Sonoma Land Trust hosts town meeting on the future of the SDC


As a finalist for the Impact Grant last year, Sonoma Land Trust received $20,000, which was certainly put to good use! The goal of the Transforming the SDC Project was “to engage and unite the diverse communities of the Sonoma Valley to support a common vision and adoption of a “transformation plan” to preserve the health services and natural resources of the Sonoma Developmental Center.”

Funds from Impact100 Sonoma were used for early-stage public meeting facilitation and the educational aspects of the overall work plan (i.e. community engagement). SLT hired the Center for Collaborative Policy in December 2014 to facilitate and lead the public dialogue and planning process. SLT also brought on Samantha Thomas as a paid intern to serve as a public outreach coordinator and administrative assistant. As stated in their final report to Impact100, “Samantha has done a tremendous job organizing volunteers, launching and managing our blogsite (, developing educational materials and providing logistical support leading up to our May 2nd community meeting held in Sonoma.”

IMG_2604And what a meeting that was! More than 200 people attended to listen, learn, and share their dreams and hopes for the SDC.  Many of these ideas were captured on post-its and to be collated and shared at a future event.  For those unable to attend, you can access a summary of the meeting plus all of the handouts on the SLT blogsite at

In his introductory remarks at the meeting, John McCaull, Land Acquisition Project Manager, thanked Impact100 Sonoma for their support and added that “by offering the Impact100 funding as a match, we were able to secure a $300,000 grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. We therefore were able to leverage the initial Impact grant to secure very significant funding for our project.”
If you missed this first community meeting, you will have another chance to attend as there will be at least three more public meetings to continue the important discussions about transforming the Sonoma Development Center.

Text includes excerpts from the Sonoma Land Trust Final Report to Impact100 Sonoma – May 2015.