This Giving Tuesday, Support Sustainable Solano Through Give Local Solano

By Sustainable Solano

Sometimes the gifts we get at Sustainable Solano are the small moments that come out of the work we do. While our work is focused on effecting change within our communities to build resiliency and sustainable living, what happens on the human scale is much more personal:

  • A woman getting to know neighbors and new friends while planning a resilient neighborhood.
  • A man planting in a community garden recalling how his mother prepared certain vegetables during his childhood.
  • Students researching and connecting with the food they grow on campus to send home for families.
  • Farmers connecting in conversation to share practices and ideas.

During #GivingTuesday, Dec. 3, we invite you to become part of fostering that human connection in creating a world that works for everyone. Sustainable Solano is participating in this year’s Give Local Solano. The program gives you a chance to give to area nonprofits that are doing important work in the county. All donations go to the organizations selected, and 100% of the donation qualifies as a charitable gift. Here are more details on Give Local Solano.

While we have a Donate button at the top of our website for any time of year, Give Local Solano gives us a chance to highlight our programs with people who may not have heard of Sustainable Solano and the work we do. We hope those of you who know us, volunteer with us and have joined us for workshops will help spread the word — while every dollar will help bring more programs to the county, every new connection is someone who can help us grow and spread the important work we’re doing to create sustainable landscapes, shape resilient communities, provide education and support local food.

See Sustainable Solano’s profile and donate here on Dec. 3!

#GivingTuesday Success, Thanks to You

What a beautiful reminder of the heart, generosity and support that we have in our community! Because of your generous donations through this year’s #GivingTuesday campaign, we are re-energized in knowing that our vision for a more sustainable Solano county is backed by the very communities we work so hard to enrich through our programs.

We truly appreciate everyone taking part in this global day of giving back and are so grateful to those that celebrated with us this on this powerful day of giving back. Your generous gift will help us continue to bring to you educational workshops about sustainable landscaping practices and wise water use, inspirational speakers and seasonal cooking classes, maintain our two Benicia community gardens and help connect local food producers to residents like YOU through Community Supported Agriculture. On behalf of everyone here at Sustainable Solano, THANK YOU for your gifts, energy and engagement. We hope you continue to GROW WITH US on this journey.


Photo: Inspired young helpers of our next generation of growers break ground at this month’s demonstration food forest installation at Loma Vista Farm in Vallejo.

Were Not Able to Give a Monetary Donation?

There are still lots of ways to help and get involved! You can give the gift of time and energy by sharing a special skill or talent. Click here to learn how. You can also help support us all year long by choosing Sustainable Solano as your beneficiary nonprofit while shopping through their AmazonSmile program. Click here to bookmark our unique link and Sustainable Solano will receive 0.5% of each purchase made!

Prayer Flags

By Nicole Newell, Sustainable Landscaping Manager

It seems like everyone I speak with is facing a fire of some sort in their life. This Sunday I needed a moment of peace in nature to prepare for the week ahead. I took a drive on Highway 12 by myself. There are no words to describe the fire damage to the homes, only emotion. Notes of gratitude for the first responders were all along the road.

I was told about a hidden gem in Sonoma called Quarryhill Botanical Gardens. I decided to visit the gardens located on Highway 12. This sacred space had fire damage surrounding it, yet the gardens survived. In reaction to being spared the
fire destruction, Quarryhill responded in gratitude by opening the gardens to the public free of charge until the end of this year. I was very emotional seeing the fire damage surrounding this 25-acre Asian woodland garden. A mix of emotions; awe at the Fall colors, laughter at the frogs hopping in the pond, tears of serenity at the waterfalls and reverence overlooking the views of the Sonoma Valley.

When I got to the top of the gardens, the prayer flags were surrounded by the fire damage but were not touched by the fire. I spoke with Amy, a young lady working the gift shop. She reminded me that not only did people lose their homes the animals did as well. Quarryhill has become a sanctuary for birds to find food in this area and for people to find tranquility. The prayers survived and this resilient community will rebuild and find peace again.

Sustainable Solano Vallejo Volunteer Training Potluck

Nicole Newell, Sustainable Landscaping Program Manager and a graduate of our Land Caretakers program.


Do you want to learn how to get involved with Sustainable Solano’s Sustainable Landscaping program?

This series of events is designed to prepare a group of volunteers to help implement Vallejo Sustainable Backyard program. If you are interested to become a part of this movement in Vallejo, please plan on attending one of the landscaping classes (link), a L2L hands-on workshop in Benicia and this training/ potluck at the house of Nicole and Jason. This training is mandatory for people applying for a food forest. We’ll offer another short series at the end of March.

From 5:30 to 8pm on March 3rd, Land Caretaker program graduates, Jason and Nicole, are hosting a volunteer training/potluck dinner where they will share the basics of sustainable landscaping, while showing attendees their own evolving food forest and laundry-to-landscape greywater system. Jason and Nicole are passionate about Sustainable Landscaping, and both were inspired to further their skills and knowledge following the Land Caretaker’s training.  Jason has since completed greywater installation training with Greywater Action to learn how to maximize secondary water use, and Nicole completed Toby Hemenway’s permaculture design course to acquire her Permaculture Design Certificate.  They are excited to share their sustainable landscaping knowledge, and prepare interested volunteers and food forest keepers for the upcoming installations in Vallejo.

Jason and Nicole will provide vegetarian and hatch green chili pork taco’s, and request that attendees bring a side dish.  It will be a fun opportunity to learn about sustainable landscaping, eat some delicious food, and meet people from your community. Please email Nicole if you are interested so she and Jason can plan to comfortably host everyone. 

Please email to get communications on location and event updates.

Continue the Conversation: Awakening the Dreamer

Sustainable Solano would like to share a video that a friend, Kristian, made! It certainly highlights the most meaningful moments and makes us reflect on how moving of an experience this was for us.

Awakening the Dreamer, continued: Game Changer Intensive

Join us in co-creating a world that works for everyone. Whether you were with us for the Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, or you want to learn more about how you, with your own unique values, skills, and concerns, can commit to creating the change you want to see, a good place to start with with the Game Changer Intensive. Offered by Pachamama Alliance, it is a seven-week online course designed to educate, inspire, and equip you to be a pro-activist leader, a game changer in your community.

Sustainable Solano is partnering with Pachamama Alliance and Solano County libraries to offer, in conjunction with the online session, regular meeting spaces for residents of Solano County to meet, build, and support our communities together. If you are interested in registering, please submit your interest here. Pachamama and Sustainable Solano will contact you with more information according to the respective cities that you live in. For any additional information, please contact