LandPaths: Community Conservation Practitioners, a talk given by Craig Anderson at our March 26th Potluck Meeting

Children in LandPaths program

LandPaths is an organization dedicated to connecting people with place. The idea is to restore ecological functioning and people’s relationship with land.

Question: Where were you young? How has that place changed?
Importance of Youth: Kids have been disconnected from the land. The land is the vehicle to help people connect to nature and appreciate a different part of the world and themselves. The LandPaths approach is to invite people to discover their place in the world. As such, the idea is to provide access to land parcels that are held in the commons for the people within Sonoma County.

Engagement with many types of people:
• Engage teens /Gen X Y Z
• Engage with diverse ethnicities
• Engage youth with elders

Further increasing our relevance by asking, “Who are we not reaching?” Provide transformational experiences for all. Make the land accessible, approachable and open for exploration. The organization has 20 staff members and numerous volunteers.

An Offering of Programs

In our own backyard
It is a program to connect school kids and a piece of land (public or private) close to their school. The students visit the site four times per year so it becomes their outdoor classroom. LandPaths staff makes two in-class visits and LandPaths pays for bus transportation for the kids.

Bayer Farm
Bayer Farm is a community garden in the middle of Roseland that started August 10, 2007. Many diverse folks have come together to create something that reaches different aspects of the population. During the fires of 2017 folks at Bayer Farm cooked meals for two straight weeks.

Craig Anderson LandPathsTreksonoma
This idea is to spend multiple days trekking across Sonoma County while eating local food, camping out, and really seeing the land without the need for vehicles. Some locations are:
Coast to Freestone
Russian River
Willow Creek Ranch

Community Care—Community to take care of Place
Grove of Old Trees
Riddell Preserve
Bohemia Ecological Preserve
Rancho Mark West
Dawn Redwoods
Fitch Mountain

The Ag and Open Space District has helped keep Sonoma County green.

Getting Involved:

Attend their programs—outdoor expeditions, volunteer with school programs, build trails, maintain historic structures, garden, plan outdoor sites, and more.

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Join us for a fun Grange Work Party on Sunday, April 7

Landscaping at the Grange

Join us at the Grange Hall on Sunday, April 7, 9am-3pm!

Brunch will be prepared by Matt Roberts, a fellow Grange Member
We will have Hot Coffee, Hot Tea, and Mates available. Additional Snacks for the afternoon portion are welcome and encouraged.

Join us at our Grange Hall to do some Spring Cleaning. We will be pruning, weeding, and laying out fresh wood chips in our planted areas at the Grange. We will be cleaning out the storage container and doing some work on Kid’s Mountain in the back area.

It’s going to be FUN, we hope to see you there!
KIDS are Most Welcome!

Please RSVP and let us know that you will be attending so that we can cook the right amount of food.
Send your RSVP to :

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Don’t miss our March Potluck Meeting with Craig Anderson of Landpaths

Craig Anderson LandPathsTuesday, March. 26, 6-8:30pm

(Rescheduled from February)

Join us for a great meal with Grangers and friends. Everyone is welcome!
Craig Anderson, executive director of LandPaths, will be our speaker this month. LandPaths creates ways for people to experience the beauty, understand the value, and assist in healing the land in their local communities with significant focus on reaching underserved populations. Craig is a dynamic visionary, storyteller and just plain fun. He is also a Bay Nature Magazine Conservation Hero. Fishing from his kayak, hunting nonnative hog and turkey, front-yard farming and playing music in his band Cahoots are some of his other joys. Craig & banjo will be part of our musical portion of our meeting.

Don’t miss it!

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Meghan Walla Murphy presentation at the January potluck meeting at the Grange

Meghan Walla-Murphy

Meghan Walla-Murphy, an ecological and conservation educator, researcher, author and storyteller, gave a fascinating presentation at our January potluck meeting. Meghan has traveled the world living with peoples whose lives are naturally integrated with the environment.

• Meghan is a wildlife tracker who has worked with ranchers and vintners, as well as many conservation groups and native peoples.
• Meghan’s work describes the intersection between humans and the wild. Wild is here with us all of the time, and she reminds us that we all are descended from trackers.

