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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

Mission: Acterra brings people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet

Target demographics: Acterra inspires action to protect our local environment, and the entire planet

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 individuals learn about environmental issues that face our planet and our region, and solutions that they can take part in to slow climate change and reduce their carbon footprint. We honored 9 organizations throughout the Bay Area for for their unique and important sustainability practices. From their stories, we can educate hundreds of local businesses on how to improve their own sustainability efforts.

Geographic areas served: Bay Area

Programs: The Business Environmental Awards program recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of businesses with innovative sustainable programs. The program also recognizes leaders in the industry, and provides an educational forum that increases awareness and motivates all companies to adopt sustainable business practices. The Energy and Climate Program helps communities take action to reduce global warming by making their homes more energy efficient. We train volunteers, host energy and climate workshops, and create awareness of sustainable living practices. Our Public Lecture Series provides innovative and motivating lectures that build awareness of emerging environmental issues and solutions from leading thinkers in industry, government and nonprofits. Our new Go EV Program educates the public on how electric vehicles are a key to accelerating the shift from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy. Acterra provides our constituents with the tools, information, and support they need in order to "Go EV." Program activities include workshops, Ride and Drive Events, and an EV Ambassadors program.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Acterra's volunteers are passionate, informed, and fun! I admire the organization's breadth of work, high impact outreach, and ability to talk about environmental issues in a way that is appealing to diverse audiences.

Comments ( 1 )

Acterra_membership Thank you very much! We are glad Acterra is able to provide a breadth of environmental work that has considerable reach and impact for a wide variety of audience across SIlicon Valley!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We co-sponsored a Zero-Net Energy Solar Homes Tour with Acterra for the second year and it was a great success. We had over 200 people register which was an increase over the previous year. Acterra has earned a great reputation with the local community, city departments and the press. So they were a real asset to the process. Acterra has a can do attitude and they are fun to work with. Thanks much!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Acterra is an amazing force for then environment in the community. I particularly like there skill in engaging and training volunteers to do great work for the environment. I volunteered for the Green@Home program that trains volunteers to do energy audits and install simple energy saving devices for homeowners and renters. They not only engage the community at the end user level, but the volunteers are local as well. They also do a great job at collecting metrics and scientifically comparing outcomes to continuously improve the program. They also firmly believe in having fun as part of the experience. I also appreciate their EcoCalendar and newsletters that have many interesting local green events co-sponsored with other nonprofits.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Felice K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

mike@lanza.net

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I really enjoyed the two sessions I attended to plant trees in the banks of the San Francisquito Creek! Also, the person who was in charge of Acterra's creek programs was very generous with his time to come to my summer camp to explain the San Francisquito Creek to a big group of kids. Unfortunately, shortly after that, he was laid off, and now I don't know who to contact at Acterra about their creek work.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered on a Wednesday afternoon. The weather was great. I helped disperse the seeds of yarrow. Next, I removed tape from cardboard boxes. The group I volunteered with was big. I meet new and old friends. I like the experience of restoration habitat in a urban environment.

Tom C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Acterra both as a volunteer for the last 6 years and as a donor for the last 8 years. I have always been impressed with the expertise and good nature of the staff members and consider many of them to be good friends. I started as a volunteer with the Wednesday Weed Warrior program at Arastradero preserve in Palo Alto back when I was still working since it runs in the afternoon and fit well with my schedule. I have been retired for 3 years now, but the afternoons still work perfectly for me and I go out to do battle with the weeds every Wednesday. One of the things that I really enjoy is that after being a regular volunteer for so long I'm now considered one of the "lone rangers", long-time volunteers who work on their own whenever they wish in addition to the regularly scheduled programs. I spend another day out at Arastradero each week as a lone ranger where I can experiment with new techniques such as drilling out roots with an auger, and designing and building custom weeding tools with a perfect place to test them out under real world conditions. One tool is working so well that I am applying for a patent on it and am gearing up to put it into production. If that turns out to be profitable Acterra will certainly be the first on the list to benefit from it along with me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I got involved with Acterra to help build a watershed sculpture under the direction of Acterra and Daniel McCormick, an environmental artist. Junko Bryant welcomed us and other volunteers to participate in a fun community project over Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday weekend. Since the community build in January, my husband and I have been going over to Redwood Grove to water the watershed sculpture about once/week while the willows get established and grow. We've really enjoyed getting to know Junko and meeting other people involved in Acterra and are very glad we can do our part to contribute to restoring and enhancing the Adobe Creek watershed in Redwood Grove. Thanks, Junk and thanks, Acterra for welcoming us and allowing us to contribute to this environmentally-sustainable project!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Acterra is unique in that it addresses local environmental issues locally. They have been in business, under different names, for many years and have accomplished an amazing number of things. Since Debbie Mytels took over as associate director, many new and wildly successful programs have been instituted, two of the most important being: "Green@Home," in which volunteers have done home energy audits in hundreds of homes in 5 different cities and "Be the Change," which has trained a couple of hundred people to be environmental change agents, either in their own businesses or by starting a project of their own. I have worked as a volunteer there in several different capacities and can't praise it enough because it gets the work done and is humane towards its staff and volunteers.