Care for Our Earth Grant Winners

The 2018-19 Care for Our Earth Grant program was generously funded by (scroll down to see prior years):

Sponsored by:

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“The Water Smart Pollinator Garden”
Grace Barton, and Linda Martinson
La Cañada School, Lompoc Unified School District

The students of La Cañada School will plant a pollinator garden using native and drought tolerant plants.

“The TK Flower Patch”
Donna Beal
Joe Nightingale School, Orcutt Union School District

Students will learn the importance of saving water by drought tolerant plants.

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“To the Farm”
Michelle Berry
Mary Buren School, Guadalupe Union School District

Mary Buren students will about local framing practices, specifically organically grown and pesticide free environments.

“Imagine Biking”
Grace Butler
Santa Barbara Charter School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

Students will participate in two bicycle art inspired lessons. The students will be asked to consider a green action related to bike riding.

“Mitigating Climate Change”
Marie Chavis
Jonata Middle School, Buellton Union School District

Jonata Middle School will analyze electric and water bills as well as conduct on campus audits to develop smart goals to reduce usage.

“Oak Valley Garden composting Program”
Jennifer Cline
Oak Valley School, Buellton Union School District

Student will expand their knowledge and understanding of the importance of composting.

“Saving Water in the Garden”
Paul Cleveland
Lakeview Junior High School, Orcutt Union School District

The Junior High students at Lakeview will take part in reducing water in their school garden by learning how to use soil moisture sensors.

“School Garden Worms 101”
Lisa Cooper
Joe Nightingale School, Orcutt Union School District

Compost left-overs from Joe Nightingale cafeteria will be placed into the red-worm bin which will turn the left-overs into amazing, rich soil for the school garden.

“Irrigation with Intention:”
Katherin Dickson
Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District

This project is planning to conserve water by using a soil moisture tensiometer and weather station to best target irrigation sets.

“Garden Watering Materials + Shed Art”
Jessica French
Rice Elementary School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students will avoid wasteful or excessive water pressure on soil or delicate plants by using quality water cans that allow the water to break up the stream of water into droplets.

“Native Garden Ledership Team”
Jean Gradias
Cold Spring School, Cold Spring School District

The Cold Spring Native Garden Leadership Team will work on reducing the water consumption on campus, as well as beautify the school, all while learning about local ecosystems and habitats.

“Waterless Detailing”
Rob Hill
Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District

A car wash uses approximately 70-100 gallons per washing, the students will learn about water conservation by using water-less products, to achieve the same results, and save thousands of gallons of water per year.

“Power Exploration”
Riccardo Magni
Pioneer Valley High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District

By using Kill-A-Watt devices in their homes the students will be able to measure the usage of certain items (electrical) that is used daily. The students will compare their results with their classmates and figure out how to measure the energy that they save.

“Compost Bin Dividers for Our Teaching Garden and Outdoor Classroom”
Madison Maple
Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District

The Kinder and First grade classes of Family School will build a compost bin with three separate dividers for composting and will incorporate water wise succulents in order to keep water in the composting system, without needing extra water for decorative plants.

“Wise Watering School Gardens”
Linda Mayer
Santa Ynez Valley Charter School, College District

Students will become more water wise by understanding that planting native plants will use less water than non-native plants. Different types of irrigation will be taught for water conservation at home and in the school garden.

“Savy Succulents”
Kelly McDonald
Solvang School, Solvang School District

Solvang School student will learn techniques for creating a water wise garden by creating a drought tolerant garden. They will also learn about the adaptations of succulents and create succulent terrariums.

“Second Grade Environmentalists”
Lydia Morrow
Buena Vista Elementary School, Lompoc Unified School District

Buena Vista students will be taught mini lessons on water conservation and work together in groups to brainstorm/research ways to conserve water.

“Reduce, Reuse, and Recyclling in TK”
Patty Ortiz
Joe Nightingale School, Orcutt Union School District

The students will learn about recyclable items by visiting the Santa Maria Discovery Museum, to explore hands on activities on recycling in their community.

“Harvesting Fog in Our Teaching Garden”
Jan Silk
Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District

The students will build and research through observation & discovery on how to use fog harvesting as a viable technology to catch water sustainably in order to care for and hydrate their garden.