• What is tracking? —following footprints—but also the lens through which to see life as we can track emotions, relations, trends and changes.
• All tracking comes from a knowledge home, ecology, and place.
• Pattern literacy is where science and creativity meet to inform us about ecology and its inherent beauty and complexity.
• The story of geology, water, plants, and animals is all related.
• Mountains are tracks of plate tectonics, and the San Andreas Fault has informed the geology of where we are.
• Patterns of weather are in turn influenced by geology.
• Topography and weather make our area one of the 7 hotspots of biodiversity on the planet.

• Biological diversity equals cultural diversity.
• When you lose the relationship between land and water, you lose the language and culture of the people who lived there.
• California was highly managed by native people through harvesting and tending the land for food and diversity.
• There is a huge contrast between the culture of resource extraction and then later the conservation ideology of no intervention with land and plants—hence the build up of trees that have become fuel for the recent fires. We need to be intentional in our interventions.
• Early societies that combined agriculture and hunting/gathering together had a rich diet of high protein and promoted the local biodiversity.
• California has highest number of endangered species partly because we have many species endemic to California.
• Landscapes are getting fragmented which puts stress on the plants and animals in the populations.
• Sonoma Co. is 85% privately owned.
• Michael Soule has done work on “islands of habitat” which can lead to a loss of biodiversity.

Why Tracking?
• Breaks in the pattern gives us new information and the story becomes rich.
• Tracking gives us a sense of place—where you live and knowing where you live.
• Salmon returning to natal tributaries and are able to travel up to 7,000 miles and return years later.
• Each animal has a story to tell—become in relationship with any species, create habitat wherever you are.
• Beavers are starting to return. If you see any beaver anywhere, be sure to notify a wildlife organization.
• Beavers created dams that helped replenish the ground water.
• Bears are in Sonoma County. Coastal California had the most grizzlies anywhere and now they don’t exist in California.
• Both bears and salmons are keystone species—the loss of either would cause disproportionate damage.
• Anadromous Nutrient Cycle–anadromous means the ability to live in salt and breed in fresh water.
• Bears eat salmon, and when they are plentiful, they eat only the heads and then spread the fish bodies in the forest. Other animals come and then the breakdown goes into the nutrition of the trees.
• Scientists have found marine isotopes in the core samples of trees because of this interrelationship.
• Humans and bears deeply intertwined in stories and shape shifting—humans have watched the bears to learn about what plants to eat for medicines as another example of the deep connections between people and nature.

Books Meghan recommended for further exploration of these topics.
1. On Trails: An Exploration by Robert Moor
2. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and Management of California Resources by Kat Anderson
3. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann
4. Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation by Gary Paul Nabham
5. The Fish in the Forest: Salmon and the Web of Life by Dale Stokes

–Carol Henderson

Meghan Walla-Murphy

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Sonoma County Seed Swap 2019 happens Tuesday Feb. 12!

Tuesday Feb. 12. 7-8:30pm

Bring seed you have saved, excess commercial seed, plants and resources to share. Label your seed with date & details. You don’t have to bring seeds to participate.

Sonoma County Seed Swap Feb. 12, 2019

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You are invited to our Grange Holiday Party on Tues, Dec. 18!

Grange holiday party


Let us celebrate all the good work that has happened at our Hall this year and enjoy each other’s company with a night full of good food, laughter, music, and maybe some magic too, on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

We’ll have live music by local band “The Sebtown Strutters”, great food, fun crafts, and more!

We will have our Granger gift raffle table if you would like to bring something to contribute , although not necessary at all. Each Granger will receive a raffle ticket and have a chance of winning something special to take home.

Bring a dish to share, a beverage, and some festive attire. The Grange will provide lasagne, turkey, and Wild Flour bread.

Potluck starts at 6🍾

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The Sebastopol Grange is grateful for the opportunity to support…

The Sebastopol Grange is grateful for the opportunity to support the California Homemakers Assn in providing holiday food baskets for domestic workers, farm workers, and service workers struggling to make ends meet during the holiday season.

