Our mission is to: conserve and restore indigenous cultural and natural resources within the traditional territories of indigenous Mutsun and Awaswas peoples; steward our lands and waters, combining traditional resource and environmental management with contemporary approaches–ensuring a resilient future for all inhabitants of Popeloutchom and fulfilling our obligation to Creator; and research and teach the ways of nature—returning to the path of traditional ecological knowledge that our ancestors followed for thousands of years.
The Bird School Project uses outdoor experiential learning to inspire students and teachers to develop a scientific understanding and appreciation of their local environments. We take students into the school yard where they acquire basic naturalist skills, learning how to observe, use binoculars, take detailed notes, and have fun with friends while doing so.
CREEC, administered by the California Department of Education, is a communication network supporting the environmental literacy of California’s students by providing teachers with access to high quality environmental education resources.
In addition to communicating news and information about environmental education, grants and local events, this website will soon offer a searchable database of standards-based programs, field trips, on-line resources and professional development opportunities from environmental education providers across the state. An online calendar of events will also be added. A regional coordinator provides professional development and resources to educators as well as foster communications among schools and organizations interested in supporting environmental literacy of California’s teachers and students.
CAN works to empower families to build local, thriving food systems in Mexico, Central America and the US. Growing Justice, a CAN initiative focused on urban gardens, focuses on urban gardens, food justice, and community well-being in Watsonville and Pajaro, California, in partnership with Mesa Verde Gardens. Despite their location in the agriculturally-rich Pajaro Valley, food insecurity is on the rise. Food security refers to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that fulfills household dietary needs and preferences.
Farm Discovery at Live Earth Farm is a nonprofit organization working in the Monterey and South Bay area communities to empower youth and families to build and sustain healthy food, farming, social and natural systems. Our home, Live Earth Farm, is a 150 acre patchwork of working organic farm, riparian corridor, oak and redwood forest in the Pajaro Valley in Santa Cruz County. Farm Discovery hosts more than 2000 children on the farm each year for farm based, hands-on learning opportunities through 9 different programs.
The Mission of the California Sea Grant Extension Program is to contribute to the wise use and conservation of the sea’s resources through research, education and advisory services.
Global Student Embassy’s mission is to develop community leaders through action-oriented environmental education. GSE works in three global communities engaging students in Northern California, Nicaragua, and Ecuador in year-round place-based education, action-oriented sustainable garden and reforestation projects, and cultural exchange. Our student leaders in Santa Cruz County manage five local high-school gardens and are always looking for new ways to get involved.
The Homeless Garden Project provides job training, transitional employment and support services to people who are homeless on a 3.5 acre organic farm, a value-added workshop, and 2 store locations in downtown Santa Cruz.
Life Lab cultivates children’s love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.
New Earth Exchange (Sustainable Economy)
A not-for profit, cooperatively run organization, made up of local business owners, individuals and organizations who are concerned about providing the opportunity for Santa Cruz County residents to participate in a stable and just economy.
A new exploration of what’s going down in our part of the universe and what we can do about it: SOLUTIONS to big problems facing humanity today. Plus fun tidbits on astronomy, weather, earth and sky phenomena, and “cosmic relief”! Join co-hosts Rachel Anne Goodman and Joe Jordan on KSCO every Sunday 2-3 pm. To contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
We envision a community that has achieved climate justice so all people in the Pajaro Valley can live in harmony with the natural world. As the climate changes, we help our community adapt and flourish. We advocate for a fair economy, plan for a healthy ecosystem & guide our community to a sustainable way of life!
The Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery will delight, inspire and challenge by providing an exciting and interactive learning environment in which children can explore the wonders of Santa Cruz County. MOD is a popular destination for local youth, their parents and teachers in the Monterey Bay area. Additionally, the museum will be renowned as an attraction for visitors to the area.
CNPS seeks to increase understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants and to preserve them in their natural habitat through scientific activities, education, and conservation.
The Santa Cruz County Resident Outdoor Science School is a school without walls or desks, sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The Outdoor Science School experience is available to fifth and/or sixth grade students accompanied by their classroom teacher who spend four or five days living on site.
Classes are conducted in the forest, at the edge of the creek, in the chaparral, and in the meadow. The most useful tools for learning are readily available: the students’ five senses. The subject area most emphasized in this hands-on learning experience is the science of ecology, the relationship between living things and their environment. From an understanding of basic ecological concepts, it is hoped that a deeper concern and sense of responsibility for the environment will result.
We strive to connect people to nature and inspire stewardship of the natural world through an array of educational programs and exhibits focused on natural and cultural history of our region. SCMNH has been connecting people in the wonders of nature for over 100 years, highlighting the region’s diverse plant, animal, and human communities.
The Sea Otter Savvy program strives to foster responsible behavior by users of the marine environment while they are viewing and recreating near sea otters. Together we can create a “sea otter savvy” community promoting responsible wildlife viewing, awareness of the effect our behavior can have on sea otters and other wildlife, and a safer, healthier coastal environment for all of us, otter and human alike.
The Seymour Marine Discovery Center is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world’s oceans. Volunteers receive in-depth training to help educate the public through hands-on exploration of live animals and exhibits, outdoor interpretive tours, experiential learning programs, Science Sundays, and more.
Time Bank Santa Cruz is a project of the Santa Cruz Reskilling Expo, a 501C3 educational public charity that offers sustainable-living skills education to the public. Pop-up reskilling workshops are taught at members’ homes and other venues. Classes are free to TimeBankers and low-cost to non-members. Recent workshops and programs: Practicing Zero Waste, Basics of Monarchs, Laundry to Landscape Systems, Santa Cruz Grows seed library. Time Bank is a nonprofit network that uses time as currency to share skills and talents, using software to match the human resources of ordinary people with the unmet needs of others. Any Santa Cruz County resident willing to maintain a high level of trust is invited to join.
The mission of the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS or the Center) is to research, develop, and advance sustainable food and agricultural systems that are environmentally sound, economically viable, socially responsible, non-exploitative, and that serve as a foundation for future generations.
The mission of the Environmental Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz is to be an influential and effective leader in innovative, interdisciplinary environmental scholarship and teaching.
The Sustainability Office fosters a culture of sustainability at UCSC by actively engaging students, staff, faculty and community members through education, leadership development, institutional change and behavioral transformation. Volunteer and internship positions with the Sustainability Office are for UCSC students. However, we can also provide information about other on-campus environmental volunteer opportunities for non-students as requested.
Established in 1987, the UCSC Student Volunteer Center (SVC) is a University-sponsored, student-run organization dedicated to enhancing student involvement in the Santa Cruz community by providing meaningful volunteer opportunities, while connecting local organizations with passionate and engaged students.
The Valley Women’s Club is dedicated to community action, awareness and leadership in environmental, educational, social, and political concerns that affect the health and welfare of the San Lorenzo Valley and our community.
Corps members tackle a range of natural resource projects, from working on the beach next to the Pacific Ocean to maintaining trails in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Los Padres National Forest and on the Big Sur coast.
Watsonville Wetlands Watch is dedicated to the protection, restoration, and appreciation of the wetlands of Pajaro Valley, especially by involving members of the Watsonville community and students of the PV Unified School District.
Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) at UC Santa Cruz is an organization run by graduate students, which welcomes the participation of undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff, and professionals in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The overarching goal of WiSE is to advance women in the STEM fields both in percentage and position, in the face of historical, present, and future challenges.