We envision a conscious community that understand and values the essential inter-dependencies of natural systems, human health, and the local community which actively takes responsibility for a healthy environment on quality of all life in San Luis Obispo County.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF ECOSLO
1960: Formation of a Movement
During the 1960s, environmental concerns had risen to such a level throughout the United States that government agencies were formed and grassroots community organizations sprung up across the country to protect the environment.
Action spoke louder than words; people took to the streets.
1970: Giving Rise to the EPA
In 1970 the first Earth Days took place and the Environmental Protection Agency was created. Shortly after, in 1971, citizens in San Luis Obispo came together to solve the flooding and pollution problems from San Luis Obispo Creek. From community efforts, a creek preservation and flood control plan was adopted and beautification of the Mission Plaza, the community’s cultural and social center, was inspired.
1972: ECOSLO is Created
This cause brought a group of like-minded folks together and the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County (ECOSLO) was formed. In 1972, ECOSLO received its nonprofit status and immediately created the first recycling program in San Luis Obispo County. It was the second recycling center in the state of California and for 15 years a weekly visit to the ECOSLO Recycling Center was a common occurrence throughout the County.
Since those early days as the community recycling center, ECOSLO has evolved to encompass organizing and fulfilling county-wide events and programs and working closely with the County and City while staying committed to its mission to preserve and protect the natural resources of San Luis Obispo County as an advocate and through our environmental programs.
Mary Ciesinski, Executive Director of ECOSLO, is a motivated nonprofit professional with business background and experience in the tech industry. She is passionate about bringing sustainable business practices to nonprofits, elevating them to new levels of community engagement, which allows for operational growth in programs, services, and volunteer needs. Mary has a life-long love for and dedication to the environment, and is excited to lead and grow ECOSLO.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Melody DeMeritt has spent many years serving the environment. She served as Treasurer on the Board of the Coastal Alliance on Plant Expansion in Morro Bay from 2000 to 2004. She was elected to the Morro Bay City Council in 2004 and served until 2008. After public office, she joined the Santa Lucian Sierra Club Executive Committee and was Chair from 2010 to 2012. Melody just retired after 30 years of teaching at Cal Poly and joined the Board of Trustees of ECOSLO in November 2012.
Sean Murphy has been a SLO County resident since 1992. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for Ernie Ball Music Man in San Luis Obispo, and has a background in teaching and music. Sean feels that it is the responsibility of the residents of SLO County to take care of this beautiful area so that we, as well as future generations, can continue to enjoy all that it has to offer. When not working and participating on the board as the Chair of the Marketing and Outreach Committee, Sean enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife, making music, skateboarding, and attempting to make his two cats (Bill and Ted) internet famous.
Formerly the ECOSLO Membership and Volunteer Coordinator, Krista has moved from her staff position and has joined the Board of Directors! Krista graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies in 2014. Her favorite hiking trail is the Valencia Peak trail and favorite camping spot is on the Northern Coast at Patrick’s Point in Trinidad. Krista’s love for the outdoors and passion for the environment drew her to ECOSLO and continue to inspire her involvement on the board. Krista hopes to bring more people to the ECOSLO family and to make ECOSLO a bigger part of our community.
We are excited to have Mary White join the ECOSLO Board of Trustees as of May, 2014. Mary is the Founder of Clean Oceans Competition, an Architect & Manager at EcoPlanners, LLC and does Marketing & Sales at en•vis•age. Her commitment to the environment and our community is well established and respected.
Bill Bradlee joined the board in December 2015. Bill has been doing nonprofit environmental work for for over twenty years. He’s worked with and volunteered for many nonprofits and currently works with The Interfaith Power & Light campaign. Bill completed his Master of Environmental Studies degree at the Evergreen State College. In 2007 he bicycled across the United States giving talks on climate change along the way. Now he mostly bicycles to the ocean to visit with the shorebirds.
Bob Lavelle has been a member of ECOSLO for over ten years. He became involved in environmental activism in the 70s as a member of the Abalone Alliance and worked to block Diablo Nuclear Power Plant from being built in Avila. His focus is on energy issues. Bob graduated from UCLA with a law degree and still maintains his membership in the California State Bar. Currently, Bob owns his own construction company, Lavelle Construction, and is a licensed General Contractor.
We are pleased to have Jeanie Landis Hanson join our Board of Directors as Chair of the Finance Committee. Originally from Pennsylvania, Jeanie recently moved to the SLO area after many years in Seattle. Soon after graduating from Drexel University with a BS in Business Administration, she earned her CPA certification and went on to work for top companies, including KMPG and Microsoft, where she was an International Cost Accounting Manager and Corporate Planning Manager. She also has a background in small business consulting and venture capital. Most recently, Jeanie was a franchise owner/operator of Great Play of Redmond, a kid’s gym, for which she won several “Best Of” awards.
In addition to her background in finance and accounting, Jeanie has been an active non-profit fundraiser and volunteer. She has held Director positions with The Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation of Western Washington and the Seattle Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees).
As a mother of two young children, Jeanie comes to ECOSLO with a desire to make a difference. She is passionate about preserving our fragile ecosystem for future generations and looks forward to contributing to the continued growth and development of ECOSLO.
Carolyn joined the ECOSLO Board in June of 2012. She has lived in SLO County for more than 30 years, and remembers back when ECOSLO started the first recycling program in the county. She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree through the distance learning program of Prescott College (Prescott, Arizona), with a major of environmental studies, and a minor in sustainable community development. Her passion is to connect people with their environment, as we in the developed world have become so insulated from our environment. Carolyn also helps the Morro Bay National Estuary Program monitor the water quality in the Morro Bay watershed. Her day job is managing Templeton Gardens Senior Apartments, just down the street from Twin Cities Hospital.
Alex Henige is a Cal Poly Landscape Architecture Alumni who has a deep interest in connecting communities back to their local landscapes as well as reducing consumer waste. As the founder of Reduce. Reuse. Grow. he hopes to see consumer’s waste awareness strengthen to better improve their consumption behavior change.
Office Location & Hours
Address: 246 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo (next to the yellow Tire Store Shop building)
Hours: 10am-4pm, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
**Please note the office is closed the weeks of November 21-25 and December 19-23.**
Note: If you are enrolled or would like to enroll in the Community Service Work Program, please come between the hours of 10am and 2pm Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. You can also call to set up an appointment. Thank you!
Call or Write
Phone: (805) 544-1777
Fax: (805) 544-1871
PO Box 1014
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406