“Worm Bin-Recycle Food”
Ann Silva
Adams Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

The worm bin will allow the students to learn and explore the benefits of composting their food waste, and how the composting will provide healthy soil.

“A Day At The Beach”
Suzanne Squires
Los Olivos Elementary School, Los Olivos School District

This project focuses on ocean ecosystems and how these systems are affected by four human endured problems: mircoplastics, oil spills, ocean temperature change and ocean acidification. Students will explore four activities on these topics and create their own experiment. After participation students will have a deeper understanding of their impact on the environment.

“Water Conservation,Reclamation, and You!”
Markie Wordley
Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District

Students will visit the city water-waste treatment plant, learn about water reclamation/conservation and apply these principles to native landscape design.
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“Let’s Save Our Drinking Water!!”
Greg Waggoner
Battles Elementary School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students will learn about various water sources and how water is treated to make it safe for drinking.

“Bees Trees and Seas”
Jessica Zavala
Kellogg Elementary School, Goleta Union School District

Kellogg Elementary an Ocean Guardian School will learn how the seemingly unrelated influence of bees, planting trees and seas are interconnected and that they have a symbiotic relationship. The lessons will taught via hands on artistic lessons.


The 2017-18 Care for Our Earth Grant program was generously funded by (scroll down to see prior years):

“Conserving Local Ecosystems”
Brianna Balch, Krista Munizich, Sylvia Figueroa, and Caryn Parker
Canalino School, Carpinteria Unified School District

The first grade students of Canalino School will connect to their local natural environment which will help teach and inspire conservation.

“Saving Water and Taking Care of Our Garden”
Anne Cordero-Rabe
Brandon School, Goleta Union School District

Students will learn the importance of saving water by using a rainwater collection system and using the collected water to maintain the classroom garden.

“A Beautiful Conservation”
Barbara Courain
Vandenberg Middle School, Lompoc Unified School District

The goal of this project is for AVID 8 students to learn and research how drought tolerant plants are beneficial to the central coast in the context of a larger environmental unit.

“Explore Ecology Field Trip”
Maci Farmer
La Patera Elementary School, Goleta Union School District

Students will go on a field trip to the local watershed to learn how to protect them. They will learn about water pollution, the effects of plastic debris on aquatic systems and solutions to pollution.

“School Garden Composting”
Jessica French
Rice ElementarySchool, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students will recycle food waste and create good soil for their on site edible garden.

“Oak Valley Elementary School Garden-Compost Demonstration Project”
Carlos Gonzalez
Oak Valley School, Buellton Union School District

Oak Valley Elementary School Garden will build and install a compost bin in their school garden to educate the students on how to reduce waste, enrich the soil, and contribute to their garden.

“Solar Greenhouse”
Jean Gradias
Cold Spring School, Cold Spring School District

Cold Spring Elementary will link the school weather station to Weather Underground in order to program a Raspberry Pi 3 to run solar-powered fans/venting system to regulate temperatures in the student-run greenhouse.

“Reusable Utensil Initiative”
Briana Graziano
El Camino School, Goleta Union School District

The students will track the amount of disposable waste they generate at school for one week. The students will implement the use of reusable utensil and compare the amount of waste.

“You Reap What You Sow: Sustainable Gardening”
Megan Heffernan
Peabody Charter School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

This project will allow for students to revitalize a discarded tower garden into a functioning hyroponic gardening system, which will allow for learning about sustainable gardening and consuming.

“Mindfulness Garden and Water Catchment System”
Rebecca Ingrahm
Maple High School, Lompoc Unified School District

The students will start a garden and demonstration site for water catchment from the school building roofs. The students will learn about water usage and tools to monitor usage.

“Solar Power and Alternative Energy”
Jennifer Kerr
Mary Buren School, Guadalupe Union School District

Students will explore the power of the sun and alternative energy with seven hands-on experiments.

“Lunch to garden-School Compost Program”
Misha Lewis
Cold Spring School, Cold Spring School District

Cold Spring Green Team will educate and inspire their fellow students to send their lunch and snack scraps to the school garden for composting.

“Turning ‘Go’ Power into ‘Glow’ Power”
Kristen Lohr
Taylor School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Third grade students will participate in “The 100 Mile Club” with their “buddies” they will track and calculate how their energy can be equated to electrical power.

“Water Saving Ecosystem”
Kelly McDonald
Solvang School, Solvang School District

Students will learn about plants that save water through a classroom succulent hydroponics fish ecosystem.

