Hello 2020: Explore Ecology’s Year in Review

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2019 was a great year for Explore Ecology! We’re excited and ready for more growth and inspiration in 2020, but before we say goodbye to 2019, we wanted to revisit some of our favorite moments from last year.

School Gardens

Children in over 36 School Gardens throughout Santa Barbara County learned how to save seeds, grow veggies, compost, and take care of their school’s organic garden. They also tried new food, learned about nutrition, and transformed trash into treasure by feeding cafeteria scraps to the hungry red wiggler worms in their vermicompost bins. The result? High quality compost that helps school gardens grow. Watch our Garden Video. 

Santa Barbara Edible Education Symposium

The Santa Barbara Edible Education Symposium was filled with two days of farm and garden tours, workshops, talks, a panel discussion, two catered meals, McConnell’s Ice Cream, an awards ceremony honoring Kim Johnson, and more networking than we could imagine. The event ended with a performance by Zach Gill and Jack Johnson. Thanks to everyone who made SBEES the amazing event that it was! See more photos here.

Environmental Education

Our dedicated, enthusiastic, and hardworking staff provided environmental and garden education to more than 35,000 students in 82 schools in North and South Santa Barbara County. Our in-class lessons and field trips inspire children to engage with the natural world, think creatively, and experience the value of environmental stewardship. Schedule your field trip!

Beach Cleanups and Coastal Cleanup Day

We hosted over 130 beach cleanups and managed Santa Barbara County Coastal Cleanup Day at 27
beaches. Join us every 2nd Sunday of the month at 10:00 am at Arroyo Burro Beach for our monthly cleanup. Help us keep our coastline clean in 2020. Sign up for cleanups! 

Art From Scrap

The Art From Scrap Creative Reuse Store, on the corner of Garden and Cota Streets, diverted tons of materials from the landfill and provided our community with a wide array of low-cost items, including arts and crafts, fabric, greeting cards, and much more. Our art workshops for children and adults ranged from Herb Walks to Block Printing! Check out our 2020 workshop schedule here.

Sustainable Table

Our annual farm to table dinner has gotten better every year! Sustainable Table 2019 featured a private Parsonics Studio Experience with Alan Parsons and Glen Phillips. Guests enjoyed a zero waste luscious feast with organic local food created by Chef Nancy Weiss and Chef Clark Staub. Click here for photos.


Our Environmental Stewardship Awards highlight teachers, students, school support staff, and clubs who are creating a more sustainable Santa Barbara County. If you know a dedicated environmental steward who has made a difference in a school, a classroom, or in our community, please nominate them for the 2020 awards. Make your nomination! 

Thank you for a fabulous year. Happy 2020 from everyone at Explore Ecology!

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