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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

11 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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Acterra has many activities and tasks for improving the environment and promoting sustainability. The program that I like best is their green@home program. In this program Acterra sends trained volunteers to a house at the owner's request to perform a whole house energy audit. Then the volunteers suggests techniques, technology and lifestyle changes that can reduce the overall energy consumption of the household. So far thousands of such house calls have been made. It not only saves the owner of the house money by making those suggested changes but reduces the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. This is truly a program that works and makes a difference and to top it all it is completely free.

Gillian4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a college professor and the wide range of volunteer opportunities Acterra offers are great in providing my students with hands-on learning experiences. My students give me a lot of feedback on their positive experiences working with Acterra staff in terms of their enthusiasm and knowledge. I also volunteer with one of the projects and really enjoy the camaraderie and direct applicability to improving the environment

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I teach at Foothill College and have volunteered for the Stevens Creek monitoring project for years. I have sent many students to volunteer for course credit/assignments and have had lots of positive feedback regarding there experiences working on numerous restoration projects at multiple sitesincluding Blackberry Farm in Cupertino, Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto and Redwood Grove in Los Altos. I also bring classes to Stevens Creek to work with Joanne McFarlin on restoration and water quality monitoring. Acterra's best quality is its focus on teaching volunteers how to actively make a difference in their world.

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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Cheri D.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As the City of Cupertino's Environmental Programs Manager I am very pleased with Acterra's role in creating public awareness, environmental stewards and in taking on restoration projects that positively impact the City and the extended community.
For many years, Acterra has provided hands-on opportunities for Cupertino residents to learn about creek pollution and how to do something to prevent it. Acterra staff regularly lead community volunteers in monitoring the quality of water in Stevens Creek and run an ongoing study of creek bugs to help determine aquatic habitat health. These citizen science programs not only provide helpful data, they serve to promote a sense of responsibility for and connectedness to our local habitats.
For the last several years, we at the City of Cupertino have depended on Acterra to assist, or take the lead on some of the City's most popular and beneficial programs: 1) Third-grade creek education field trips in partnership with the Cupertino Union School District (a study of bugs in the creeks to learn about aquatic habitat health and water quality); 2) Annual World Citizen Water Monitoring Challenge events to engage volunteers of all ages in the fun of learning to care for local creeks; 3) Coordinating ongoing volunteer days to remove non-native and invasive plants in connection with the City's restoration of Stevens Creek and; 4) Consistently hosting an audience-attracting booth and engaging the public at City events where the community may conveniently experience or acquire a taste for stewardship of our local creeks and other outdoor treasures. I am very grateful for Acterra's support and leadership in outdoor education. Thank you!
Cheri Donnelly
Environmental Programs Mgr.
Public Works Department
City of Cupertino
10300 Torre Ave.
408-777-3242
www.cupertino.org/environmental

Cecile A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Acterra is an incredible leader, but it manages to stay personal and connected with the community. Acterra does this by inspiring and creating positive energy. The staff is wonderful!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization that engages thousands of community members a year in environmental projects that support the community locally and globally. We need more non-profits like Acterra engaging the public in environmental solutions!

17

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with Acterra as a writer and environmental activist for nearly ten years and am continually amazed and delighted by how the leaders maintain their integrity and emenance as an oasis of environmental sanity on the Peninsula.

16

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Whenever any environmental issue is at hand everyone in the region looks to Acterra which is seen as our regional environmental. As someone working in East Palo Alto (a low income community next to wealthier Palo Alto where Acterra is based) I've appreciated the clear message that they want to be a factor for change in East Palo Alto, such as bringing home energy audits there.

18

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Acterra is a leader in it's field! They're innovative, imaginative, and incredibly resourceful and efficient. Their programs are diverse—ranging from home energy audits to habitat restoration with native plants. Acterra's "Be the Change" environmental leadership program has trained dozens of people to take action in their community. Every one of their programs has had a huge impact on the communities they serve.