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.
**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!
*Please check the tides before going to the barn. Due to the lack of dredging in the River, when the tide is beneath 2ft, we cannot go out.
Current closures include:
March 29, April 12, April. 26, May. 10, May. 24, June 7, June 21
Days with amended hours due to tides:
March 15, 10 – 12
June 28, 9:30 – 12:30
Friends 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 [email protected] for more information.
GREEN HERON NATURE CAMP – 2020 Registration is now OPEN!
CONNECTING CHILDREN AGES 6 – 12 WITH THE OUTDOORS
UPDATE: We are still planning to hold camp this summer if the Shelter in Place order is lifted. We are following guidelines from local and national health agencies to ensure campers, their families and our staff will be kept safe.
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.
For more information please contact Stephanie Bastianon at [email protected], or call (707) 763-7756.
SUMMER CAMP NEWS: We are excited to offer three themed weeks this year for those that want to take a deeper dive into some of the fun ways to connect to the Petaluma River. We have also shifted our teen offerings from the Green Heron family of programs. Check out our Teens in Nature section below for camps for our older youth.
GHNC CAMP DETAILS:
Tuition: $275/wk and $325/wk for River Otters (sorry we cannot pro-rate if you miss dates)
Camp meets each morning at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center @ Steamer Landing Park with a couple days at Open Field Farms.
Monday through Friday 9:00AM – 3:00PM
Week 1 – June 1 – 5; Living with the Land: Survival in the Petaluma Watershed – This themed week includes all the fun activities from our traditional week of camp while focusing on the four elements needed for survival: shelter, fire, water and food. Ages 6-12. Week 1 is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 2A – June 8 – 12; Traditional week of Green Heron Nature Camp with River exploration, nature games and skills, hiking, crafts and more. Ages 6-12. Week 2A is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 2B – June 8 – 12; Who Lives in the Watershed: Learn about all the critters that live in the Petaluma Watershed. This themed week is for your young naturalist who will enjoy tracking, observing and learning about all the creatures that call the Petaluma River Watershed home – all while enjoying the river trips, nature crafts and games of our traditional camps. Ages 6-12. Week 2B is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 3A – June 15-19; Traditional week of Green Heron Nature Camp with River exploration, nature games and skills, hiking, crafts and more. Ages 6-12. Week 3A is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 3B – June 15-19; River Otters – This week takes our traditional camp to the next level by culminating in a camp out on Thursday night where campers will practice their nature skills. Ages 9-12. Week 3B is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 4 – June 22 – 26; Traditional week of Green Heron Nature Camp with River exploration, nature games and skills, hiking, crafts and more. Ages 6-12. Week 4 is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 5 – June 29 – July 3; Boats! Boats! Boats!: Kayak, Canoe, SUP the Petaluma River – This themed week explores the River through a variety of boats, teaching kids water safety, paddling techniques and more while spending plenty of time exploring nature through games, crafts and getting to know the land. Week 5 is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 6 – July 6 – 10; Traditional week of Green Heron Nature Camp with River exploration, nature games and skills, hiking, crafts and more. Ages 6-12. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
Week 7 – July 20 – 24; Traditional week of Green Heron Nature Camp with River exploration, nature games and skills, hiking, crafts and more. Ages 6-12. Week 7 is full – please sign up on our wait list and we will contact you if a spot becomes available.
Week 8 – July 27 – 31; Traditional week of Green Heron Nature Camp with River exploration, nature games and skills, hiking, crafts and more. Ages 6-12. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER.
TEENS IN NATURE
Golden Eagles –
Nature mentoring program for youth ages 13-15, 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]
GHNC CAMP DETAILS:
Dates: July 13th – 15th
Camp meets in the morning at the David Yearsley River Heritage Center @ Steamer Landing Park.
Monday at 9:00am – Wednesday at 3pm.
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!
YOUTH NATURE IMMERSION PROGRAMS
Sign up today for our 2019-20 Session!
This is a 8-month program to immerse youth in nature, allowing them to gain skills and comfort in the outdoors. Camp takes place one Saturday each month at Open Field Farm. Lessons and skills build throughout the immersion program growing participants’ knowledge and understanding. Hours are 9am to 3pm each day.
We will end in the Spring with an overnight camp out and celebration.
Camp Dates: October 12th, November 9th, December 14th, January 11th, February 8th, March 14th, April 11th, May 9th / Camp out: May 9th – 10th (Camp out for Badger Tracks and Elderberry Blossoms only)
Tuition: Badger Tracks & Elderberry Blossoms – $475.00 / Fox Kits – $400.00
Fox Kits gives boys and girls ages 6 – 8 a chance to immerse themselves in the natural world of the Petaluma Watershed. At this age children are still discovering their environment. Fox Kits seeks to strengthen this connection and create a sense of comfort in young people 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.
SIGN YOUR CHILD UP FOR FOX KITS HERE.
Elderberry Blossoms supports young girls ages 9-12 and 13-16 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 immersed 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.
SIGN YOUR CHILD UP FOR ELDERBERRY BLOSSOMS HERE