California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Region 8 Central Coast Newsletter 
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Kern
April 2017   

Earth Day 2017 and Green Schools      

Earth Day's history is about one person making a change. 

Gaylord Nelson was a leading figure in the fight against environmental degradation and social injustice in the twentieth century. As a senator, Nelson contributed to important reforms but struggled for years to interest his colleagues in environmental protections. So he turned instead to the people, proposing April 22, 1970 as a day for Americans to speak out about the environmental crises they faced. 

Earth Day's massive public support forced politicians to see the severity of the problems and the extent of public concern. The first Earth Day galvanized Congress into creating some of the most important U.S. environmental legislation. Gaylord Nelson earned environmentalism a lasting place in national politics. Read more . . . 

And now we have advanced the Earth Day cause into creating Green Schools: 
A Moment for the Movement: GSNN Launches its Catalyst School and District Network

The Green Schools National Network (GSNN) has taken several big steps in 2017 to position itself as a thought leader in the green schools movement. One giant step was the recent launch of the Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, the first publication dedicated to the advancement of green, healthy, and sustainable K-12 schools. A second step, though not quite as public-facing as the Catalyst Quarterly, was the launch of a new initiative, the Catalyst School and District Network. Read more . . . 

- Teresa Tree Lees, CREEC Coordinator, Region 8
What's New in Environmental Education   

NGSS Statewide Rollout #4: Using the CA Science Framework to Implement the NGSS

Participate in California's 4th NGSS-focused professional learning workshop. Emphasis is on the Environmental Principles & Concepts within the CA Framework. Brought to you by the California Department of Education, California County Superintendents Educational Services Association/County Office of Education, K12 Alliance @ WestEd, California Science Project, and the California Science Teachers Association. Download the PDF information flyer

National Environmental Education Foundation's National Environmental Education Week

April 23 - 29, 2017 - "Every Day & Every Way"
Annually, NEEF celebrates the benefits of environmental education and its relevance for people of all ages and all walks of life. Register today to receive:
  • Resources for educators, such as toolkits and activity guides to make environmental learning come alive; 
  • Resources for everyone, including EE activities to do with children and year-round inspiration for your every day
  • Bright spots in the field of EE, including stories from the field with tips and ideas you can use
  • Advance notice of special events and activities during EE Week. 
Energize Schools Earth Day Contest
Deadline: May 1, 2017

Energize Schools is hosting a state-wide Earth Day Campaign Contest. The high school with the best Earth Day Campaign will win a prize valued at over $1,000. Learn more about the Contest and how you can participate.

Free Green Teacher Webinars

Various webinars are offered throughout the year related to environmental education and sustainability topics. Register online for a webinar or to be added to the email list. 

Local Earth Day Events 
Click on the title of the event for more information,
including cost if applicable
Conservation Celebration at Charles Paddock Zoo
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero

Earth Day Festival at Branch Mill Organic Farm
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Location: 2815 Branch Mill Road in Arroyo Grande 

Earth Day Festival in Oxnard
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Plaza Park at the corner of Fifth and "C" Streets

4/15 to 4/22/2017
Earth Week in Ojai Valley
Time: various
Location: various
On Earth Day itself, the Ojai Valley Green Coalition will hold an event at the Ojai Women's Center near the Chaparral Auditorium. 
SLO Earth Day Fair & Music Festival at El Chorro Regional Park 
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: El Chorro Regional Park and SLO Botanical Garden

Time: 8:00 a.m - 1:00 p.m.
Location: Yukots Park in Bakersfield

Earth Day Eco Fest at Ventura Plaza Park
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Ventura Plaza Park 

4/22 & 4/23/2017
Earth Day Festival in Santa Barbara
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 
Location: Alameda Park in Santa Barbara

Earth Day at Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden in Buellton

Environmental Teacher Workshops 
Click on the title of the event for more information,
including cost if applicable
Shark After Dark Lecture Series: Tsunamis with John Lindsey
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Central Coast Aquarium in Avila Beach

Time: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Location:  5100 Adolfo Way, Camarillo

EEI (Education & the Environment Initiative) Online Webinars
Time: anytime - 
Location: anywhere
EEI training has never been so convenient! View recordings of past webinars wherever and whenever you like. Video and presentation slides of past EEI Live! webinars are posted here within a week of the live presentation. Webinars are sorted by audience, choose your role from the left side menu.

If you are attending your first EEI training by watching one of these recorded webinars - you'll qualify to receive up to two EEI units in print, absolutely free. Just send an email to with the subject line "On Demand Webinar" and include the title of the webinar you watched (please copy/paste the title as it appears on this website).
Want to start receiving quality environmental education curriculum that supports NGSS? Do want to connect your classroom learning to outdoor learning? Then come to the EEI Training at SLOCOE where we will explore how to use the EEI Curriculum for outdoor classroom activities from the Living Schoolyard Guides. Download the Free Activity Guides here: 

After the training you will sign up to receive two EEI curriculum units to use with your students, including all the printed materials sent to you free of charge. RSVP with Teresa by May 10th at

6/20 & 6/21/2017
NGSS Rollout "1.5" in Santa Ynez Valley
Time: 8:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Santa Ynez Valley High School
Contact info: or
Join science leaders at this  professional learning symposia  exploring the philosophy, design,  awareness of and transition to the  Next Generation Science Standards  (NGSS). During this two-day  symposia, explore conceptual shifts,  cross-cutting concepts, science and
engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. This rollout has been designed for those who haven't yet attended a NGSS Rollout.

6/26 to 6/30/2017
Summer STEM Institute STEMPosium
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: University Preparation Charter School in Camarillo
Deepen your knowledge of NGSS and how to incorporate three dimensional lessons into your daily plans. Attend 5E workshops in the morning with your grade band cohort and short courses in the afternoon. Come get inspired with your colleagues.

June & July 2017
Forestry Institute for Teachers (FIT) sessions
·  June 11-17 , Plumas County
June 18-24 , Tuolumne County
July 2-8 , Shasta County
July 9-15 , Humboldt County
7/06 to 7/09/2017
California Institute for Biodiversity Sierra Institute - Impacts of a Changing Water Cycle
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: 1601 East 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
The 2017 Institute will investigate the NGSS Crosscutting Concepts Cause and Effect  and Systems and System Models  looking at the impacts of a changing water cycle on systems and biodiversity within and across California habitats. 
7/31 to 8/04/2017
South Coast Science Project Summer Institute Chemistry and Engineering
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Location: Carpinteria Middle School
This institute is for elementary teachers of all  experience levels and will focus on Matter and its Interactions (PS1) and Engineering Design (ETS1). Participants will be involved in student-centered hands-on investigations that are ready to bring back to the classroom (a minimum of one full lesson per grade level).

Summer Camps


Sources for teachers and providers

View Funding Resources
Disclaimer: These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The California Department of Education (CDE) has not reviewed these opportunities or resources for effectiveness or alignment with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this communication network. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by CDE. Please excuse formatting errors that may result from the software application used to distribute this newsletter.

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education in collaboration with state, regional and local partners. Its expansive communication network provides educators with access to high-quality educational resources to enhance the environmental literacy of California Students.

Shannon Gordon, CREEC Network State Contact,, STEM Office, California Dept. of Education, 1430 N Street, Suite 4309, Sacramento, CA 95814

CREEC Region 8 is housed and supported by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education
Teresa Tree Lees, 

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