Picture of Nora Cullinen

Nora Cullinen

Supporters Gather to Celebrate Sonoma and the Work of Greenbelt Alliance

On June 26, Greenbelt Alliance supporters gathered at the beautiful McEvoy Ranch in Petaluma for our very first in-person gathering since COVID-19. Situated under the Japanese Pagoda, guests were treated to a special olive oil tasting while they sipped on wine sourced directly from the ranch. Guests also enjoyed a delicious sustainable farm-to-table lunch from the wonderful Stacy Scott Fine Catering Company. You can view photos of the celebration here.

Every year we host an event for our Sonoma Leadership Council, a group of supporters in the North Bay who donate $1,000 annually towards the work we do in the region. Our work would not be possible without our donors, and this is a great opportunity to thank them and help raise funds for ongoing projects in Sonoma County. 

At this year’s event, we raised over $90,000 in donations and pledges towards our work to help keep our communities safe during climate disasters and to accelerate nature-based solutions to build resilience to wildfire. We know that climate change has been amplifying extreme wildfires and heatwaves. Wildfire projections suggest a longer fire season, an increase in wildfire frequency, and expansion of areas susceptible to fire.

Donor Impact on Our Wildfire Work

Land-use decisions—how we use our lands and grow our cities—are where we should focus our attention to co-exist with wildfires. Fire science has shown that the single biggest risk factor driving loss of lives and homes to wildfires is when homes are placed in high fire risk areas in between wildlands and urbanized cores. This placement alone creates a unique situation that allows for the ignition and spread of wildfire and increases the chance that a home will not survive a wildfire. 

Greenbelt Alliance recently published original research identifying four types of greenbelts that play a role in reducing the loss of lives and homes in extreme wildfire events while increasing overall resilience in communities and across landscapes. We’re applying what we’ve learned to accelerate greenbelts as wildfire solutions in Sonoma County, and across the region and the state. Our next steps include partnering with communities and governments to create wildfire resilience zones around communities at risk. To learn more and access our breakthrough findings on the Critical Role of Greenbelts in Wildfire Resilience, click here and check out what the Press Democrat had to say about this research here. And if you missed our virtual launch of this research, you can access the webinar here

If you would like to donate towards this critical work or join our Sonoma Leadership Council, click here. We thank our supporters for making our work possible and for helping create a more climate-resilient Bay Area.

Header Photo (from left to right): Jan O’Brien, Craig Hartman, Linda Jo Fitz, Fei Tsen, Wayne lew, and Fran Butler

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