Green Organizations

Local Sustainable Organizations

Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)
Farm Training & Research Center at the Triple M Ranch
420 Hall Road
Las Lomas, Watsonville
(831) 786-8760
The Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association generates opportunities for farm workers and limited-resource, aspiring farmers to grow and sell crops from two organic farms in Monterey County. Their mission is to advance economic viability, social equity and ecological land management among limited-resource and aspiring farmers. In pursuing its mission, ALBA aims to contribute to a more just and sustainable food system through the development of: 1) human resources that will be tomorrow’s farmers and sustainable agriculture leaders; 2) growing marketing alternatives for small-scale, limited-resource farmers; and 3) the enhancement of biological diversity and protection of natural resources – all necessary components of such a food system.

Amah Mutsun Relearning Garden
University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum

On the 40-acre parcel known as the California Teaching Garden, the descendants of the land’s original inhabitants, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, are assisting the Arboretum in the management and development of a community-centered learning project. With the guidance of the Amah Mutsun tribal elders and council, as well as the continuing involvement of the UCSC American Indian Resource Center, the Relearning Garden will unfold as a place where traditional plant-gathering and tending can co-exist with educational and interpretative programs.

Cabrillo Horticulture
Chair: Peter Shaw
(831) 479-6241
Room 5008
Horticulture Bldg.

For nearly thirty years the Horticulture Program has served both career students and home gardeners. We offer a diverse range of classes including Arboriculture, Basic Horticulture, Business Aspects of Horticulture, Crop Management & Nursery Production, Edible Landscaping, Greenhouse Operation and Design, Horticultural Therapy, Irrigation Systems, Landscape Construction and Management, Landscape Design and Gardening, Landscape Restoration, Native Plants, Organic Agriculture, Hydroponics, Pest Management, Plant Materials, Sustainable Landscaping, Soils Conservation and Current Topics. Our new Environmental Horticulture Center and Botanic Gardens was formally dedicated on Feb. 7, 2003.

California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
2155 Delaware Avenue, Suite 150, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (831) 423-2263

Fax: (831) 423-4528

CCOF promotes and supports organic food and agriculture through a premier organic certification program, trade support, producer and consumer education and political advocacy. From apples to zucchini, from almonds to wine, CCOF is involved in every facet of organics, with over 1,300 different organic crops and products, including livestock, processed products and services. CCOF provides certification services to all stages of the organic food chain from farms to processors, restaurants and retailers. CCOF certifies to the USDA National Organic Program standards and CCOF international standards.

California Climate and Ag Network (CalCAN)
The California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN) is a coalition that advances policy solutions at the nexus of climate change and sustainable agriculture. CalCAN members have a demonstrated commitment to an economically, ecologically sustainable and socially just food and farming system. Members include representatives from agricultural, environmental, food safety, and other organizations.

Campus Sustainability Council UCSC
The role of the Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) is to provide funding to registered UCSC student organizations for programs and events that create, implement, and monitor environmentally sound practices on campus as established through the protocol outlined in the Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. These organizations additionally facilitate greater collaboration between students, the administration, staff, faculty, and the community.

Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems UCSC
The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems is a research, education, and public service program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, dedicated to increasing ecological sustainability and social justice in the food and agriculture system. On the UCSC campus, the Center operates the 2-acre Alan Chadwick Garden and the 25-acre Farm. Both sites are managed using organic production methods and serve as research, teaching, and training facilities for students, staff, and faculty.

Center for Global, International, and Regional Studies UCSC
CGIRS was established through a merger of the Global Transformations ORU and the IGCC funded Stevenson College Program on Global Security. CGIRS is supported by funding from the UCSC Social Sciences Division, various UC systemwide centers, private foundations, corporations and other sources. It is also UCSC campus administrator of two UC system wide MRUs: the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, based at UC-San Diego, and the Pacific Rim Research Program, both of which fund graduate and faculty research.

Central Coast Graywater Alliance
The mission of the Central Coast Graywater Alliance is to facilitate the adoption of code-compliant graywater systems into the culture of mainstream water conservation practices 

College Eight: Nurturing Entrepreneurs for a Green Economy
UCSC pioneered interdisciplinary environmental, economic, and social education, with strong ties to both the technological innovators of the Silicon Valley, and the organic and sustainable agricultural communities of the Central Valley. UCSC’s College Eight— the Campus’s environmentally themed college—has led the university’s holistically green approach to all aspects of university life, and our graduates rank among the nation’s top environmental professionals.

Community Agroecology Network (CAN)
Community Agroecology Network (CAN) is an international organization that confronts some of the world’s most pressing problems in sustainability and conservation. CAN helps rural communities in Mexico and Central America develop self-sufficiency and sustainable farming practices. We promote integrated approaches to sustainable community development. The result is: increased tropical biodiversity, enhanced food security and community resilience to climate change, improved farmers’ livelihood, and direct relationships between producer and consumer.

Common Ground Center - Kresge College
The mission of Common Ground is to create cultural change for social justice, environmental regeneration, and economic viability. We act as a catalyst and facilitator of systemic change through action-education, research, advocacy, and civic engagement.

