about critters
Creek Stewardship Days
Educational Events
Appropriate Technology
Press & Media



Cotati Creek Critters mission: to engage the local community in restoring the upper reach of the Laguna de Santa Rosa and to encourage a sense of environmental stewardship.


Cotati Creek Critters in transition, 2012-13.

photo courtesy of Don Jackson

We have no plans to hold any Creek Stewardship Days in 2013. We are collaborating with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, Sonoma County Water Agency, and the City of Cotati to ensure a smooth transition as we transfer responsibility for the restoration project sites, and look at how we move forward, including offering opportunities for public engagement (community workdays, education program, etc.) in the future.

Cotati Creek Critters had two restoration sites along the upper Laguna de Santa Rosa channel in Cotati:

From Liman Way downstream to the bicycle/pedestrian bridge north of E. Cotati Ave., originally funded by a grant from the California Department of Water Resources, 2005-8, to plant 2,000 native trees and shrubs. From January 1, 2013, Sonoma County Water Agency will take over the maintenance of this 1-mile site as part of its ongoing Stream Maintenance Program.

From Gravenstein Way/Falletti Park downstream to Commerce Blvd. This project to plant and maintain another 350 native trees and shrubs began in Fall 2011, funded by Sonoma County Water Agency. Maintenance will now be undertaken by the Laguna Foundation.

For further information see:

CommunityVoice:_SCWA Will Continue Cotati Creek Critters' Work In Laguna (pdf)

CommunityVoice:_It's Transition Time For Cotati Creek Critters (pdf)

Watch this space for updates!

Cotati Creek Critters vision: to see Cotati’s reach of the Laguna de Santa Rosa become a green corridor of habitat for native and migratory birds, pond turtles, frogs, butterflies and dragonflies, as well as an urban greenway with its walkways and bicycle path.

Cotati Creek Critters goals:

  • Enhance natural habitat for native species without compromising flood control;
  • Organize Creek Stewardship Days to plant native trees, shrubs, and understory plants and to remove invasive species;
  • Encourage an appreciation of Cotati's creeks and creekside (riparian) vegetation;
  • Raise awareness that Cotati's creeks are part of the larger Laguna de Santa Rosa and Russian River watersheds;
  • Enjoy this beautiful natural resource with our families, neighbors and the community.

Creek Stewardship Days were held regularly once or twice a month, from October through May, from 1998 until the end of 2012. Over 2,000 native trees and shrubs, and thousands of native grasses, sedges, and rushes were planted alongside a 1 mile-long section of the Laguna de Santa Rosa channel that runs through Cotati and part of Rohnert Park.  A further 350 native trees and shrubs were added further downstream in 2011-12. Creek Stewardship Days also involved removing invasive plants and trash, propagating plants in the nursery, pruning, mulching, weeding, and other supportive tasks as needed.

CCC held a Trash Pick Up event twice a year (see 2010 and 2011 events), usually in October and April, to remove trash from the Laguna de Santa Rosa channel before it could get washed downstream into the heart of the Laguna, the Russian River and the Pacific Ocean.

Cotati Creek Critters also:

  • Organized group stewardship days for specific groups of 15 or more (e.g. class, church, work group, youth group, etc.)
  • Offered a presentation on the history, background, and purpose of its projects, to any interested group or class.
  • Ran an internship program and offered community involvement opportunities for students from Sonoma State University, Santa Rosa Junior College, and local schools.

photo courtesy of Don Jackson


Inside/Outside Nature Education Series

CCC's Inside/Outside Nature Education series was a program of community education events featuring local experts.  The series included “inside” presentations in fall and winter, and “outside” guided walks, field trips, and bicycle rides in spring and summer. The series was complemented by a monthly column in the local newspaper, The Community Voice. The column is still ongoing thanks to the efforts of CCC volunteer Christopher Harrod.  See Press & Media to read past and recent articles. 



Interpretive Signs
In October, 2009, Cotati Creek Critters installed three interpretive signs, which tell the story of the biology, history, and restoration of the Cotati reach of the Laguna.  Approximately 30 people contributed to the signs including graphic designers, ecologists and historians, writers and editors, artists and photographers, City and SCWA staff and officials, manufacturers and installers.
Read more . . .

Laurette Rogers, Director of STRAW, speaks at Open House, October 2009

History of the Cotati reach
Jenny Blaker, Wade Belew, Assemblyman Jared Huffman and artist Ed Willie discuss interpretive sign at unveiling, October 2009

photos courtesy of Jean Wasp

©2009~gaiabee design
Updated 2013 by Lucy Kenyon