EAC is uniquely positioned at the intersections of West Marin’s county, state and federal public lands and open space preserves and is able to provide hands on environmental educational experiences that foster greater understanding of the natural world and inspire the future stewards of our local environment. Environmental education is an important way we accomplish our mission to protect and sustain the unique lands, waters, and biodiversity of West Marin.
Our educational programming offers unique experiences for students to engage with the natural environment using observational skills and technology. There is a growing base of research being done around the value of environmental education for improving academic achievement, breaking the indoor habit, improving health and wellbeing, cultivating leadership qualities, and improving focus and cognition.
We believe that providing educational opportunities in nature create lasting and meaningful impressions on youth that help to create the environmental stewards of the future.
EAC currently has successful partnerships with local schools including Shoreline and Lagunitas School Districts, Terra Linda High School, Novato High School, Redwood High School, Sir Francis Drake High School, Marin Catholic High School, College of Marin, Dominican University, Sonoma State University, and University of San Francisco.
Starting in 2017, EAC teamed up with Marin County Parks to provide field trips in three distinct and unique habitats. Our programing is designed to support team building, observation skills, and movement through hiking and searching for specific habitats and species to document.
Our environment is the classroom, teaching youth about microhabitats, species observation, and utilization of iNaturalist technology for bioblitz movement based lessons for kids to not only get outside but interact with their surroundings and have fun.
2018 field trips were scheduled for May and June. We are planning additional trips for fall 2018 - spring 2019.
Field trip locations include Roy's Redwoods, Bolinas Lagoon, or Agate Beach. Agate Beach is also a marine protected area. Field trips have limited transportation funding for buses and/or parent reimbursement.
Since 2013, EAC, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the California Academy of Sciences have partnered training citizen-scientists to collect human use data from Marin County shorelines that border California's network of Marine Protected Areas.
Today, in addition to training public volunteers we also provide education and outreach to our local schools through classroom trips and field trips (to the beach) about California's network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Annually we engage with 200 students and provide five internships through this program to high school and college students to learn about coastal advocacy and stewardship.
Since 2010, EAC has hosted the annual Point Reyes Birding & Nature Festival, which provides programming for families and students each year.
Festival attendees have the opportunity to view migrating seabirds, waterfowl, and resident and migrant land birds. In addition to the unique birding opportunities, there are stunning wildflower displays, tidepools, butterflies, and dragonflies, migrating whales, elephant seals, sea lions, and tule elk waiting to be discovered.
Family programming and scholarships for youth and teachers are posted annually in March or April. More information may be found on the Festival website.