort is a themed week

SUMMER 2022 DATES

WEEK 1 – June 13 – 17 – Click a link below to register for a cohort (Theme for River Otters: Wilderness Skills)

(The Steelhead & River Otter cohorts are currently full. Please CLICK HERE to sign up on our waitlist and you will be notified when a space becomes available.)

Coyote Cohort |  Steelhead Cohort   |   River Otters Cohort

WEEK 2 – June 20-24 – Click a link below to register for a cohort (Theme for River Otters: Herbal Medicine-Making)

(The River Otter and Steelhead cohorts are currently full. Please CLICK HERE to sign up on our waitlist and you will be notified when a space becomes available.)

Coyote Cohort |  Steelhead Cohort   |  River Otters Cohort*

WEEK 3 – June 27-July 1 – Click a link below to register for a cohort (Theme for Coyote & River Otters: Makers By Nature)

(All cohorts are currently full. Please CLICK HERE to sign up on our waitlist and you will be notified when a space becomes available.)

Coyote Cohort* |  Steelhead Cohort   |  River Otters Cohort*

WEEK 4 – July 4-8 – Click a link below to register for a cohort

Coyote CohortSteelhead Cohort   |  River Otters Cohort

WEEK 5 – July 11-15 – Click a link below to register for a cohort

(The Coyote and Steelhead cohorts are currently full. Please CLICK HERE to sign up on our waitlist and you will be notified when a space becomes available.)

Coyote Cohort |  Steelhead Cohort |  River Otters Cohort

WEEK 6 – July 18-22 – Click a link below to register for a cohort (Theme for Coyotes: Nature’s Chefs)

(The Coyote and Steelhead cohorts are currently full. Please CLICK HERE to sign up on our waitlist and you will be notified when a space becomes available.)

Coyote Cohort* |  Steelhead Cohort

WEEK 7 – July 25-29 – Click a link below to register for a cohort (Theme for Steelhead: Nature’s Chefs)

Coyote Cohort | Steelhead Cohort*  |  Golden Eagles

WEEK 8 – August 1-5 – Click a link below to register for a cohort (Theme for River Otters: Earth Stewards)

(The River Otter cohort is currently full. Please CLICK HERE to sign up on our waitlist and you will be notified when a space becomes available.)

Coyote Cohort |  Steelhead Cohort   |  River Otters Cohort*

Herbal Medicine Making

We’ll get to know our plant friends from the Petaluma River Watershed during this weeklong  Herbal Medicine Making camp.  We will invite campers into the plant world with an introduction to herbalism, including harvesting ethics, plant I.D, reciprocity and making our own plant medicines.  During the week campers will have fun delighting their senses with a wide variety of plant potions, including honeys, teas, aromatic spritzers and more.

Makers by Nature~Art with Nature

We all have a maker inside us, and how great it is to craft with local materials creating something beautiful.  We will be connecting to place through our artistic expression.  Campers will be introduced to a variety of nature based art creations using natural pigments, wool, natural fibers, clay and more.

Nature’s Chefs(fresh)

During this week of camp youth will experience the joy of cooking.  We will begin with an introduction to basic culinary skills including food preparation, knife safety and chopping techniques with local produce.  Everyone will have an opportunity to harvest and prepare a variety of farm fresh food, and herbal treats and beverages to share.

Wilderness Skills Competency

This camp introduces the fundamentals of wilderness skills through connecting to nature in a playful and grounded way.  Campers will build connection and confidence in wilderness settings that support them in thriving in and out of nature. All activities will allow for sharpening our awareness of our surroundings through fire making, shelter building, foraging for food, treating wounds, and purifying water. Campers will gain a strong sense of place, peace, and confidence in the outdoors as they learn skills that become helpful for thriving in wilderness situations.

Earth Stewards 

Earth Stewards will provide the  opportunity for youth to dive deep into connection with nature and land stewardship. By developing knowledge of and orientation to place, we will learn as stewards through species monitoring, community science practices, and activities within our local ecosystem. Campers will cumulatively design and implement a restoration project of their choice. 

Golden Eagles

This program focuses on supporting teens, 13-16 years old, in developing their leadership skills, nature competency and healthy communication skills with peers. During this week of camp teens will deepen their connection to nature while having fun in the beautiful Petaluma River Watershed.
Campers will spend time paddling along the Petaluma River, engage in daily nature connection routines, craft with earth based materials, play nature games, learn basic orienteering and more. We will end the week with an overnight campout on Thursday night.

NATURE IMMERSION CAMPS

WINTER/SPRING NOW ENROLLING 

Friends is now enrolling campers for the 2022 session of our Nature Immersion program to spend time on the land this winter and spring. These monthly camps immerse youth in nature, allowing them to gain skills and comfort in the outdoors. Camp takes place on one Saturday or Sunday each month at Open Field Farms.  Lessons and skills build throughout the immersion program growing participants’ knowledge and understanding.

Hours are 9am to 3pm each day.

Cost: $300.00 for 5 months

Scholarships & payment plans available. Contact stephanie@friendsofthepetalumariver.org

Fox Kits

Fox Kits allows youth ages 6–8 a chance to immerse themselves in the natural world of the Petaluma Watershed. At this age children are discovering their environment through play and exploration. Fox Kits seeks to strengthen their nature connection and support them in feeling comfortable out in nature. By engaging youth in meaningful play, exploring the watershed and letting our imaginations be wild we will foster a sense of place and an appreciation for nature.

Click on a link below to register for a session. 