“Kinder-Garden”
Karina Michel
Jimenez Elementary School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

The students will learn the importance of conserving water by exploring and using rainwater catchment.

“Recycled Materials Concrete Bench for Campus Water Wise Garden”
Robert Morey
Cabrillo High School, Lompoc Unified School District

Students from Cabrillo High will use recycled materials from local beaches and waterways to build a concrete bench to be placed in one of the campus gardens.

“Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling in TK”
Patty Ortiz
Joe Nightingale School, Orcutt Union School District

The students will learn the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling materials and how this helps to conserve natural resources and learn simple ways to divert the amount of trash sent to landfills.

“Creating a Succulent Garden”
Robin Palmerston
Family Partnership Charter School, Blochman Union School District

Creating and cultivating a succulent garden in the Kindergarten and First Grade outdoor classroom space will provide students with ways to learn about plants, the needs of plants, and how to carefully utilize water for their growth.

“The Life of a Tree”
Alberto Panchi
Cuyama Valley High School, Cuyama Joint Unified School District

CVHS students will plant trees to study the growth and collect data to be used in the creation of linear equations using the variables of growth (ht) and time (age).

“Catching the Rain”
Lynn Seigel-Boettner
Vieja Valley School, Hope School District

The students will install rainwater harvesting systems, plus rain barrel diverters to catch rainwater to be used for the classroom garden.

“Earth First Crew School Garden”
Denise Sewell
Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

In this project reclaimed water will be used to create a school garden to grow vegetables to be used for lunches and to donate to the Food Bank.

“Drop Stop”
Julie Shamblin
Carpinteria High School, Carpinteria Unified School District

Drop Stop will tie into the Virtual Enterprise company, which educates on the importance of water, conservation and how to save water in your daily routine.

“Saving Energy”
Annette Shimamura
Santa Ynez School, College School District

This project will look at ways to conserve energy when computers are charging on a computer cart.

“Restoring Santa Cruz Island’s Habitat & Learning How to Protect It”
Jan Silk
Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District

Students will travel to Santa Cruz Island to complete a service project of restoring the natural drought tolerant plant habitat of the island fox and it’s community.

“Cover that Soil”
Stacey Thielst
Vista de las Cruces School, Vista del Mar Union School District

The goal of this project is save water by improving the soil structure by planting cover crops and adding mulch where there is bare dirt.

“Bee Healthy”
Valerie Trenev
Alice Shaw School, Orcutt Union School District

Students will install a hydration station to use refillable water bottles and hydrate with healthy, clean filtered water, there by reducing plastic bottle use.

“Water Conservation, Reclamation, and You!”
Markie Wordley
Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District

By visting the local Wastewater Treatment Plant students will learn about water reclamation, water conservation, and apply the principles to native landscape design.


The 2016-17 Care for Our Earth Grant program was generously funded by:


“Every Drop Helps”
Lela Alcocer
Oakley School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

The goal of this project is for students to brainstorm and develops ways to conserve water.

“Hydroponic Garden Towers”
Tim Barker
Hope School, Hope School District

Students will learn about sustainability, water conservation and many other science standards using hydroponic technology.

“2nd Grade Deep Root Watering”
Michelle Brunkhurst, Lovenneea Marchetti, Terri O’Donnell
Roosevelt Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

2nd graders at Roosevelt Elementary School will learn how deep root watering cuts water waste while promoting a strong, deep root system for native plants.

“Carp Kids Community Bike Club”
LoriLee Collins
Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District

Carpinteria Family School and Canalino School will create a co-operative community building after school bike club. The students will develop bike safety skills, teach bike maintenance, as well as educate the community.

“Vandenberg Middle Goes Green-Everyone Recycles”
Barbara Courain
Vandenberg Middle School, Lompoc Unified School District

The students at Vandenberg Middle School will begin a recycling program, to educate their peers on the importance of recycling. Each classroom will be provided with a recycling bin which will be collected by the AVID students each week.

“Save the Sea from Marine Debris”
Stephen Criley
Cleveland Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

Cleveland students will Save the Sea from Marine debris by removing trash before it becomes wind born. The students will provide all classrooms with buckets and tongs to provide on-going playground trash abatement.

