Within the past year ECOSLO volunteers have led over 100 miles in hikes in SLO City Open Space Natural Reserves, cleaned 72 miles of coastlines, repaired 10 miles of trails throughout the County and contributed over 6,000 hours to environmental focused projects. The impact is incredible and the support overwhelming. During the month of April our goal at ECOSLO is to focus on the Earth and those who contribute their time to protecting and preserving it. We would like to thank some specific key participants in our efforts to Educate, Advocate and Act within the community of San Luis Obispo through sharing their stories, passions and work.
“See the environment and see the small birds fly. Appreciate it, educate yourself about it”
Dave Bidwell is a teacher in Cambria who found his passion in education. He believes in connecting people with the environment around them and providing them the opportunity to become engaged with and informed about natural resources. He shared that, “No matter where you are you can help the environment with small gestures”. California condors rely on our local ecosystem for survival and current poisoning from lead bullet use and microtrash are putting their population at harm. Dave stresses that efforts such as collecting bits of trash or reading about and understanding the world around us allows one to feel the effects and become apart of the environmental movement.
Dave has been a major force of ECOSLO through being a leader of Coastal Cleanup Day. He helps to track and sort the trash and debris collected. This provides data that allows analysis of waste littered on our coastlines. Through this solutions can be found to eliminate and resolve habits and practices that allow for such pollution.
“Stay kind. Stay kind to the Earth we call home, to all the creatures that inhabit it with us, and to all the other humans we share it with.”
Kayla came to ECOSLO all the way from Pennsylvania this past year and immediately became a leader of change as a VIP Americorps member. Her positivity never goes unnoticed and she brings joy to those around her at each event. Kayla is committed to taking part in the environmental movement and is encouraged by the action she sees occuring in SLO. She loves meeting new dedicated people at volunteer events and observing the work of the community. With Kayla’s help ECOSLO has been able to reach out to more people in the community through volunteer opportunities. Kayla is currently working on planning Seas to Trees Day and has helped with the infrastructure of ECOSLO’s volunteer programs such as STEAM Alley at the downtown SLO Farmers Market.
“Strive to be compassionate with others, know that small acts of kindness make a big difference, and that individual sustainable practices will add up on a global scale.”
Elena is currently attending Cal Poly and will be graduating this year with a Environmental Management and Protection BS degree. She joined ECOSLO last summer as an intern and since then has helped to create the Advocacy committee as well as work with local businesses to implement the Straws Upon Request Ordinance. Elena has been incredibly impactful in compiling Coastal Cleanup Day data from the past five years to help educate volunteers as well as a develop a newsletter for advocacy updates. Through helping to inform the local community Elena has directly lead to making positive changes. She hopes to continue on with a career of travel in wildlife research and would like to contribute to “helping create a world where everyone feels welcomed and accepted”.
“Never stop learning!”
Chris started off as a hiker of the SLO Stewards guided hikes program and then decided after a few hikes that he would enjoy leading them. He has a passion for learning and sharing knowledge and wanted to take part in discussing local natural history topics and environmental issues with members of the community that attend the hikes. After becoming a SLO Stewards docent he also became involved with cleanup projects and became a helpful hand in Coastal Cleanup day. He has been a great support in grant writing and giving his extra time back to those around him. This past January we were so lucky to have Chris join the Board of Directors and are so appreciative of him!
“Enjoy the small things in life and get outside for a few hours everyday!”
Alex is passionate about environmentalism and business practices. He met Mary and was inspired by her visions for the future of ECOSLO and wanted to be apart of the organization to both influence and learn from it. He began by focusing on the 45th Anniversary event for ECOSLO in 2017. He then contributed to Coastal Cleanup day and from there branding and business fundraising. He has his own small business and is committed to reducing waste and improving packaging solutions and business ethics. He shares that his happiness comes from “looking up to people who are excelling at and or challenging something in their own lives.”