Mission & Vision

Stewards Promotes, Protects and Restores Your State Parks..

Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods (Stewards), formerly known as Stewards of Slavianka, is a non-profit, environmental and interpretive organization that works in partnership with California State Parks in the Russian River District to support volunteer, education and stewardship programs. We are comprised of an active 10-15 member Board of Directors, Executive Director, Administrative Director, Programs Director, administrative staff, Field Operations staff and a membership of over 550 supporters. There are approximately 90 other associations like Stewards throughout the State of California. Each association has a contractual relationship with State Parks and operates on State Park property to fulfill their mission.

Stewards was launched in the early 1980s with grassroots environmentalists and State Parks staff working together. The Russian River District Cooperating Association, Stewards of Slavianka, was incorporated as a non-profit public benefit corporation in 1985. Stewards began with two programs, Seal Watch and Whale Watch on the Sonoma Coast State Park (SP) beaches. By 1987, volunteers had organized themselves at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve (SNR) where they opened a small visitor center and began leading nature walks. In 1990, the volunteers saw their dream of a new visitor center become a reality when a trailer was purchased for this purpose. In 1992, Stewards funded a new visitor center at Salt Point State Park overlooking spectacular Gerstle Cove. In 1997, Stewards began operating the visitor center in Jenner, overlooking the Russian River estuary. In 2003, Stewards€ members voted to change the name in order to increase funding and volunteer support through greater name recognition.

Our vision is to be the link between people and their parks. We provide the public with opportunities for personal inspiration, satisfaction and nurturing of spirit and intellect through environmental stewardship programs.

Our Goals and Objectives

Today, Stewards has expanded its support to include: operating Austin Creek State Recreation Area, new environmental education programs for a diverse population of park visitors; maintenance and revitilization of State Park visitors centers and historic sties; acquisition and restoration of natural habitats on park lands; and vital advocacy efforts.

We support a diverse range of programs designed for school children and the general public, including: marine education, campfire programs, Junior Ranger activities, guided redwood ecology nature walks, watershed, cultural history and tidepool education programs. We continue to work to expand the "Volunteers in Parks" (VIP) programs through recruitment and training to provide high quality interpretation for park visitors.

Stewards provides volunteer support and funding for education and resource management. We have funded restoration efforts in the Fife Creek watershed in Armstrong Redwoods SNR and Austin Creek State Recreation Area (SRA), as well as a large scale restoration effort in the Willow Creek watershed, which is part of Sonoma Coast SP.

We are working towards upgrading and building new interpretive facilities. We designed a Mobile Marine Education Van (Steward Ship) that provides marine education on school campuses, at special events and at locations on Sonoma Coast. Our future plans include a capital campaign to raise money to build new Visitors Centers in Armstrong Woods SNR and the Sonoma Coast SP.

Renovating the Pond Farm Pottery, a significant cultural site in Ausitn Creek State Recreation Area, is moving forward with  partners. California State Parks, the California State Parks Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined Stewards to stabilize the historic barn and pottery at Pond Farm and Marguerite Wildenhain's house. Stewards is working on developing a new docent program and an exciting artist in residence program. Our vision is to rehabilitate and reactivate Pond Farm as an engaging historic site telling compelling stories touching on themes of art history, Jewish history, women's history, and a universal story of triumph in the face of diversity. 

Stewards continues to advocate for sustainable funding and staffing for our State Parks. We are currently working on a new co-managment agreement for Armstrong Redwoods SNR and Austin Creek SRA.

Stewards is working to reopen closed areas on the Sonoma Coast, including Pomo Canyon Campground.

Community Involvement

Stewards sponsors interpretive seminars and naturalist-led tours, hikes, kayak trips and other events.

We participate in local community events:

  • Bodega Seafood, Art and Wine Festival
  • Bodega Bay Fisherman's Festival
  • Various environmental stewardship events

We promote fundraising activities:

  • Annual Old Grove Festival: Music and Theater
  • Gourmet Walk in the Woods
  • Famliy Day in Your Park
  • EcoAdventures
  • Raffles, Auctions, Dinners

Our Partners

Besides California State Parks, Stewards works in partnership with the following agencies and organizations:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • California Coastal National Monument
  • California League of Parks Association (CALPA)
  • California State Coastal Commission
  • California State Coastal Conservancy
  • California State Parks Foundation
  • Coastwalk
  • Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Fort Ross Conservancy
  • Gianni Cycling Club
  • LandPaths
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • NOAA Fisheries Service
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Marine Mammal Center
  • Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary & Foundation
  • The Ocean Conservancy
  • Russian River Area Resources and Advocates (RRARA)
  • Russian River Chamber of Commerce
  • Russian River Rec and Park District
  • Russian River Watershed Council
  • Seabird Protection Network
  • Sonoma Marine Protected Area Collaborative
  • Sonoma County Schools
  • Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District
  • Sonoma County Regional Parks
  • Sonoma County Trails Council
  • Sonoma County Water Agency
  • Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative (SEEC)
  • Sonoma Land Trust
  • State and Regional Water Quality Control Boards
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