California Regional Environmental
Education Community

California Department of Education,
STEM Office

Orange County Region 9b Newsletter 
Spring 2017   

Earth Day 2017        

Earth Day's history is about one person thinking they could make 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 liberal 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 . . .

- Helen de la Maza, CREEC Coordinator, Region 9b
What's New in Region 9b and Statewide   

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

June 7 - 8, 2017; 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Participate in California's 4th NGSS-focused professional learning workshop. 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
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
Earth Day & Arbor Day Celebration
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Mustang Run at Los Alisos Boulevard
We're looking for volunteers to plant drought-tolerant trees and shrubs and assist with litter clean up. Grab your gloves, sunscreen and shovel and join us. A Green Expo will be held as well.
Earth Day Celebration in Laguna Niguel
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Crown Valley Community Park, 29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
"Go Green" and volunteer to plant, weed and clean up the Niguel Botanical Preserve. Celebrate Earth Day by giving back your time to improve the landscaping in our 18-acre preserve. Volunteers should wear old clothes, closed toed shoes, and be prepared to work in the soil! Drinking water and a light snack provided. Minimum age to participate is 6 years old. Parents Supervision is required.
Earth Day Wildflower Walk at The Richard and Donna O'Neill Conservancy
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: RSVP for location
Enjoy the springtime beauty of wildflowers out on The Reserve. Explore ridges and canyons looking for spring wildflowers with guest botanist Tony Bomkamp. You'll see some of the more common spring wildflowers and may discover some uncommon ones as well.
Ages: 8 and up
Participants must be registered or on the wait list by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21.
Crystal Cove State Park Earth Day Celebration
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location: 8471 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
Crystal Cove State Park welcomes volunteers to participate in our annual Earth Day restoration and cleanup event. With a generous grant from the California State Parks Foundation we have purchased plants, tools, paint, and other necessities to embark on a day of park beautification. This year we will be planting, weeding, mulching, and watering in the Historic District, painting curbs and gates, staining bulletin boards and monument signs, repairing ramps, painting educational banners and cleaning the 3.5 miles of beach. Earth Day is always a great opportunity for park lovers to get their hands dirty and see the immediate fruits of their labor.
Earth Day Beach Clean-up with Inside the Outdoors
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Bolsa Chica State Beach, Tower 19 / Parking Lot 17
Project:  Beach beautification/Trash clean-up
Let the ranger at the entrance gate know you are with the Inside the Outdoors Beach Clean-up and you will receive free entrance to the beach. Gloves, trash bag and snacks will be provided to volunteers. Please RSVP to Dawn Curtis at
Earth Day Festival at The Ecology Center
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: 32701 Alipaz St., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Enjoy a day of community building, skills sharing, and garden bounty.
Earth Day Sponsored by the San Clemente Watershed Taskforce
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (8:30 a.m. beach clean-up)
Location: Parque Del Mar, 622 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, California 92672
Join the City of San Clemente and the Watershed Task Force as they organize a day of educational information about how everyone can make a difference in reducing litter, and pollutants which end up in our streets, storm drains, and eventually our beaches, and ocean! This free community event features live music, kid's arts and crafts, educational displays, demonstrations and artists. The day begins with a beach clean up at 8:30 a.m. - wear comfortable shoes, we provide the supplies! For information or to volunteer, please email
Earth Day with Newport Bay Conservancy
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center, 2301 University Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660
Enjoy environmental exhibits, scavenger hunt, science discovery booths, live animal presentations, rain barrel distribution, and more.
Earth Day with Ocean Institute
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: 24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr, Dana Point, CA 92629
Events are happening all day long including a beach clean-up.
Bolsa Chica Conservancy's Earth Day Festival
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Bolsa Chica Conservancy Interpretive Center, 3842 Warner Avenue, Huntington Beach. Public Parking Across the Street from the Interpretive Center
The Bolsa Chica Earth Day Festival is a fun way to get outside and learn about the environment with the whole family. Visitors will have the opportunity to touch live snakes, count migrating birds, learn about pollution, test the water, and much more! Alongside a multitude of educational activity booths, the festival will also guided tours of the reserve. Sponsored by the Bolsa Chica Conservancy and the Amigos de Bolsa Chica.
Earth Day at Pretend City Children's Museum
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: 29 Hubble, Irvine, CA 92618
Celebrate Earth Day as we gather together and appreciate our home as well as learn new ways to take care of it! Join us for recycling activities, Earth science, and art!
Fullerton Arboretum Green Scene Plant & Garden Expo
Time: April 22, 2017; 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
April 23, 2017; 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: Fullerton Arboretum at CSUF, 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton
View specialty plants, enjoy informative workshops and garden talks and more.
Native Planting Project at Doheny State Beach
Location: 25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629
Help plant an assortment of native plants, shrubs, and trees around the park. Bring your work gloves and your favorite shovel.

