State Regional Stay at Home Order is currently in effect. Learn more about the order.

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Post “Shelter-in-Place” Actions

The City appreciates all our community is doing to stay safe during the Coronavirus Emergency and are all looking forward to the end of the shelter-in-place order so we can safely resume our normal lives. Until then, consider adding the following environmental action items to your post shelter-in-place to-do list.

Sonoma Shade - Plant a Tree

While it is important to reduce carbon emissions, it is also important to help sequester carbon, which is the process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. One of the easiest approaches we all can do is plant, maintain, and keep trees, but also shrubs and perennial grasses.

Planting trees is an important act of environmental stewardship. It's fitting that Earth Day and Arbor Day fall within days of each other, April 22nd and April 24th respectively.   Typically this time of year, the City of Sonoma and the Community Services & Environment Commission host the Annual Arbor Day celebration, a day to plant, nurture and celebrate trees in the Sonoma Plaza. And every year, following the program in the Sonoma Plaza Amphitheater, the City of Sonoma Parks Team plants a new tree, rose tree, or shrub in the park and encourages community members to plant a tree in their own yard.

But don't plant just any tree! The ideal tree is drought resistant, suitable size for your lot, and provides food or habitat for birds and/or pollinators. Trees also offer many co-benefits such as providing shade that will reduce the ambient and inside temperature, clean the air, and reduce ambient noise. A great source for selecting native trees is the California Native Plant Society. Visit their free, online database to search for the ideal native California tree or plant.

Free Solar Consultation

Sonoma County offers free, non-biased, consultations for anyone considering solar and/or battery storage for both residential and commercial properties. Consultations can occur at the beginning of the process to learn the basics of solar power or during the project evaluation process. They can assist consumers with equipment and cost comparisons between proposals, and review the terms of multiple financing options. Visit Sonoma County's Solar Resources webpage for more information or call (707) 565-6470.

If solar PV makes sense for your structure, financing may be available through the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP), which offers Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing for energy improvements. Funding is through the property tax system for residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, multifamily, and certain non-profit projects. Between 2009 and 2019, SCEIP financed 38 projects and 87 improvements in Sonoma funded at a value of $1.11 million.

Conduct a DIY Energy Audit

Sonoma County has DIY home energy audit kits to help you identify and stop energy leaks in your home. The kits include weather stripping, electrical usage meters, infrared thermometers, and other tools and equipment to reduce energy loss. These kits are typically available for checkout at the Sonoma Valley Regional Library.

Visit Every Sonoma Park

Did you know Sonoma has 16 nature and recreational parks, 1 dog park, and 2 open space preserves all combined equaling 178 acres? A special shout out to our community partner, the Sonoma Ecology Center (celebrating its 30thanniversary on Earth Day), for managing the Sonoma Garden Park and the Montini Preserve and helping protect and improve Sonoma’s natural areas and parks. After the SIP, make an effort to visit every one of Sonoma’s own natural jewels. How about trying to visit one park per week? See a list of Sonoma’s city parks.

Stay Informed & Get Involved

Did you know that Sonoma has a Community Services and Environment Commission—the CSEC? This citizen’s commission advises the City Council on matters related to the preservation and enhancement of parks and recreational facilities, climate action, and waste minimization. Monthly public meetings are typically the second Wednesday of each month. Subscribe to receive meeting notifications on our CivicWeb Portal.

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