EcoCruz is a Santa Cruz County environmental web portal. The site is designed to link you to information, organizations and events that can help you become a steward of our environment and improve the sustainability of Santa Cruz County and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Ecological Farming Association
2901 Park Avenue, Suite D-2
Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 763-2111 (M-F, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm PST)

The Ecological Farming Association nurtures healthy and just farms, food systems, communities and environment by bringing people together for education, alliance building and advocacy. Through educational conferences, training programs, on-farm events and communications initiatives, we pursue a safe and healthful food system that strengthens soils, protects air and water, encourages diverse ecosystems and economies, and honors rural life. The public is engaged in an ever-growing conversation about where our food comes from, who grows it, and who has access to it – and EcoFarm is uniquely positioned to influence and amplify this conversation and translate it into action. EcoFarm has been a leader in building the California sustainable agriculture movement for 30 years.

Ecological Landscaping Association - CA Monterey Working Group
1900 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA, 95062
(831) 359-7918
The Ecological Landscaping Association (ELA), founded in 1992, is a nonprofit, member-based organization made up of professionals, businesses and pro-active community members who believe in using landscape practices that are environmentally safe and beneficial. ELA advocates for environmentally responsible stewardship of land and natural resources in landscaping and horticultural practices of both professionals and the public. Through education, collaboration, and networking, ELA promotes the design, installation, and maintenance of landscapes that are guided by a knowledge of and respect for natural ecosystems..

877 Cedar St 
Suite 240
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Ecology Action is a nonprofit environmental consultancy delivering cutting edge education services, technical assistance, and program implementation for initiatives that assist individuals, business and government to maximize environmental quality and community well being. Since 1970 Ecology Action has combined municipal, foundation, and private funding to establish conservation programs, prove their effectiveness financially and operationally, and establish each program as a permanent community resource. EA continually seeks innovative ways to instill environmental awareness, promote pragmatic change, and create opportunities for individuals, businesses, and community agencies to save money, create jobs, and contribute to a sustainable local economy.

Santa Cruz Community Television
Tuesday 6:00 pm   Ch. 27/73
Eco-Review is a LIVE call-in show (on the fourth Tuesday of every month) with guests discussing local environmental issues that affect our everyday lives. The show repeats every Tuesday until the next LIVE show.

Education for Sustainable Living Program UCSC
ESLP is a student-run organization. Our main objective is to put on an accredited student-led course during spring quarter. Student organizers work throughout the year to plan our Monday night lecture series, train facilitators, create curriculum, and spread the word about student empowerment and experiential education.

FOOD WHAT?! is a youth empowerment program using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for bringing about personal growth and transformation. We partner with teenage youth to grow, cook, eat and distribute healthy sustainably raised food. These revolutionary acts serve to empower youth to realize their full potentials, to enjoy life, and serve as grounds for hard skill and leadership development.

Friends of the Community Agroecology Network (FoCAN)
UCSC Village A-3
FoCAN is a student-initiated, student-led community at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), that supports the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) in their mission of promoting rural livelihoods and sustainable food systems through action education and participatory action research.
FoCAN meets weekly at the Sustainable Living Center in the Village at UCSC. Through communal meals, discussions, and activities, these weekly meetings create a community that fosters dialogue and experiential learning about the global food system and sustainability.

Homeless Garden Project
on Shaffer Road Cross St.: Delaware
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 423.1020
The Homeless Garden Project provides job training and transitional employment to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The programs offer trainees an opportunity to rebuild and develop basic life skills and a sense of worth as human beings.The mission of the HGP is to: bring together people from throughout the community in the beauty and security of our certified organic garden; practice and teach principles of economic and ecological sustainability through classes and hands-on experience; and provide homeless men and women job training and transitional employment.

Life Lab Science Program
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064
( 831) 459-2001

Life Lab is a national leader in farm- and garden-based education. At the Life Lab Garden Classroom in Santa Cruz, California, we promote experiential learning for all ages through children’s camps, field trips, youth and internship programs, and teacher workshops. Drawing on over thirty years of work with students we have also created curricula and workshops for educators interested in bringing learning to life in gardens nationwide.

Live Oak Family Resource Center
Serving the Live Oak community
1740 17th Ave
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 476-7284

The mission of the Live Oak Family Resource Center is to improve the quality of life and strengthen the individuals and families of Live Oak while promoting a safe and healthy community.This is accomplished by connecting and providing people with resources and services; supporting opportunities for personal and cultural exchange; and, helping residents to thrive by helping themselves and each other.

The Master Gardener program provides University of California approved training in the latest gardening research, including integrated pest management (IPM) and water conservation practices. In turn, Master Gardeners share their knowledge with their community. The primary role of the Master Gardener is to educate the community in the latest gardening research. We do not provide basic gardening services.

New Earth Exchange
4624 Soquel Dr
Soquel, CA 95073
(831) 476-7529
A not-for profit, cooperatively run organization, made up of local business owners, individuals and organizations who are concerned about providing the opportunity for Santa Cruz County residents to participate in a stable and just economy. Helps local businesses to expand their purchasing power and increase cash flow and profits, while providing their customers with greater access to their goods and services, and helping the environment at the same time.

