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.

Friends’ Flickers


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 | 2 days a week

Tuesday/Thursday 3:00pm – 5:00pm  |  Cost: $275.00 per session

Wednesday (McNear Elementary students only) 12:45pm – 2:45pm | Cost: $150.00 per session

Location: Steamer Landing Park, 6 Copeland Street, Petaluma & McNear Elementary School, 605 Sunnyslope Avenue, Petaluma


Fall Session 1 – September 13 – October 22 – Click the links below to register for a Cohort 

STEAMER LANDING PARK – Tuesday & Thursday (Sept. 28, 30, and Oct. 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21) REGISTER HERE * SPECIAL 6-wk session/ $180.00

MCNEAR ELEMENTARY – Wednesday (Sept. 15, 22, 29, and Oct. 6, 13, 20)  Registration is through McNear Elementary

Fall Session 2 – November 2 – December 10 – Click the links below to register for a Cohort 

OPEN FIELD FARM – Tuesday & Thursday (Nov. 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 30 and Dec. 2, 7, 9, 14, 16) REGISTER HERE

*This program is taking place in accordance with county public health regulations regarding COVID-19. Youth will be in cohorts of 8-14 kids with 2 educators. Health screenings will take place before each day of program and youth will need to wear a face covering when not social distancing.

**Program will be cancelled if air quality is above 100 AQI due to wildfires. Make up days will be offered if cancellations are necessary.


Friends is now enrolling campers in our 2021-22 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: $450.00

Scholarships & payment plans available. Contact [email protected]

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 – October 9th, November 13th, December 11th, January 8th, February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th

Sunday Session (full) – October 10th, November 14th, December 12th, 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. 

Saturday Session (closed) – October 9th, November 13th, December 11th, January 8th, February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th

Sunday Session – October 10th, November 14th, December 12th, 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 – October 9th, November 13th, December 11th, January 8th, February 12th, March 12th, April 9th, May 14th

Sunday Session – October 10th, November 14th, December 12th, January 9th, February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, May 15th



Thank you for voting the Green Heron Nature Camp PETALUMA’s 2020 PEOPLE’S CHOICE FOR SUMMER CAMPS!!!!!!

Introducing the 2021 Winter Camp for Green Heron Nature Camp. We’ll have all the activities your children love, paddling, crafting, exploring and playing out in nature – all in the winter world of the Petaluma Watershed.


Ages: 6-12

When: Monday, Dec. 27th – Thursday, Dec. 30th

Time: 9am – 3pm

Where: The Petaluma Marina and Open Field Farm

Cost: $250.00

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.



¡Gracias por votar la ELECCIÓN DE LAS PERSONAS 2020 PARA LOS CAMPAMENTOS DE VERANO del Green Heron Nature Camp PETALUMA!

Este emocionante programa de concienciación sobre la naturaleza conecta a los niños con la cuenca del río Petaluma mediante el aprendizaje y la exploración prácticos. Las actividades para el campamento incluyen juegos naturalistas, habilidades primitivas, piragüismo, manualidades, observación de aves, identificación de comestibles silvestres y elaboración de alimentos agrícolas frescos. Exploraremos el río en bote experimentando los tesoros escondidos del río.

Mantenemos el tamaño de nuestros campamentos pequeños para poder concentrarnos en cada campista individual y garantizar la mejor experiencia y conexión posibles con el río Petaluma. 

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con Stephanie Bastianon al correo electrónico: [email protected], o llame al (707) 763-7756.



Costo:   $250 / semana | Diciembre 27 – 30

El campamento se lleva a cabo en Steamer Landing Park, Open Field Farms y Petaluma Marina.

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM


Golden Eagles –

Nature mentoring program for youth ages 14-17, which features a three-day/two-night camp out. Golden Eagles builds and fosters a connection to nature as youth grow into their teen years. Throughout our camp out, teens develop nature skills while exploring local environments, growing their sense of self and forming a deeper awareness of the natural world. Campers develop their interpersonal skills, critical thinking abilities and their love for and knowledge of their local environment. For more information,  please contact Stephanie at [email protected]


Tuition:  $300/wk

Dates: July 13th – 15th

Camp meets in the morning at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center @ Steamer Landing Park.

Monday – Friday at 9:00am – Wednesday at 3pm.




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!


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, to learn more about current projects, teacher resources or to sign up to participate.

Contact Stephanie Bastianon at (707) 763-7756 or [email protected] for more information.


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!


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 [email protected] for more information.