ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION

Explore Ecology educates over 30,000 children each year at Art From Scrap, the Watershed Resource Center, and in classrooms and school gardens throughout Santa Barbara County.

Educating the Next Generation of Environmental Stewards

Since 2000 Explore Ecology has educated:

0
Students

Each year, Explore Ecology honors teachers and students in Santa Barbara County who have made a difference and taken action to help the environment. We are looking for those who have spearheaded positive change, are committed to their work, and are an inspiration for our community.

Awards will be presented at the Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival on April 21, 2018.

Please fill out the following form to make a nomination. If you have more than one nomination to make, please fill out one form per nominee.

Thank you for being part of the awards process. If you have any questions, email us at info@ExploreEcology.org

"The best day of my life!"

"My favorite field trip ever!"

"I learned how good it feels to take care of the Earth."

These are the comments that we hear from delighted elementary aged students on Explore Ecology field trips.  

Explore Ecology programs inspire children to engage with the natural world, think critically, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. When children connect with nature and learn how to protect the environment they feel empowered, energized, and important.

Our programs include the Art From Scrap Creative Reuse Store and Gallery, the Watershed Resource Center, Environmental Education, and the School Gardens Program.

About

Explore Ecology in class lessons and field trips are available for public and private schools, community youth groups, and camp programs in Santa Barbara County.

These programs are free to most Santa Barbara County schools. Bus stipends may be available for Watershed Resource Center and Creek Kids Series Field Trips. Ask about which free services are available for your school. Services are available for a fee for programs that are not free for your school and for out-of-county schools.

Remote lessons are available upon request to accommodate for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

If you have any questions, call 805 884-0459 x 2 or email Lydia.

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PRESENTATIONS

Creek Kids Series Lessons

Grades 4-6
(Santa Barbara South County and Santa Ynez Valley)

1:15 hours each


For this series, classes must schedule all 3 lessons.

Lesson #1: Students discover how much we use water everyday, and how water moves in a watershed.

Lesson #2: Students go on a field trip to to the Watershed Resource Center. They tour the estuary at Arroyo Burro Beach and observe or do water quality tests in the estuary to learn about pH, dissolved oxygen, and phosphate. In person field trip is 2:45 long.

Lesson #3: Students learn about micro plastics and bio accumulation in the marine food web. Includes a campus litter cleanup (in person only).

Some funding is available to cover the cost of buses. Ask if your school qualifies!

Watershed Resource Center Field Trip

Grades K-6

2 hours


Students tour the estuary at Arroyo Burro Beach and visit the Watershed Resource Center where they learn about water pollution, marine debris, and what they can do to keep our water clean and safe. Includes an engaging watershed model activity and trash cleanup challenge!

Some funding is available to cover the cost of buses. Ask if your school qualifies!

Watersheds at School Lesson

Grades K-6

45 minutes


Wanting to learn about watersheds but unable to make it to our Watershed Resource Center in person? We’ll bring the lesson to you! This 45 minute lesson covers similar content to what is taught during the Watershed Resource Center Field Trip, but is taught at your school. Get hands on with a watershed model and learn what we use water for and how much we have available!

Watershed Stewards Series Lesson

Grades 4-6
(Santa Barbara North County)

1 hour each


For this series, classes must schedule both lessons.

Students participate in hands-on activities to learn about water as a natural resource, where their water comes from and where it goes, the water cycle, groundwater, water pollution and how they can protect the water quality where they live. The series consists of two 1-hour in-class lessons.

Replace the Waste Series

Grades K-6

1 hour each


Waste Reduction: Students learn about natural resources, where our trash goes (landfills), and reduce, reuse and recycle.

Food Waste: Students learn the process of how food gets from farms to us, how food may be wasted along the way, and what we can do to reduce food waste in our everyday lives.

Compost: Students learn about decomposers, how compost is formed, the benefits of composting, and observe a live working worm compost.

NEW! Tajiguas Landfill & ReSource Center Trip

Grades 4 and up

Lessons: 1 hour each. Field trip: 1:45 hours


Available to schools in unincorporated Santa Barbara County, Solvang, & Goleta on  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Ask if your school qualifies.

