5 California Groups Dedicated to Conservation and Sustainability

In order for plants and animals to thrive, they need land on which to live and people looking out for them. These organizations preserve open spaces, protect habitats, and advocate for conservation in local communities. By making the preservation of nature a priority, we can ensure a sustainable future where people live in harmony with their natural surroundings. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Organizations Working Toward a Sustainable California

Name Headquarters Focus
Solana Center for Environmental Innovation Encinitas Promotes recycling, composting, & water conservation, and provides consulting services to address the region's most pressing environmental issues and enact meaningful change
Dwight Center for Conservation Science Santa Rosa Works on the Pepperwood Preserve to produce cutting-edge research, provide comprehensive environmental education for all ages, and apply new scientific developments toward the safeguarding of nature for generations to come
Land Trust of Napa County Napa Acquires land and preserves biodiversity through conservation easements, with more than 75,000 acres protected across more than 200 projects
California Rangeland Trust Sacramento Oversees and monitors easements on ranches throughout the state to protect air and water quality, wildlife habitats, and local food supplies
Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation Santa Rosa Works to preserve the local wetland area by removing non-native species, restoring natural habitats, and educating the public about the importance of environmental stewardship

"A Common Ground": A Short Film By The California Rangeland Trust

Endangered Species in California

Rare Wildflowers in Napa County

In Depth

The state of California is known for its breathtaking natural beauty. It is equally notorious for frequent wildfires and natural disasters that are only getting worse as climate change intensifies. Throughout the state, many groups have come into being that seek to implement programs dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of these scenic wonders. This list, presented in no particular order, explores the work of five of them.

#1 is Solana Center for Environmental Innovation, a San Diego-based nonprofit that focuses on Zero Waste, composting, and water conservation. Its mission is to mobilize the local community through innovative outreach and provide consulting services to businesses and jurisdictions in order to address the region's most pressing environmental issues and enact impactful change. Founded in 1983, the organization pioneered the first comprehensive curbside recycling program in the city.

Anti-waste and food recovery programs try to divert material sent to landfills toward productive ends. The center's water stewardship initiatives include educational campaigns to persuade San Diegans to protect vital beaches, rivers, lakes, and lagoons. Composting and gardening resources train locals in efficient waste management. Tours, classes, workshops, and exhibits model forms of sustainable living. Do your part by taking a Master Composter course.

The center's water stewardship initiatives include educational campaigns to persuade San Diegans to protect vital beaches, rivers, lakes, and lagoons.

At #2, the Dwight Center for Conservation Science uses the 3,200 acre Pepperwood Preserve in Santa Rosa as a living laboratory to engage students, volunteers, and scientists in applied conservation. Producing cutting-edge research, providing comprehensive environmental education for all ages, and facilitating an innovative citizen science initiative, its focus is the application of new scientific developments in safeguarding the future of nature for generations to come.

Conservation initiatives bring research and community together to forge solutions to the region's most pressing challenges. Signature programs here include fire mitigation and forest health efforts, ecological restoration, and the Mayacamas Forum, for land and water managers in the nearby mountain range. There are also learning experiences for kids, adults, and teens. Pepperwood's Watershed Sentinel Site is dedicated to tracking ecosystem health over time by systematically monitoring key indicators. Get involved by purchasing a membership.

In the #3 position, it's Land Trust of Napa County, a community-based nonprofit dedicated to preserving the character of Napa by permanently protecting land. Since 1976, the group has completed hundreds of projects to keep more than 75,000 acres of land thriving. The trust does this work through conservation easements, acquisition of lands, and the opening of green space, parks, and wildlife refuges for public use.

Since 1976, the group has completed hundreds of projects to keep more than 75,000 acres of land thriving.

There is a large collection of properties that have been donated to the organization to be managed in perpetuity for their ecological health. These lands are accessible to the public through guided events, like volunteer work days and tours. The staff also assists with the recovery and reclamation of areas devastated by California's worsening wildfire problems. A stewardship program researches and publicizes the methods by which ecological sustainability can be achieved. Take part in this mission by joining The Cornerstone Society, a giving circle.

#4, California Rangeland Trust, works with California ranching families and future generations to keep intact the Golden State's rangeland, air and water quality, wildlife habitat, and local food supplies. It was founded by a group of cattlemen and cattlewomen in 1998 who wanted to ensure a continued existence for the lands from which they extract profit. The group brings the ranching and environmental communities together to cultivate shared efforts to protect the western lifestyle.

The trust oversees easement processes that transform private lands into emblems of sustainability. It also takes responsibility for monitoring that the terms of the easement are being upheld. Such ranches are spread throughout the interior regions of Mid- and Northern California, from Plumas County down to San Luis Obispo. The group's annual get-together, A Western Affair, serves a large feast with food and wine provided by California vintners and ranchers. Help out by funding a project.

The group's annual get-together, A Western Affair, serves a large feast with food and wine provided by California vintners and ranchers.

Wrapping things up at #5 is Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, with the mission of restoring and conserving the laguna, and to inspire public appreciation of this wetland of international importance. The Santa Rosa is the largest freshwater wetlands complex on the northern California coast. It is unusually rich in different lifeforms In a state already known for extraordinary biological diversity.

The Foundation's programs fall within three categories. Restoration efforts sponsor the removal of invasive non-native species and the reestablishment of once prominent riparian forests. The Learning Laguna initiative sends highly trained volunteer docents to visit second, third, and fourth grade classrooms to lead discovery field trips. Conservation science work attempts to further our understanding of and our ability to keep safe these natural systems. Learn more by attending a Wings, Wine, and Wetlands benefit.