Newman's Own Organics: The Second Generation
Newman's Own Organics was founded in 1993 by Paul Newman's daughter, Nell Newman, as a division of Newman's Own. It became a separate company in late 2000. The company produces an array of products made from certified organic ingredients.

Non-GMO Santa Cruz
A group of Santa Cruzans concerned about spreading the knowledge on GMO's in our food and life, and promoting the labeling of GMO foods in our stores.

Organic Farming Research Foundation
PO Box 440
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
(831) 426-6606
The mission of the OFRC is to foster the improvement and widespread adoption of organic farming systems. They accomplish this by:sponsoring organic farming research and education & outreach projects through our competitive grantmaking program; disseminating the results of OFRF-funded research and education projects to organic farmers and to growers interested in adopting organic production systems; and, educating the public and decision-makers about organic farming issues.

Reskilling Expo
Their mission is to strengthen the reskilling movement locally by regularly teaching sustainable daily-living skills, to promote skill-sharing for a resilient common future and to enhance the development of self-reliance in Santa Cruz County. They hold two Reskilling Expo events every year, one each in Spring and Fall. Each Expo is a day-long symposium of workshops offered to the public free-of-charge and designed to impart skills that will increase food security, conserve water and build community resilience.

Santa Cruz Beekeepers Guild
A loosely organized group of beekeepers in the Santa Cruz area.  Most are hobbyists, but a few include beekeeping as part of their professional livelihoods.  They come from all walks of life and have a wide range of hands-on knowledge in the apiary, from first-year beekeepers to seasoned “experts” with several years of experience from which we can all learn.  Anyone interested in bees and/or beekeeping is welcome to join us.

Santa Cruz Energy and Resource Collaborative
In the 21st century the world’s greatest challenge is arresting the rapidly increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that cause climate change. We recognize that the U.S. and China are the two largest producers of greenhouse gases. Consequently, any efforts that attempt to comprehensively address climate change must involve China. The Santa Cruz Energy & Resources Collaborative (SCERC) is a student-led organization whose mission is to connect and educate the University of California, Santa Cruz energy and resources community.

Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project
Steve Schnaar
(831) 421-9367
Grassroots org that seeks to make use of the bounty of fruit that falls and is left on the ground. Organizes fruit harvests and processing events e.g. pressing cider, curing olives, making jam and wine.

Slow Food Santa Cruz
Hosts Slow Food events at various venues. SFSC is working to support the national campaign to improve school lunches by increasing funding. Slow Food USA works to preserve American food traditions through the Ark of Taste and RAFT programs.  We’re bringing these projects to Santa Cruz by identifying foods that are unique to this area, part of our local heritage, and/or in danger of being lost in this region.

Springfield Grange #523
65 Elkhorn Rd
Watsonville, CA 95076

(831) 763-2939
A recently formed "Green Grange" serving the Watsonville community.

TEDxSantaCruz is part of the TEDx program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxSantaCruz is supported entirely by volunteers and sponsors who have generously given their time and donations to bring TEDxSantaCruz events to the Santa Cruz community.

Transition Santa Cruz
Michael Levy
(831) 427-9916
Transition Santa Cruz is a collaborative effort to prepare Santa Cruz for a future in which cheap, abundant energy is no longer available. We aim to become resilient and able to handle the stresses of  peak oil and climate change, by building a thriving local economy and community that is not heavily dependent on any particular outside resource. In the process, we will be taking some of the most effective steps we can take to reduce our impact on the climate system.

UCSC Campus Sustainability Office
(831) 459-3011
The Campus Sustainability Office (S.O.) helps foster a "culture of sustainability." The S.O. supports campus-wide sustainability efforts through coordination, program developent, and publicizing campus efforts. Housed in the Carriage House, the Sustainability Manager, Sustainability Project Liaisions, and student leaders work on a number of projects to advance campus sustainability.

UCSC Sustainability Engineering and Ecological Design

A joint collaboration between Baskin School of Engineering and Social Sciences Division University of California Santa Cruz

Urban Garden Share

There is limited green space for food and flowers in this place we call the urban jungle. Matching homeowners (with garden space) to gardeners (with experience) is the perfect solution for cultivating both food production and community. Condo and apartment dwellers are faced with containers or p-patches as their only prospects for vibrant gardens. Homeowners can be overwhelmed by yet-another-garden-project.

Wild Farm Alliance
The Wild Farm Alliance was established by a national group of wildlands proponents and ecological farming advocates who share a concern for the land and its wild and human inhabitants. Their mission is to promote a healthy, viable agriculture that helps protect and restore wild Nature. To make our food systems sustainable in the 21st century, they envision a world in which community-based, ecologically managed farms and ranches are seamlessly integrated into landscapes that accommodate the full range of native species and ecological processes.

Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!)
YES! connects, inspires and collaborates with change-makers to build thriving, just and balanced ways of life for all. We primarily work with people ages 18-35, but are increasingly also working inter-generationally as well.