California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Central Coast Region 8 Newsletter 
San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura & Kern
October 2016  

CREEC Website is live.     
Link to CREEC website homepage   
The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is happy to announce that its website at is back online. It does not yet have a searchable Resource Directory, but it has plenty of grants & contests and regional news.
The CREEC Network, 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.  CREEC Coordinators throughout the state are working tirelessly to connect local educators with a broad range of EE resources and professional development opportunities.
As indicated in A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy, the CREEC Network plays a vital role in building collaboration and partnerships at the local, regional, and state level.  Together, the CREEC Network and its partners will support the increase in environmental literacy across California.
The CREEC website will be key in helping disseminate all of these incredible resources.  Look for EE news and updates in each region. We have a gathering of EE Providers & Educators on November 16 and Project WET training on December 1 & 2. See more highlights below. 
On the Region 8 you'll find a PDF of noteworthy events and environmental education resources or you can click here: 

- Teresa Tree Lees, CREEC Coordinator, Region 8

What's New in Region 8 

CREEC Network Mixers - San Luis Obispo on November 16

November 16 - CREEC Network EE Provider & Teacher Mixer 
4pm - 6pm at SLOCOE Training Room
Gathering of all environmental education providers and teachers in SLO County with the goal of sharing resources. 
Mixers will be held at other counties throughout Region 8 during the school year.
Program includes alignment to NGSS and how the Next Generation Science Standards will fit with Environmental Literacy. The new CA Science Framework and the CA History/Social Science Framework both have Environmental Principles & Concepts in the state adopted instructional materials criteria for textbook publishers to adhere to. This is also in the works for the new CA Health Framework.

Care for Our Earth Grants for Santa Barbara Teachers through SB APCD

Santa Barbara County K-12 teachers are encouraged to apply for 2016-2017 Care for Our Earth Grants, through a program that is a collaboration of the District, the Santa Barbara County Education Office, the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Southern California Gas Company. Grant applications for 2016-2017 are due November 18, 2016. See more information, including a list of previous recipients and projects, at the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

The program offers $300 grants to teachers to do environmental service projects with students to save energy, cut traffic and pollution, or save water.  Contact Mary Byrd at the SB APCD 805-961-8833 for more information.

Whale Tail Grants - Postmarked by November 1, 2016

The WHALE TAILĀ® grants program is accepting applications to support projects encouraging people to value and take action to improve the health of California's coast, marine life, or watersheds that connect with the coast. Educational projects improving the quality of beaches or coastal or marine habitats are also eligible. There is also a special subcategory for projects addressing climate change and/or ocean acidification. Emphasis is on reaching underserved students or members of the public.
Applications mailed to the California Coastal Commission must bepostmarked by November 1, 2016.  Nonprofits, schools, and government agencies may apply.  Applicants may request up to $50,000, and 25-50% of the funding will be allocated in small grants up to $12,000. A total of $488,150 will be distributed.  
Click here to access the full application packet. Whale Tail Grants.

Local Events
10/14 & 15/ 2016
Location: Ventura County - Fremont Middle School in Oxnard
Share how your farm-to-school program is transforming teaching people about their food, working with local farms, or creating delicious nutritious menus. Visit garden, food service and farm education programs; attend break-out sessions and meals that engage participants in farm-to-school best practices.
Location: Loma Pelona Conference Center at UCSB
Key players from local institutions and government agencies will gather to build collaborations for a sustainable central coast. The Summit is planned by partners from the Community Environmental Council; the Cities of Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria; the County of Santa Barbara; and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and we seek to inspire and sustain action on complex environmental and economic issues in our region.
Deep Ecology Collaboratory sponsored by Ecologistics
Location: Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School
A fusion of " collaboration " and " laboratory ", a  collaboratory  is an open creative process where a group of people work together to generate solutions to complex problems. Participants will address the biodiversity crisis, overpopulation, and globalization through the lens of Deep Ecology principles, which recognizes the inherent value of all living creatures.
Location: Morro Bay Museum of Natural History
A special family event to showcase the bone collections at the Museum of Natural History. Displays, games with prizes, owl pellet dissection, skull identification, art projects, all centered around skeletons. ALL AGES. Morro Bay Museum of Natural History. Adults $3; children under 16, State Park campers and CCSPA members are free. For more information call 805-772-2694.
Location: City Farm San Luis Obispo
Fall harvest celebrations including the cultural tradition of Mesoamerican countries "Dia de los Muertos."
We will be planting marigolds to honor our ancestors. Also we'll have face painting and planting fall crops. Also "Make a Difference Day" volunteer projects will be going on at the farm.  
Field trips to the Our Global Family Farm can be arranged with Teresa "Tree" Lees.    Tours are aligned to NGSS students for students in grades 2 and 5. We experience the farm as an ecosystem and students will see Permaculture Design Principles applied to a farm setting. 
Green School Gala 6:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: The Monday Club in San Luis Obispo
Come meet professionals, partners, and sustainable leaders in the community. There will be food, wine, and festivities as we gather to celebrate this year's local green school achievements.
CSU Channel Islands Science Carnival 5pm - 8pm
Location: Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Oxnard
More than 80 different hands-on science activities for PreK-8 grade students and families. Food available for purchase or you can bring your own.
Location: Copeland Health Education Pavilion behind French Hospital
Share how your farm-to-school program is transforming teaching people about their food, working with local farms, or creating delicious nutritious menus. Visit garden, food service and farm education programs; attend break-out sessions and meals that engage participants in farm-to-school best practices. Contact Lisa Paniagua at UCCE to RSVP at
12/1 & 2/2016
Project WET & EEI Training in Santa Maria 3:30pm - 6:30pm
Location: City of Santa Maria Library
The City of Santa Maria Utilities Department and CREEC Network Region 8 invite you to attend a wonderful professional development experience engaged in the activities of Project WET and the Education & the Environment Initiative (EEI)!  The interdisciplinary Project WET are effective tools for integrating student knowledge of concepts and skills that provide strong foundations for STEAM and Service-Learning programs. Project WET activities are designed to supplement existing curriculum - including the use of EEI (Education & the Environment Initiative) curriculum units - and are correlated to Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.  The workshop is FREE but spaces are limited - Please register by Nov. 23, 2016 by contacting Myra Ritchie:
12/12 & 13/ 2016
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Rollout #3
Location: Ventura County Office of Education, Camarillo
The day includes information on the development and progress of the new CA NGSS student assessments as well as an overview of how Environmental Principles & Concepts are integrated into NGSS.
Save the Date! National NSTA Conference
Location: Los Angeles Convention Center, CA
Attend the National Science Teachers Conference and join thousands of science educators and leaders from throughout the nation as we continue to improve science education for ALL students!
Volunteer Opportunity! Work 8 hrs. and receive a 50% reduction in registration. Work 16 hrs. and received a waived registration. Indicate your interest in volunteering.


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

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


STAY CONNECTED WITH US Like us on Facebook

View the Newsletter Archive

Sign up, update your email address, or change your newsletter subscription preferences by typing your email address in the " Newsletter Subscription" box.