Nonprofit wish list for Christmas/New Year
Kenwood Education Foundation
Since 1999, the Kenwood Education Foundation (KEF) has been supplementing the finances and resources available to the Kenwood School District to provide outstanding educational services for Kenwood Elementary School. The very first donation of $10,000 was provided by someone with no children in the school who recognized the value of education. Today’s directors consist of parents, business people, and community members all working to improve the dialog with, and response from, the whole community, reaching into the neighboring communities of Oakmont, Glen Ellen, Sonoma, Rincon Valley, and Santa Rosa.
The KEF supports programs in art, music, physical education, the computer lab, and the library, and helps pay for classroom instructional aides. It funds pilot programs, gives mini-grants to teachers looking for new and better methods of teaching, supports teacher training, and provides textbooks and educational materials that support major school programs.
Fundraising events are held throughout the school year. From mid-August through September, the KIDS Campaign provides the core contributions and participation statistics that KEF builds upon to obtain grants and funding from outside sources.
February’s Big Heart Luncheon recognizes community members who have made a positive impact on Kenwood School children, as well as the community at large.
Typically held the first Saturday in June, Lights, Camera, Auction! presents a gala dinner dance with silent and live auctions.
Learn more about the KEF at kenwoodeducationfoundation.org.
Rotary Club of GE and Kenwood
The Rotary Club of Glen Ellen-Kenwood raises funds and provides volunteer support for local and international service projects. In the past year the club has helped with, and donated to, the Dunbar Pathway Project, the Kenwood School Lunch Program, Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS), Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH), which helps people in need of rent and utility assistance, among other things, and the Redwood Empire Food Bank.
Club members provide numerous volunteer hours at the Grange in Boyes Hot Springs, where SOS runs a program feeding valley residents who are experiencing homelessness and food insecurity. They also volunteer with the food bank on the first and third Fridays of the month, helping to distribute food at Jack London Village in Glen Ellen.
The club is partnering with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation to renovate and improve the picnic area at Sonoma Valley Regional Park, with work set to begin in spring 2022.
On the international front, for the last three years the club has donated to a clean water and sanitation project in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala, spearheaded by a local Guatemalan Rotary Club.
To make a tax-deductible donation to the Glen Ellen Kenwood Rotary Foundation, please go to www.glenellenkenwoodrotary.com, or mail a check to PO Box 91, Kenwood, CA 95452. To find out more, come to a Rotary meeting on the first and third Wednesdays of the month, 5:30 p.m., at the Kenwood Depot, or contact Ann Peters, club president for 2021–22, at [email protected] gmail.com.
Kiwanis Club of Oakmont
Kiwanis International is a service nonprofit umbrella for hundreds of local organizations dedicated to helping children and communities succeed regardless of economic and social constraints. Member Jeff Davis emphasizes the pleasure members get from both helping children and working directly with them, citing the Montgomery High School Key Club, which helped pack food at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, clean debris from creeks and beaches, work at the Humane Society, and many other civic projects in Sonoma County.
Directly aimed at helping young people attain education beyond high school, the Oakmont Kiwanis Club has developed a program of scholarships awarded to graduating Key Club seniors at both Montgomery and Maria Carrillo High Schools.
Monetary contributions are welcome. Checks should be made out to the Kiwanis Club of Oakmont Foundation, and are eligible for tax exemption. Checks should be sent to PO Box 862, Kenwood, CA 95452. Learn more about the club at oakmontvillage.com/article/kiwanis-raising-funds-for-student-scholarships.
Glen Ellen Forum
The Glen Ellen Forum consists of volunteers working to strengthen the community by developing a positive frame of mind to address common goals and encourage civic discourse, engaging in community projects with “elements of tolerance, cooperation, compromise, diversity, preservation, and inclusiveness.”
The forum has been convening since 2016, though it has its roots in a 2000 town hall meeting at Dunbar School convened to discuss a number of local issues. Since becoming a 501(c)(3), the group has tackled traffic and pedestrian safety issues, organized clean-up projects, assisted people living under the Sonoma Creek bridge, sponsored holiday lights on the Jim Berkland Bridge in the Sonoma Developmental Center (after getting the bridge named for the late town activist, who saved the bridge from demolition), and a host of downtown improvement projects.
Virtual meetings are held on the first Monday of the month. Learn more about the GE Forum at glenellen.org and donate to the group at glenellen.org/donate.
