Since 1994, Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (www.oaec.org; 707-874-1557) in western Sonoma County has been thinking up unusual and surprising ways to tackle environmental problems at their roots. Through research and demonstration projects, an educational center, and a biodiversity-focused farm, OAEC concentrates on developing resources for sustainable living and generating grassroots activism for the health of the planet. It sponsors a series of programs and workshops on subjects such as forming community watershed groups, permaculture design, native plant gardening, bird watching, and seed saving. On Saturday, May 18, OAEC is joining together with other local organizations for the West (Sonoma) County Watershed Day, which will include speakers, panels, and information on restoration, ranching, and collaborative fundraising. OAEC will also unveil a unique watershed divide display in downtown Occidental at the divide of the Salmon Creek and Russian River watersheds, as part of a new “Think Like a Watershed” campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of watersheds as significant social, economic, and ecological units.
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