Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Pepperwood Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Over the past decade, Pepperwood has grown from the vision of its founders, Herb and Jane Dwight, into a thriving hub for conservation science and education. And we couldn’t have done it without you!

Morning fog recedes from the Mayacamas Mountains,
view north from Pepperwood's Three Tree Hill

One decade ago, Herb and Jane Dwight stood on a hill overlooking 3,200 acres of pristine Sonoma County habitat.  It was a beautiful, expansive property mirroring the tremendous diversity of plant and animal life found in Northern California.  Rolling grasslands, oak woodlands, chaparral and even a redwood forest provided refuge for over 900 species of plants and animals.  The land was up for sale and the Dwights were shown it as a potential development investment opportunity.  However, inspired by this wonderful, one-of-a-kind property, Herb and Jane had a vision to protect it forever.  They created the Pepperwood Foundation to acquire the land and dedicated it to the community as a nature preserve, serving the community as a center for conservation research and education.

Dwight Center for Conservation Science
Five years later, construction was nearing completion on the new Dwight Center for Conservation Science.  Pepperwood had just hired Dr. Lisa Micheli as its first Executive Director.  Lisa brought a strong science background and a vision of her own:  to create a thriving hub of applied conservation science, leveraging collaboration and community engagement to promote the health of the life and landscapes of Northern California.
Now, ten years since its founding, Pepperwood has emerged as a leader in collaborative science-based conservation.  We serve as a field site for cutting-edge research, provide comprehensive environmental education for adults and youth, and host an innovative citizen science initiative.  This may have been Herb and  Jane's initial vision propelled by  Lisa’s leadership, but none of this would have been possible without  you.


All of our accomplishments are thanks to a tremendous show of support from you, members of our community. You play a vital role in all aspects of our work.  You provide financial support for programs.  You volunteer your time and expertise to power many of our research and education efforts.  And you spread the skills and knowledge of the natural world learned here at Pepperwood throughout the North Bay and beyond.  Together, we are making incredible strides in advancing the health of Northern California’s land, water and wildlife.
Thank you for making a dream that began with two visionaries a reality for so many!


Since the Dwight Center for Conservation Science opened in 2010, Pepperwood has...
  • Made science come alive for thousands of under-served grade school students through our year-long SCENIQ program
  • Created a nationally-recognized, life-altering summer internship for teens
  • Partnered with the Santa Rosa Junior College to give diverse students   hands-on, career-boosting experiences in the sciences
  • Pepperwood's SCENIQ program enhances science learning for
    over 800 local elementary students each year
  • Joined with local elders to create Pepperwood’s Native American Advisory Council to help steward Pepperwood's 3,200 acres
  • Established a cutting-edge Sentinel Site that produces vital data on climate, plant and animal life for use by resource managers and conservation planners
  • Spearheaded the formation of TBC3, a group of scientists producing ground-breaking research centered on how climate change affects natural resources
  • Grown a comprehensive volunteer program with community members now contributing more than 7,000 hours each year
  • Been honored by awards in fields ranging from green building, to women in business, to climate protection and adaptation
Want to help make Pepperwood's next decade an even bigger success?

Pepperwood relies on critical financial support from our community to fund our education and research programs.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation. Click here to donate now.

Sunset as seen from a hill near Pepperwood's Dwight Center

On October 3rd, Pepperwood will host our first-ever fundraising event to commemorate our 10 year milestone.  There will be great food, Nicholson Ranch wine, wonderful camaraderie and a two-part performance of classical, jazz, rock and world music by Nolan Gasser, who will be joined by vocalists Michael Maguire and Buffy Baggott, with Jeremy Cohen on violin.  Visit for details.

Black bear photographed by our Wildlife Picture Index
monitoring system, the first of its kind in North America!

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