GLENN ELLEN, CA – January 30, 2024Sonoma Botanical Garden (SBG), in partnership with Sonoma Ecology Center and Habitat Corridor Project, proudly announces a dynamic, new collaboration to design and establish a leading-edge California native plant demonstration garden at SBG. The project aims to create a learning landscape surrounding SBG’s Welcome Center to showcase the beauty and practicality of native flora in safeguarding against wildfires, promoting water conservation, and sustaining local wildlife.The initiative represents a significant stride towards sustainable landscape design and environmental stewardship in Sonoma County.“We are thrilled to embark on this innovative project alongside Sonoma Ecology Center and Habitat Corridor Project, generously supported, in part, by the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation,” says Jeannie Perales, Executive Director, SBG. “This important collaboration leverages the expertise and resources of three esteemed regional organizations dedicated to conservation, education, and ecological resilience and builds significantly on SBG’s recently opened California Oaks Trail and the Garden’s enhanced mission to inspire an appreciation of the beauty and value of California native plants alongside its Asian plant collection.”“The Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation is supporting Sonoma Botanical Garden’s new focus that will connect more people with nature and educate them about the beauty, resilience, and importance of our native plant species,” Says Delle Maxwell, Foundation President.The envisioned garden, which has recently broken ground and will be unveiled to the public in stages over the next several years, will offer visitors an immersive experience to explore and understand the vital role native plants can play in the future of California gardening, demonstrating practical techniques for homeowners, landscape professionals, and community planners to create fire-resistant and water-efficient landscapes that support biodiversity. The garden will also serve as an educational hub with public programs for all ages and special tours designed to deepen the public’s appreciation of California flora.

“Botanical gardens are places of beauty, respite, and appreciation for the natural world,” says Bob Schneider, Design & Implementation Project Manager, Sonoma Ecology Center. “They can also serve as sites for biodiversity and conservation. The Sonoma Ecology Center is excited to work alongside Habitat Corridor Project in growing the Sonoma Botanical Garden’s California native plant collection. California is a biodiversity hotspot, and Sonoma Valley, in particular, is home to a lot of plant diversity. We are excited to showcase more of our region’s native plants, as well as demonstrate fire-wise landscape design principles.”“This demonstration garden is a unique opportunity to show plant enthusiasts and the public how to use local plants to create a sense of place in the California landscape,” adds April Owens, Executive Director, Habitat Corridor Project. “We are honored to team with Sonoma Ecology Center to diversify the native plant collection at SBG with both plants that are easy to find in the nursery trade and ones that are rare and protected in the Sonoma Valley. The space will provide a substantial amount of habitat garden to support biodiversity where it has been lost in the Sonoma Valley and throughout California. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate for landowners and others the value of adding larger California native shrubs to support butterflies, bees, and birds; the benefit of swales and rain gardens to collect and filter water; and plant design for defensible space.”


About Sonoma Botanical GardenFounded in 1987, Sonoma Botanical Garden (SBG) is a woodland experience where East meets West by celebrating the beauty and importance of Asian and California native plants. Situated in the picturesque Sonoma Valley, SBG’s 67 acres is home to a unique Asian woodland, a California native oak savanna, and a Cabernet vineyard. Its mission is to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the beauty and value of Asian and California native plants and to promote their conservation in natural habitats and gardens.

 About Sonoma Ecology CenterSince 1990, Sonoma Ecology Center has worked with the community to identify and lead actions that achieve and sustain ecological health in Sonoma Valley. sonomaecologycenter.orgAbout Habitat Corridor ProjectOur mission is to create and promote California native plant restoration gardens in the urban environment. Our vision actions are to design and install California native plant focused landscapes replacing traditional water intensive landscapes and restoring wildlife habitat to support biodiversity. We also educate and inspire the public with our experience including talks, garden tours, volunteer days, signage, and downloadable free plans.habitatcorridorproject.orgAbout Maxwell/Hanrahan FoundationMaxwell/Hanrahan Foundation powers people who explore and ask, teach and try, conserve and connect, create and captivate. Our funding supports individual scientists, teachers, conservationists, and creators whose diverse perspectives enable us to discover new things about ourselves and our world. Maxwell-Hanrahan.orgVisiting Sonoma Botanical GardenOpen 9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily, closed Tuesdays and some holidays. Please check the website for current admission prices. The Garden is a proud participant in the Museums for All program with qualifying individuals receiving $3 admissions. Groups of 8 or more are asked to make a reservation in advance. Visit at 12841 Hwy 12, Glen Ellen, CA. Call 707-996-3166 or email for questions.