Thank you letter from CA Homemakers Assn

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West County Craft Faire, Sat & Sun, Nov 17 & 18

Grange craft fair

The Sebastopol Grange is hosting the 17th Annual West County Craft Faire, Saturday and Sunday, November 17 and 18, from 11 am to 4 pm.

This event is FREE and FUN!

We will have over 50 North Bay crafters to offer their hand made goods.

Our Crafters make a variety of items: jewelry, soaps and lotions, wearable goods, ornaments, felted creations, and home crafted fun of all shapes and sizes. A unique way to shop very locally for the holidays.

Live music will be featured throughout each day!

There will be a food truck on both days providing food for sale.

We always have some yummy beverages in the kitchen to enjoy by donation.

A selection of gift baskets, full of the fair’s wares, will be raffled each day to benefit 3 different recipients. This is known to be one of the most exciting raffles.

What began in homes and backyards by a group of friends after 9/11 to build strong community support and resilience, grew and joined with the Grange in 2011 to create a local market for crafters and shoppers that has benefited numerous non-profits in Sonoma County including the Ceres Project, the Women’s Room Shelter, the Inter-Faith Food Pantry, the California HomeMakers Association and the Bike to School Coalition to name a few past recipients.

The Sebastopol Grange is located at 6000 Sebastopol Ave, on Hwy 12.

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Food for Change film screening on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 6:30pm

Celebrate Community Market’s 5 year anniversary of our Sebastopol store location, and our history of more than 40 years in Santa Rosa as a not for profit natural foods grocery store. Community Market is providing the screening of this film that documents the history of not-for-profit food business models as a community-based economic movement. These alternative business models are facing competition from corporate chain stores in the natural foods market they created. Learn the history of Community Market and know that we are food for people not-for-profit.


Food for Change film

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Village Building Convergence story presented at August Grange meeting

Work day at the Grange

Sebastian Collet shared the story of the VBC with a slide presentation at our August Potluck meeting. Here are highlights from his presentation:

Village Building Convergence came to Sebastopol in 2014

Sebastian was initially involved with Village Building Convergence from Portland, Oregon. It began with the idea of dreaming up the best possible future for our children in our own neighborhoods. Building Resiliency through relationship with neighborhood projects.

For example, intersections can be repainted and symbolically taken over through “City Repair”. Informational Kiosks can be built. Community Gardens can be planted. These are all forms of intersection repair. The projects become a feature that then ripples out as people come together and create more gathering spaces, beautify more areas, and develop the creation of community.

Spring 2014 was the first Sebastopol Village Building Convergence event. The central gathering place for the 10-day event was our very own Sebastopol Grange Hall. There were many community/neighborhood projects scattered throughout town, some even into Petaluma & Santa Rosa. In the Barlow area, 400 showed up for the first painting on McKinley Street. Sebastopol Citizens and visitors to the area were able to beautify our town, and meet neighbors and folks in a casual way.

In Fall 2016 another 10-day event full of great speakers, music, and projects. Again our Sebastopol Grange was the central meeting place where presentations, music and meals were had.

On Earth Day 2017, The VBC focused on beautifying the Grange Hall by planting the front of the Grange in collaboration with Daily Acts. Over 100 people gathered to plant a bee-friendly, drought tolerant landscape. It was a great day!

Earth Day 2018- The VBC partnered again with the Sebastopol Grange and Daily Acts to work again on the Grange landscape, continuing to add dirt to Kids Mountain, replant the front area closest to the building, and to check on existing plants in the front Highway zone. Over 80 people showed up to offer hands and hearts.

VBCVBC plans for this year!

October 18-21st, 2018: Mark Lakeman will be speaking at the Grange on Friday, Oct.19. Mark started the initial VBC movement up in Portland, OR. He is an inspiring activist, builder, artist, friend to many, all around great human. Sebastopol Grange VBC Project ideas will be finalized at the September Business meeting (9/18/18) before the October event. One possibility is to finish Kid Mountain.

There are ideas to continue to enhance the Grange yard—drainage and grading needs to be addressed. People are concerned about maintenance required on anything that is planted. Ongoing discussions will be held with the Grange Landscape Committee. Contact Sebastian Collet for further questions or ideas.

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