Sonoma Land Trust
The Sonoma Land Trust conserves scenic, natural, agricultural and open land for the future of Sonoma County. Since 1976, it has worked closely with private landowners, Sonoma Ag + Open Space and other public agencies at all levels of government, as well as with nonprofit partners and foundations. Since 1976, the SLT has protected nearly 58,000 acres of environmentally significant land in and around Sonoma County.
The organization helps form long-term land protection strategies, acquires land for conservation easements, and helps restore conservation properties.
Recent projects have included major participation in restoring wetlands at San Pablo Bay, helping adapt to rising sea levels in the southern part of the county and acquiring property to expand Hood Mountain Regional Park.
To make a donation or learn more about the campaign, visit our campaign microsite at weareaforcefornature. org.
Jack London Park Partners
The home of one of Sonoma County’s best known authors, Jack London State Historic Park attracts tens of thousands of visitors from around the world every year. The park was one of several targeted for closure during California’s 2011 budget crisis, but was kept open through the services of a non-profit group, Jack London Park Partners, similar to what happened at Sugarloaf State Park.
Besides preserving the buildings and housing a museum of the many artifacts London and his wife Charmian gathered from their worldwide treks, the land offers miles of trails to walk, mountain bike or ride horses, abundant bird watching and vistas to photograph or paint while visitors enjoy picnics and one of the most beautiful spots on Sonoma Mountain.
Besides stewardship of the property, JLPP has been restoring the buildings and museum and Jack’s agricultural projects, like the Eucalyptus Grove (mitigating fire danger), restoring a lake on the property, and more. They train docents and organize volunteers to provide care and maintenance as well as tours and educational seminars.
Learn more about this historic park at jacklondonpark.com. Donations can be made at jacklondonpark. com/donate-now.
Sonoma Botanical Garden (formerly Quarryhill)
Sonoma Botanical Garden, formerly known as Quarryhill, seeks to conserve Asian and California native plants in natural habitats and gardens. The nursery was established in 1988 on 22 acres of rocky, steep hillsides above Sonoma Valley’s iconic vineyards.
Originally conceived as a refuge for disappearing Asian species as China underwent a vast expansion, the property was later enlarged with the acquisition of a neighboring ranch and the mission was expanded to embrace native flora.
Tours are offered to experience a wide variety of rare plants and endangered species, including maples, one of only 50 surviving Magnolia sinicia trees, rhododendrons, and many others.
Support may be offered at sonomabg. org/donations.html.
Audubon Canyon Ranch
Not to be confused with its larger cousin, Audubon Canyon Ranch is an independent nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status existing at four sites in the North Bay: two in Sonoma County and two in Marin. The 535-acre Bouverie Preserve situated between Kenwood and Glen Ellen on Highway 12 is a microcosm of California’s West Coast environment, featuring oak woodlands, mixed evergreen forests, riparian woodlands, chaparral and grasslands.
The preserve is home to 130 species of birds, 350 species of flowering plants, and large mammals, including bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes and mountain lions.
The 2017 Nuns Fire burned over 75 percent of the wildlands along with seven of nine buildings. Since then, the land has demonstrated a high degree of resiliency and adaptation to the fire damage.
The preserve hosts fall classes for elementary students throughout the county, docent training that offers a California Naturalist certification, guided nature walks and other excursions, and a variety of restoration projects.
Bouverie Preserve hosts “Living with Lions,” a major study of mountain lions through Northern California, and conservation programs aimed at egrets, herons, shorebirds and other species.
Learn more about this organization at www.egret.org and how to support it at www.egret.org/support.
Sonoma Ecology Center (SEC)
Since 1990, the Sonoma Ecology Center has addressed challenges related to water supply and quality, open space, rural character, biodiversity, energy, climate change, and a better quality of life for all residents, through working with the community to identify what will achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley.
Today, the SEC funds and conducts dozens of projects remediating immediate problems on the ground and in our creeks, educates school children and adults alike, and hosts many training and educational seminars on local ecological issues.
Projects include restoring Sonoma Creek and remediating existing incursions, restoring fish habitat, cleaning out culverts, stopping contaminated water from leaking into groundwater, and providing fresh, cold water to sustain the fish.
The SEC has also been active in restoring areas damaged by extreme wildfires since 2017, including Sugarloaf Park through it’s support of Team Sugarloaf, a consortium of nonprofits that has managed the valuable state park since it was almost closed due to budget constraints.
The organization promotes education, preservation, restoration, basic research, gathering data and mapping and partnering with like-minded organizations to achieve their goals.
Learn more about the SEC at sonomaecologycenter.org. Donations are accepted at sonomaecologycenter. org/donate.