Local Events 
Click on the title of the event for more information,
including cost if applicable
Orange County Natural History Lecture Series: "Wildlife Management in the Santa Ana River Watershed and Beyond" with Richard Zembal
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Back Bay Science Center, 600 Shellmaker Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660.
Parking and lecture are free. Reserve space by emailing
Beginner/Intermediate Bird Walk at Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Location: 29322 Modjeska Canyon Road Silverado, CA 92676
Discover early morning bird activity in Modjeska Canyon. Perfect for beginning birders. Led by artist and birder, Julie Williams. Explore our native habitats while you learn to identify local birds. Easy to moderate walk.
EEI Training for Teachers
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Location: Back Bay Science Center, 600 Shellmaker Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660
Questions and RSVP:
Learn about the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), a free K-12 curriculum that teaches critical skills in science and history social science using environmental topics, such as water, as a lens. Attend this workshop and order your free EEI materials.
Keep it Wild Volunteer Day at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Location: Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405)
Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks for a morning of invigorating habitat restoration work in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Help us create a healthier habitat for the native plants and wildlife that call the canyon their home. Depending on the time of year, volunteers will assist with various restoration activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Please wear close toed shoes and sun protection and bring water. Online reservations required. Parking: Free for Keep-It-Wild volunteers!.
Free Training for Teachers at The Ecology Center
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Bolsa Chica State Beach, Tower 19 / Parking Lot 17
Contact info:; 949-443-4223
Our free, quarterly trainings for teachers explore how to integrate organic edible growing methods into school garden education.
Our next free teacher training covers the basics of container gardening. Topics to be covered include:
- Building an Herb Spiral: design and choose the right herbs.
- Vertical Gardens: easy solutions for any school garden.
- Fruit/Veggie Harvesting Guide: how to plan your harvest.
- Tips for Summer Maintenance: how to keep your garden healthy with limited maintenance.
Eco Night at Davis Magnet School
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: MPR at Davis Magnet School, 1050 Arlington, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Learn about many Environmental Education groups in our local community that offer a wide range of weekend and summer programs for families and children to learn about our environment. Enjoy hands-on activities, make & take projects, a working watershed model, live animals, and more!
4/29 & 4/30/2017
Educator Open House at Chino Hills State Park Discovery Center
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Location: 4500 Carbon Canyon Rd., Brea, CA 92823
Educators attending our open house will receive a free parking pass for the day (show valid ID or paystub).
Experience our program stations first-hand and take home a free Chino Hills State park Lesson Plan for your classroom.
- Meet the Staff
- Experience the program
- Native habitat hike
- Explore the Discovery Center
- Learn about our Nursery
- Give us your feedback and suggestions
- Have a fun day at Chino Hills State Park
Spring Faire at the Environmental Nature Center
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: 1601 East 16th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Our butterfly house, the only one of its kind in Orange County, will have its grand re-opening at the Spring Faire. Visitors can observe Orange County native butterflies interacting with our local native host and nectar plants. Throughout the season, our butterfly house is home to the Mourning Cloak, Lorquin's Admiral, Monarch, Queen, Buckeye, West Coast Lady, Painted Lady, California Dogface, Cloudless Sulphur and Anise Swallowtail species. Other activities include nature games, live native animals, and more.
Party for the Planet at Santa Ana Zoo
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: 1801 East Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Cost: Regular Zoo Admission, $12 for Adults, $9 for Children (3-12) and Seniors; Santa Ana Residents FREE (with proof of residency), FOSAZ Members Free
Celebrate Earth Day and Endangered Species Day with activity stations and special guests throughout the Zoo.
World Oceans Day at Santa Ana Zoo
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Location: 1801 East Chestnut Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92701
Cost: Regular Zoo Admission, $12 for Adults, $9 for Children (3-12) and Seniors; Santa Ana Residents FREE (with proof of residency), FOSAZ Members Free
Celebrate the World's Oceans as you explore under water habitats, discover the animals that live there and what you can do to help the oceans!


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 Orange County, CREEC is housed and supported by Inside the Outdoors, OCDE.
Helen de la Maza,

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