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“Sharing Space, Saving Energy”
Kelly Davis
Pioneer Valley High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District

This project will save energy by sharing space. The students will research energy usage of different types and sizes of refrigerators and compile data on how much energy can be saved by sharing refrigerator space rather than using individual refrigerators.

“Garden Based Learning-From Small Acorns Great Oaks Grow”
Christine Edwards
Oak Valley School, Buellton Union School District

Renovating the Community Garden with new planter boxes will allow for wider pathways, wheelchair accessibility, and allow teachers, students, and families a deep, hands on connection to the food cycle, sustainable agriculture, and the natural environment.

“Understanding Electricity Conservation”
Ty Fredriks
Orcutt Academy High School, Orcutt Union School District

The students’ will begin the process of understanding how electricity is generated, so that they will understand how to effectively utilize energy resources.

“Water-Saving Shower Routine”
Sonia Galvez
Delta High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District

Students will plan an efficient shower routine to use less water by using five-minute shower timers. The students will teacher their families and friends how to be responsible water stewards.

“Just Dew It: Collecting Morning Roof Runoff to Support Pollinators”
Rob Goettler
San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

San Marcos student will design and build a system to collect dew-water runoff, which occurs in the morning hours, and will use the water to maintain a pollinator garden.

“Solar Cars”
Chad Hartford
Fesler Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

The goal of this project is provide the students with the opportunity to build solar cars. The students will investigate the development and use of solar power, by examining the role of the sun as a source of energy.

“Agents of Positive Change: Making the World a Better Place”
Sarah Hebert
El Camino Junior High School, Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students will research various environmental and social conflicts, and propose a solution for positive change that will help resolve the conflict. The outcome is for students to become more environmentally and socially conscious citizens.

“Tube to table! Hydroponics happening from tube to table keeping it local, very local from start to finish”
Terri Ingram
Dos Pueblos High School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

Hydroponics will be used to grow fresh organic herbs and vegetables in a “Foody Tower.” The hydroponics method allows for conserving water by using up to 90% less. The greens grown will be used in the student run café, and the students will gain a sense of ownership and pride.

“Water World”
Brian Malcheski
Open Alternative School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

Students will learn about Earth’s water cycle and how the distributions and availability of fresh water affects life on Earth. A field trip will allow for learning experiences about natural and manmade water systems and engage in hand on experiences.

“Pedal Power”
Linda Mayer
Santa Ynez Charter School, College School District

The students of SYC School will design and learn about the mechanics, mathematics and building of a bike-powered blender to be used in the outdoor garden, kitchen, and nature center. Students will use their own energy to power the bike blender to make veggie and fruit smoothies.

“Drought Tolerant Garden”
Kelly McDonald
Solvang School, Solvang School District

Student will learn about drought tolerant plants and the benefits of saving water while finding ways to make gardens beautiful.

“Drought Tolerant Plants”
Juan Sanchez
Delta High School, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District

Students will appreciate the water saving tips of planting drought tolerant succulents and propagating the plants to share with their communities.

“Reduce & Reuse”
Keri Santos
Vista de las Cruces School, Vista del Mar Union School District

The goal of this project is to see how many plastic water bottles and water can by saved the end of the school year, by using a water bottle filling station, which will track the number of plastic bottles it has saved.

“Walking & Riding Our Way to a Healthier Community”
Jan Silk
Carpinteria Family School, Carpinteria Unified School District

By using alternative forms of transportation, such as walking, hiking, and electric shuttle the students will learn that they able to take care of their health as well as taking care of their local community and environment, while making it fun!

“Importance of Water Awareness/Domestic Water Conservation”
Carol Stein, Judy Cosio
Monroe Elementary School, Santa Barbara Unified School District

This project will work on making students aware of the drought and need to conserve water. The students will initiate a water conservation plan at home and also do a science investigation to determine which plants are drought tolerant and why.

“Killing the Kilowatt Hours!”
Ronnie Tow
Santa Ynez School, College School District

Students will work to lower their home energy bill by using energy saving tip and charting kilowatt-hours being used in the home. The students will share the tips with family members with the hope of encouraging them to conserve energy as well.

“Water Conservation, Reclamation, and You!”
Markie Wordley
Lompoc High School, Lompoc Unified School District

In this project the students will visit the city Wastewater Treat Plant, learn about reclaiming water/water conservation, and apply these principals to landscape design.