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Salinas Together for Healthy Equitable Environment

Youth Served
Community Activity Days
Nature Area Trips

Amount $539,113
Grantee University Corporation at Monterey Bay
Award Year 2022
Funding Source General Fund, Outdoor Equity Program
Project Type Program Operation
Project Status


Conduct the Salinas Together for Healthy, Equitable Environments for residents at and near the Sanborn Ranch House in Salinas, CA. This program will include approximately 45 activity days in the community for approximately 2,800 participants and approximately 59 trips to natural areas for approximately 2,200 participants during three years of programming.

Activities in the community will include Future Carr Lake Park Education, Stewardship, and Tour with Big Sur Land Trust in Salinas; Exploring the outdoors in Salinas’s school yards and Creekside parks by nature observations, active games, hikes, quiet spots, and hands-on environmental service projects; Outdoor Stewardship Weekends at Creekside parks in Salinas including work and training with the Return of the Natives restorers; Solution-based learning about the communities connection to climate change, stormwater runoff, air quality, brownfields, land-use planning, urban heat island effect, groundwater supply, and energy and water efficiency; Teaching methods include place-based and project based lessons that include planting, seed collection, and other hands-on stewardship principles.

Trips to natural areas outside of the community will include Monterey State Beaches, Fort Ord National Monument, Toro County Park, Point Lobos State Nature Reserve, Marina Dunes Preserve, Big Sur Land Trust Marks Ranch and Glen Deven Ranch conservation properties, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Conexión Familiar at Agriculture Land Based Association (ALBA) Farm in Salinas, Monterey Zoo, and Whale Watching in Monterey Bay.

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Community Home Base Location
Sanborn Ranch House, 920 Acosta Plaza Salinas, CA 93905
County Monterey
Assembly District AD 29 Robert Rivas (D)
Senate District SD 14 Anna M. Caballero (D)
Congressional District CD 18 Zoe Lofgren (D)

Annual Report Details

Programs may span from one year to multi-year, not to exceed four years. The specific length of the program is contained in the description above.

Category Total
Youth Served 893
Days for Activities in the Community 13
Nature Area Trips 8

Inspirational Quotes or Testimonials

Thank you for a wonderful morning. This was so well organized and put together. It was a great day! I loved the activities; your volunteers are fantastic. The children had a wonderful time.
4th grade teacher
This is the best day ever
4th grade student
I really like learning about the plants and how they have medicinal uses
4th grade student

List of Educational Goals Achieved


EDUCATION(AL) – integrating one or more of the following learning opportunities during the OUTDOOR PROGRAM.

Instruction in arts, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that connects nature experiences, or environmental stewardship. Here is an example from partner Big Sur Land Trust (BSLT) for their Salinas Based Outdoor Event: All events at the Carr Lake project site have helped foster stewardship of the environment in Salinas residents who have attended events at the Carr Lake project site. This has been achieved through participants learning about the watershed that the project site belongs to and how some of the City of Salinas’ stormwater runoff passes through the project site. This gave participants a visual and understanding of how their contributions to stormwater runoff may affect local open spaces in their city and ultimately our oceans. We also discussed how the proposed project will help retain water in the restoration area for a longer time before it flows out through the reclamation ditch and thus potentially help replenish groundwater aquifers. Participants were also able to learn about the urban heat island effect by experiencing temperature changes when walking from the flat and exposed project site and into the native plant garden.

Foster stewardship of the environment using curriculum pursuant to Public Resources Code, Division 34, Part 4: Statewide Environmental Education (Sections 71300-71305). All Habitat Stewardship Project (HSP) events include elements of community service including removing invasive weeds (see photos below), or picking up trash. These hands-on actions are designed to correlate with grade appropriate content standards for 4th-5th-6th grade. See 3 below 3. Curriculum that is aligned to the content standards for California public schools adopted by the State Board of Education, including, but not limited to, the Next Generation Science standards, or the California History-Social Science Standards.

All of the programs of BSLT and HSP are stewardship and community engagement oriented. Participants have engaged in litter cleanup and invasive removal since our programs began. It has just started to rain in our area and on Saturday, Nov 18, HSP presented a program on uses of indigenous plants and then participants planted local native plants along Natividad Creek. We are expecting that HSP school programs will be planting native plants on field trips to the Creeks of Salinas and to dune areas on Salinas River State Beach. HSP provides native plants for BSLT programs at Carr Lake.

List of Formed Partnerships


This grant funded project has brought together 3 partners (Habitat Stewardship Project-HSP, Big Sur Land Trust-BSLT and Center for Community Advocacy-CCA) each with unique organizational goals, internal ways of operating, and rotating staffing issues. The first half of the year entailed a lot of planning and community outreach i.e.., with families and with school districts. Our first gathering at our Community Home Base on July 16, 2023 allowed our partners to work together and brought neighbors and families together to hear about our offerings, and then we were off with "Word of Mouth" coupled with "Door-to-Door" outreach being most successful.



So far this has been an excellent experience for the three partner programs funded by OEP. Knowing what you want in regards to reporting is very valuable, as now we know what kind of images formats to save. Ie., one of our partners sent their images on a Word document so those images had to be resent. Another sent a video file which again is not in the format you wished. 

Other Program Goals

Service Learning/Career Pathway/Leadership Opportunities

8 opportunities will be available including Big Sur Land Trust Youth Leadership Program which provides stewardship, community engagement, and camp leadership development opportunities. CA Volunteers - Jóvenes por Cambio for civic engagement, development of leadership skills, and possible career opportunities. Return of the Native's (RON) Restorers Program is a volunteer youth program which works closely with RON Student Assistants through California State University at Monterey Bay, AmeriCorps, and the California Conservation Corps on career pathways into the field of conservation. 


Return of the Natives Restoration Education Project (RON) of the California State University Monterey Bay (University Corporation Monterey Bay, CSUMB) – Maintaining and supporting strong relationships with the Alisal School District and Salinas Union High School District administrators and teachers, outdoor field trips to area beaches and wildlands, Activities in the Community including family weekend exploration and stewardship and in more remote natural areas.

Big Sur Land Trust – Collaborate on stewardship, educational, and environmental justice programming. Providing Youth Outdoor Program day and overnight camps. Expanding eligibility to their Youth Leadership Program.

Center for Community Advocacy – Organize and engage the community to partake in Activities in the Community and Nature Area Trips.


This was optional. Grantee elected not to proceed with this option.

Annual Reports Start in December 2023!

Grantee will report the number of children served, partnership accomplishments and lessons learned, how educational goals were achieved, and unforeseen challenges and recommended solutions, with the goal of inspiring and building capacity for future outdoor program providers throughout California.