ACTERRA: Action for a Healthy Planet

Rating: 4.95 stars   77 reviews

Issues: Environment, Water

Location: 3921 E Bayshore Rd Palo Alto CA 94303 USA

Mission: Acterra brings people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet
Target demographics: improving the environment
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 6,000 volunteers getting engaged in hands-on and solutions oriented opportunities. Since they were created our programs prevented 2,800,000 lbs of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and over 9,900,000 gallons of water from being wasted.
Geographic areas served: Bay Area
Programs: Green@Home, which helps communities take action to reduce global warming by making their homes more energy efficient. Green@Home trains volunteers, provides home energy audits and creates awareness of sustainable living practices. The Stewardship Program, which provides opportunities for individuals and groups to learn about ecology, have fun, and participate in restoration work. The program is currently restoring sites throughout Santa Clara and San Mateo County. Plants for the restoration work are grown at our own native plant nursery. The Business Environmental Awards recognizes and celebrates Bay Area corporate environmental leaders. Any private or public business entity, division or facility located in Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara or Santa Cruz County is eligible to apply. Non-profit organizations are eligible if environmental work is not their central mission.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 23-7064937
650-962-9876
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Helped me to learn a lot about California native plants and their impact on the ecosystem! Everyone is very knowledgeable, friendly, and incredibly helpful! Great community service opportunities.

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Rating: 5 stars  

For many years I have had the pleasure of working with Acterra, mostly as a volunteer pulling non-native plants and replanting with natives. Their organizational skills and environmental knowledge are impressive and make me feel my volunteer hours are very well spent. I also contribute in order to support Acterra's political and educational programs such as home energy audits and bans on plastic bags. We are lucky to have such an effective local organization that makes it so easy to participate.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Acterra is one of the greatest Bay Area nonprofits I've had the opportunity to work with. The staff, especially the coordinators of the Green@Home program, are knowledgeable, kind, and helpful with every resident and client they interact with. The municipality I used to work with had a contract with Acterra, and their staff were always willing to go the extra mile to attend our events and work with our residents. Thanks to Acterra, I now have a much better understanding of the small easy actions I can take to save energy in my home, and better yet, I know how to spread the word in a productive, encouraging way. In my opinion, that is the most important aspect of the Green@home program-- increasing awareness about climate change and the small efforts we can make in our own homes to reduce our carbon footprints.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

Acterra is one of the few organizations I know that is helping Palo Alto residents lower their carbon and energy footprint by being the resource that comes to your home and educations and makes recommendations for doing so. They are local and providing very specific services, rather than being all things to all people. They are also pulling non native plants from our beloved preserves. I've had a chance to work with them on this project. I appreciate the good work they do. One of their former directors helped me try to get a stop car idling project off the ground. She donated her precious time to my cause. That was tremendous.

This is what I know about the organization.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Acterra is involved in several communities using many volunteers to do restoration in creeks and one for our town removing invasive weeds in and open space grassland. they're using students, church groups, and industry volunteers. They have pulled many cubic yards of obnoxious thorny weeds from an open space area which the nature conservancy help the town acquire long ago. this will allow native grasses and perennials to reappear. They are very responsible in reporting to the city exactly what they are doing, I am impressed.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Acterra has multiplied my impact with their excellent programs and knowledgeable staff.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My interest in water conservation and native plants led me to Acterra. I attended a rain barrow installation workshop and was deeply impressed with their knowledge and dedication to the environment. Because of Acterra and their variety of events, I have learned not only about native plants and water conservation but also creek restoration, fish habitats, the importance of riparian zones, and creek water monitoring. I took on a leadership role in a local non-profit from my experience with Acterra. Their program model for restoration involves local community education. Much of my knowledge and experience of environmental issue was gained through Acterra's rich programs. Teaching our communities to be better stewards of our land will propels all of us to reach our environmental goals and reduce future problems with water and land use.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Role out satellite organizations throughout the area.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I enjoyed the past two summers with Acterra as part of a small group of college interns. My interest lies in habitat restoration, which is what attracted me the most to this non-profit; the chance to gain valuable hands-on experience in a variety of habitats. What really makes Acterra so successful, in my opinion, is the people. Each member of their staff comes from a different background, and were more than willing to patiently answer our questions. While their expertise lies in different fields, their goals are united -- and that energy was contagious. The women and men at Acterra are responsive, humble, fun to work with, and incredibly supportive.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Acterra has been a tremendous partner in our neighborhood creekside habitat restoration project. We began clearing non-native plants from the San Francisquito Creek corridor and planting native species in 2010. Acterra has provided plants, tools and volunteers. This year Acterra received a grant to put even more time and resources into the project, and we're looking forward to doubling our efforts. This fall we will likely plant more than 1,000 native plants, benefitting both wildlife and the esthetics of our neighborhood. Thank you for all your support, Acterra!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I enjoy helping do habitat restoration at the Arastradero Preserve. Acterra makes it easy to volunteer, and coordinated and employs people with deep knowledge and passion about the ecology of the area. I feel as if I can come when I have time, and I can always leave feeling I've done something that will help restore the native habitat in a local park.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have a greater variety of tasks available.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

It was amazing to learn all the invasive plants that are taking over the land for the native plants here! The directors explained everything well and answered any questions that any student had. Would definitely volunteer here again when i'm in the area!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?