Discover where your waste goes! Visit the Tajiguas Landfill on the Gaviota Coast and explore the County’s new ReSource Center, where all our trash and recycling is sorted.

Learn how this facility recovers recyclables and diverts organic waste to be composted. After a hands-on lesson in the Education Room, students go see the landfill’s open face where trash is buried.

Grades 4 to 6: Replace the Waste Series + Tajiguas Landfill & ReSource Center Trip: Two one hour in class lessons (Waste Reduction & Food Waste/Compost) prepare students for their field trip. Students learn what their trash is made of, where it goes when they throw it away, and why we need to reduce the amount of organic waste in landfills.

Grades 7 to 12: Tajiguas Landfill & ReSource Center Trip: This is a standalone field trip without any in class lessons.

Some funding is available to cover the cost of buses. Ask if your school qualifies!

Art From Scrap Waste Reduction Field Trip

Grades K-6

1:30 hours


Students tour the Art From Scrap Creative Reuse Store. They participate in a lesson about waste reduction, learn why the store is important, and finish the field trip with a craft using materials from the store

Creek Kids Series Lessons

Grades 4-6
(Santa Barbara South County and Santa Ynez Valley)

Virtual: 45 min each. In person: 1:15 each


For this series, classes must schedule all 3 lessons.

Lesson #1: Students discover how much we use water everyday, and how water moves in a watershed.

Lesson #2: Students go on a field trip to to the Watershed Resource Center. They tour the estuary at Arroyo Burro Beach and observe or do water quality tests in the estuary to learn about pH, dissolved oxygen, and phosphate. In person field trip is 2:45 long.

Lesson #3: Students learn about micro plastics and bio accumulation in the marine food web. Includes a campus litter cleanup (in person only).

Explore Ecology has some funding available to cover the cost of buses. Ask if your school qualifies!

Watershed Resource Center Fieldtrip

Grades K-6

Virtual: 30 min. In person: 2 hours


Students tour the estuary at Arroyo Burro Beach and visit the Watershed Resource Center where they learn about water pollution, marine debris, and what they can do to keep our water clean and safe. Includes an engaging watershed model activity and trash cleanup challenge!

Explore Ecology has some funding available to cover the cost of buses. Ask if your school qualifies!

Watershed Stewards Series Lesson

Grades 4-6
(Santa Barbara North County)


For this series, classes must schedule both lessons.

Students participate in hands-on activities to learn about water as a natural resource, where their water comes from and where it goes, the water cycle, groundwater, water pollution and how they can protect the water quality where they live. The series consists of two 1-hour in-class lessons.

Art From Scrap Waste Reduction Field Trip

Grades K-6

Virtual: 30 min. In person: 1:30


Students participate in a presentation focusing on Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling. The field trip includes a hands-on Art From Scrap Workshop using reuse materials and a tour of the AFS Creative Re- Use Store.

Replace the Waste Series

Grades K-6

Virtual: 30 min each. In person: 1 hour each


Waste Reduction: Students learn about natural resources, where our trash goes (landfills), and reduce, reuse and recycle.

Food Waste: Students learn the process of how food gets from farms to us, how food may be wasted along the way, and what we can do to reduce food waste in our everyday lives.

Compost: Students learn about decomposers, how compost is formed, the benefits of composting, and observe a live working worm compost.

NEW! Clean Earth Club

Grades K-6


Explore Ecology educators lead students in a campus litter cleanup during lunch or recess! Interested students will learn why picking up litter protects the ocean and how keeping their school campus clean protects ocean creatures. Students will receive a hand stamp for participation and Explore Ecology staff will tally litter collected by grade.

NEW! Watershed Wonders Series

Grades K-3

In person: 1 hour each


For this series, classes must schedule both lessons.

Our Watery World: Students discover how we use water and how water moves across the land.

Pollution Patrol: Students learn what happens when pollution gets into our water and discuss solutions to pollution and how they can help!

The series consists of two in-class lessons that are 1-hour long each. Not available online.

Program Fees

  • Bus stipends may be available for Watershed Resource Center and Tajiguas Landfill field trips
  • Lessons which are not available for free at your school may be available for a fee, depending on staff availability

Contact Us

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