Sonoma Valley Fund awarded seven grants from the George and Phyllis Ellman Fund to support a diversity of work:
Bouverie Preserve, Audubon Canyon Ranch – trail improvements; creation of new seasonal wetlands
Sonoma Land Trust – improvements to two scenic overlooks on the Loop Trail at Glen Oaks Ranch
Sonoma Community Center – creation of the Center for Sustainable Living, which encourages conservation, organic farming, and farm-to-table cooking; construction of an outdoor learning center
Landpaths – continued support for Flowery Elementary School’s “In Our Own Backyard” program of field-based environmental activities and grassland restoration projects for third-graders
Quarryhill Botanical Garden – support for the outdoor youth curriculum
Sonoma Ecology Center – continued support for the K–12 Watershed Education Program, which provides hands-on bilingual science and outdoor experiences to 1,100 students annually
Sonoma Classical Music Society – support for live local performances
Hazel and Roland Todd named Community Foundation Sonoma County as the beneficiary of their $8.5 million Todd Trust, which focuses primarily on Sonoma Valley and secondarily on Sonoma County overall. In 2011, the Foundation and its affiliate Sonoma Valley Fund released a report summarizing goals and priorities for use of the trust. After interviewing 75 community organizations, elected officials, and residents, and commissioning the first comprehensive study of local demographic and economic trends, the committee determined that initial grants will go toward improving the health and well-being of residents in the unincorporated Springs’ neighborhoods of Sonoma Valley.
In October, the Sonoma City Council and Sonoma County Board of Supervisors proclaimed October 2012 as “Endow Sonoma Valley Month.” Gary and Marcia Nelson, founders of the Nelson Emergency Care Fund for Sonoma Valley Fund Sonoma Valley, will serve as official ambassadors for the series of free public seminars, panel discussions, and other educational events designed to dramatically increase the number of residents who include Sonoma Valley in their estate plans.