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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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I originally joined Acterra because it was an environmental organization with a very local focus and I could see the results of my volunteer efforts in my community. Acterra approaches its work with scientific integrity and a healthy dose of fun - my volunteer time always feels worthwhile. Recently I had the opportunity to work closely with Acterra's Redwood Grove Stewardship program in Los Altos and the partnership exceeded my expectations. I've observed the transformation of the Redwood Grove since Acterra was brought in to manage the restoration and the changes have been dramatic. I worked with the Redwood Grove Director, Junko Bryant, to create a partnership between the Shaped by Water Exhibition at the Los Altos History Museum and Acterra to bring in artists Daniel McCormick and Mary O'Brien to create a living sculpture to restore a streambank at the Redwood Grove. The sculpture was made from live willow and other native riparian plants and was built with the help of community volunteers over the course of several weekends. Acterra helped find funding for the project, coordinated the signup and management of volunteers, gathered native plant materials and provided tools and facilities that enabled the entire project to run smoothly. Part of what truly exceeded my expectations were the excellent relationships Acterra had built with City of Los Altos staff which enabled this unusual project to move forward without delay - the city staff had developed a great deal of trust in the work that Acterra is doing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I originally became involved with the Acterra stewardship project with my son, whose initial experience was through a school-sponsored program. We have been working with this project now for 3 years, and the changes in the redwood grove have been both subtle and dramatic. We appreciate the effort organized and managed by Acterra for projects that improve and sustain local habitats so that they may be enjoyed by current and future members of our town and surroundings. The Acterra staff, well represented by Junko Bryant, are friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really enjoy working with Acterra staff and volunteers in a nice park in my home town of Los Altos. It looks more beautiful at the end of every work day. And I a appreciate how much farther my city's dollars go when much of the work is done by volunteers who enjoy a friendly and useful work-out among the trees.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the Treasurer of a small local community group who's mission is to lead and educate the community in local sustainability matters. My group became a fiscal program of Acterra effective July 1, 2011. Acterra is continuously evolving and seeking ways to accomplish meaningful environmental goals to make our planet a healthier place for current and future generations. Acterra's focus is on making a difference at the local level versus raising funds just to grow at any cost. Acterra's stewardship and fiscal programs are a great example of synergistic efforts to make a difference in the community. Acterra's newsletters and educational seminars are also extremely valuable in educating the community and making our planet a better place to live.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Acterra is a local group with a long record of both taking direct action and empowering the action of individuals and other groups. Acterra keeps a native plant nursery and engages volunteers to remove invasive species and replace them with native plants. Acterra trains leaders in their year-long Be the Change course. They host numerous educational events around environmental issues and solutions. ( I just read about one on carbon offsets, today.) They train volunteers to help residents take simple actions to reduce their energy use and plan to reduce it further though their Green @ Home program. (I was a Green @ Home volunteer.) And now they focus on homes with high energy usage to make major energy reductions, resulting in an even larger impact. Acterra also supports the efforts of other local environemental groups, by co-sponsoring and publicizing their events through their e-newsletters and on-line calendar. (Our local group has benefited from such co-sponsorship. ) Acterra also serves as the umbrella organization for several local environmental groups that do not choose to become and independent non-profits, empowering local groups to continue useful work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a environmental nut and I love this organization - Acterra. After a great training, I'm able to visit a home and make recommendations concerning energy savings. It's a blast. Besides this Green-at-Home program, Acterra has other programs such as removing non-native plants in our parks. It's very hands on, which appeals to me. Not only can I help the environment, I can meet like-minded people, too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Acterr's Green@home program for over two years now. From day 1 of the training I was very impressed with how much information we were being taught and how thorough the training was. The "hands on" experience learning tasks that we'd have to perform for residents was invaluable. (Especially the tricks for remembering which way plumbers tape goes on a low-flow aerator).

I really enjoy doing green@home "housecalls" for our local residents who are eager to learn ways to reduce their water, energy usage and carbon footprint. They are usually very appreciative of our efforts which makes for a very satisfying volunteer experience. And it warms my soul knowing I've helped make one more residence a little greener!

Everyone I've met affiliated with the organization and their supporters are warm, friendly and genuinely concerned for the environment. Like-minded individuals I want to be around!!!

20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The passion and dedication of the folks who work at and volunteer for Acterra is amazing and the programs are well thought out and make use of proven behavior changing techniques. Their Be the Change leadership program was fantastic, and it has been a great experience to train with the Green@Home project and do some housecalls to improve energy efficiency and awareness.

18 Holly Harris

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Acterra is beautifying one of our bike paths near the historic El Palo Alto. They do a great job planting natives and keeping the weeds there at bay.

20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

High points for really acting locally, engaging schools and homeowners in work that can make a difference. The energy audit program which should lead to weatherizing and insulating projects is one of the single most important things an average citizen can do to save energy.