Saturday Session – January 8th, February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th

Sunday Session  – January 9th, February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, May 15th

Elderberry Blossoms

Elderberry Blossoms supports (self identified) young girls ages 9-12 in developing strong and healthy relationships with themselves, their peers and nature.  In a time of transition into adolescence Elderberries provides a foundation allowing for a deepening in their connections to the Earth, their skills, capabilities and inherent sense of awe and wonder.  We will help to foster these connections through our time out in nature as we immerse in the practices of earth skills in the Petaluma River Watershed.  Through the course of this program girls will have the opportunity to grow deeper into themselves as blossoming individuals, including growth in their self esteem and self confidence.  We will explore the Watershed; hiking, navigating the River via paddle boats, making herbal medicine and culinary creations, creating primitive fire including cooking over the fire, wild-crafting with both edible and medicinal plants, basic rope making, sewing and more.

Click on a link below to register for a session. 

Sunday Session –  January 9th, February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, May 15th

Badger Tracks

Based in practices of nature connection, Badger Tracks invites all youth, ages 9-12, transitioning toward adolescence to build deeper and resilient relationships with themselves, others, and the natural communities around them. Over the course of the spring and winter, youth and mentors will meet monthly to immerse ourselves in the natural communities of the Petaluma River Watershed, engaging in practices aimed toward greater awareness of and connection to this place and to ourselves in it. These practices will include animal tracking, wild-crafting, earth-based skills, learning to work with wild edible and medicinal plants, and more. We will work together in developing healthy peer to peer and mentoring relationships.

Click on a link below to register for a session. 

Saturday Session – January 8th, February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th

Sunday Session – January 9th, February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, May 15th

Friends’ Flickers

AN AFTER-SCHOOL NATURE CONNECTION PROGRAM FOR YOUTH 6-10 YEARS OLD

Friends’ Flickers gets young students outside, learning about and exploring nature through a place-based, play-focused after school program. Through standards-based lessons, hands-on activities, games, crafts and of course time in boats on the Petaluma River, youth gain a great connection with and understanding of their local environment.

Program Details: 

6 weeks of instruction | 1 day a week

Cost: $180.00 per session

Winter Session 1 –  Click the link below to register 

GRANT ELEMENTARY – Tuesdays (Jan. 11, 18, 25, and Feb. 1, 8, 15) REGISTER HERE

MCNEAR ELEMENTARY – Wednesdays |1:10pm – 3:10pm (Feb. 9, 16, 23, and March 2, 9, 16) REGISTER HERE

BIMG_6554OATING AT THE BARN

**THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN SUSPENDED DUE TO THE COVID-19 VIRUS. PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR OPENING DATE.**

EVERY SUNDAY 10AM-1PM*

Sunday’s Boating at the Barn program is entering its third year shepherded by stellar volunteer Eve O’Rouke. Eve and crew are at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center every Sunday from 10am to 1pm checking out boats to the community. Our growing fleet includes rowboats, canoes, kayaks and a sailboat, all of which can be checked out for free by the public after a short safety demonstration. Come explore the Petaluma River and Watershed for yourself!

WATERSHED CLASSROOM

IMG_4164Friends of the Petaluma River believes that educators are our community’s most important resource. By teaching Petaluma’s youth, our teachers are guiding future generations of Petalumans whose decisions will determine the health and vitality of our wetlands and other natural resources.

Friends of the Petaluma River is committed to supporting Petaluma educators and the implementation of curriculum that focuses on our community’s most important natural resource, the Petaluma River and Watershed. Participating educators will receive a $500 stipend to use to design and implement their new curriculum.

To date over 3000 students from 13 different schools have learned about the Petaluma Watershed through this program. Visit our website, watershedclassroom.org to learn more about current projects, teacher resources or to sign up to participate.

Contact Stephanie Bastianon at (707) 763-7756 or stephanie@FriendsofthePetalumaRiver.org for more information.

ADOPT-A-CREEK

Want to support ongoing stewardship of the Petaluma Watershed? Adopt a creek! Businesses, schools/classrooms,  community groups and individuals that want to make a difference in their community creeks, can directly benefit a local creek. With support from Friends, Adopters help remove trash and monitor conditions in their Creek. Adopters will be recognized at the creek site, on the Friends’ website and through social media marketing. Commitments are a year in length. Creek sections are approximately 1 – .5 mile in length.

Sign up today to adopt a creek and we’ll work with you to create a plan that fits your team’s needs. Be a part of the solution to River pollution – Adopt a creek!

There are 3 ways to participate:

  • Sponsor a Creek – sponsors fund cleanup activities at their creek and receive recognition for their support at the creek, on Friends’ website and through our social media channels
  • Adopter – adopters volunteer in groups to provide cleanup, restoration, and monitoring at their creek site. Adopters are also recognized on our website and at the creek.
  • Sponsor/Adopter – fund a creek site and volunteer to steward it!

RIVER FRIENDLY BUSINESS

417513_311148592267085_946952769_nDoes your business want to help protect and conserve the Petaluma River? The Petaluma River isn’t only a place to recreate and enjoy nature, it is also a working River. It was estimated by the Petaluma Downtown Association that the Petaluma River brings over 1.3 million to the local economy annually. We want to give local businesses the opportunity to tell their customers that they support a healthy and vital Petaluma River.

Our River Friendly Business program has two tracks, one for small businesses and one for larger businesses (those with over 25 employees). Download information for small businesses HERE or large businesses HERE.

Our dual marketing strategy will let  your customers and our supporters know that your business is committed to celebrating and conserving the local environment.

Sign your business up today by clicking HERE

Call (707) 763-7756 or email stephanie@friendsofthepetalumariver.org for more information.