September 13, 2023 Newsletter

In this month’s newsletter, we spoke with Diego Ortiz, environmental education program manager at The Nature Conservancy’s Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve. Referred to as “the last perfect place in California,” the preserve is one of the last places along the California coast that hasn’t been disrupted by commercial development. Now, The Nature Conservancy is transforming the pristine landscape into a rare opportunity for local students.

Read on as we learn about the leading-edge opportunities developing from the preserve, share upcoming celebrations for California’s Green Ribbon Schools, and note resources and opportunities from environmental literacy leaders across California.

The Nature Conservancy Launches a Wild Classroom at the Dangermond Preserve

As one of the last strongholds of California’s coastal wilderness, The Nature Conservancy’s Jack and Laura Dangermond Preserve is becoming a beacon for education and scientific research. The preserve sits at a unique convergence of four eco-regions and seven habitats, presenting scientists with the opportunity to study a climate-resilient ecosystem. In this article, environmental education program manager Diego Ortiz shares how the preserve offers a unique opportunity for scientists spearheading research on adapting to climate change and increasing access to the outdoors for students at the Lompoc Unified School District.

Read more here.

Help Us Call On Governor Newsom to Pass SB394!

We have great news to share from the CA Climate Ready Schools Coalition that aligns with CAELI’s sustainability and climate ready schools domain for action: SB394 passed through the CA assembly and the Senate yesterday! We need your support in letting Governor Newsom know how important it is that he signs this bill to create a Master Plan for Healthy, Sustainable, and Climate-Resilient Schools. Here’s some sample language that could be tweeted to show your support!

Announcing the 2023 Green Strides Tour in Northern and Central California: Schools for Climate Solutions

Beginning this month, Ten Strands is partnering with the U.S. Department of Education and the California Department of Education for the 2023 Green Strides Tour. The event, which will take place September 19-21, will celebrate the achievements of ten Green Ribbon Schools that are creating more climate-resilient campuses, improving student health and wellness, and advancing environmental education programs that prepare students for college and career pathways in the green economy. The celebrations will include student-led tours, appearances from local officials and community leaders, and meals from local school gardens.

To attend, please email and indicate which school celebration you would like to participate in.

Learn more here.

CAELI Quarterly Meeting Recap

Thank you to all our members who attended the CAELI quarterly meeting yesterday! We kicked off the new year with exciting updates and opportunities for members to come together again and be a part of the movement to increase environment-based learning for all of California’s TK–12 students. If you’re not currently a member, we have many opportunities for you to get involved. Learn about how you can become a member of CAELI here.

Innovation Hub Spotlight

CAELI’s innovation hubs represent a growing community of people dedicated to environmental literacy and outdoor education for youth. Here, we introduce one of our innovation hub leaders!

Opportunities, Events, and News

  • Join CAELI at the Green California Schools & Higher Education Summit. The summit, which will take place October 17 in Pasadena, will feature education sessions, live keynotes, leadership awards, and an opportunity to connect with those driving the state’s decarbonization efforts. Members of CAELI will be speaking at the event! Learn more here.
  • Did you know that CAELI houses a central directory for community-based organizations offering environmental education programs (in-classroom, field trip, overnight, etc.) throughout the state? The CAELI Partner Portal aims to increase equitable access to impactful environmental literacy programs for all of California’s TK–12 students, foster collaboration, build capacity for educators, and establish consistency in program alignment. The benefits of the CAELI Partner Portal include finding curricular and programmatic resources that connect to instructional standards; visiting a single portal to locate experiences that support student learning, advance environmental literacy, and promote equity; and locating County Office of Education microsites to find locally established partnerships. Email us at if you have any questions. Learn more about the Portal here.
  • Climate Action Pathways for Schools just released a groundbreaking new report that analyzes the growing need for green job talent across California. The report, The Future of Work is Green, found that California is projected to create more than four million new green jobs over the next thirty years. The report also shares recommendations for leveraging schools to prepare the next generation of green jobs talent to support the rapidly growing green economy. Learn more here
  • Jonathan Klein—co-founder and CEO of the national climate nonprofit UndauntedK12—recently penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times about why California needs to pass SB 394, a bill that would create a master plan for healthy and sustainable schools in California. Read the op-ed here.
  • Green Schoolyards America is pleased to announce its new, virtual Schoolyard Forest Design Lecture Series. This interdisciplinary lecture series will provide technical, design-focused guidance for creating and stewarding schoolyard forests. Sessions will feature presentations by subject-area experts, along with time for audience Q&A. Learn more here.
  • Eco Quest is an educational board game empowering children ages six to twelve to make a difference and shape a sustainable future. Designed by two high school students in the Bay area, Eco Quest incorporates real-world environmental challenges to help children learn about climate change while developing critical thinking skills and a problem-solving mindset. Help bring the game to life by donating to the crowdfunding campaign or purchasing a copy! All profits will be donated to conservation organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and the Jane Goodall Institute. Learn more here.