Environmental Literacy

Goal: Develop the capacities of all educators to connect classroom instruction with the three pillars of environmental literacy programs--1) environmental curriculum, 2) sustainable facilities and 3) community health--to produce equitable student access to nature and opportunities to take action on local environmental issues.


Customized Support Available by Request

Don't see what you need listed below? Please contact Amity Sandage at asandage@santacruzcoe.org to discuss your needs and request support.
Possible Topics:
  • Support for increasing use of outdoor spaces on campus for both social emotional learning and instructional support
  • Introduction to environmental literacy toolkits for teachers and professional learning providers
  • Consultation on identifying local field trip programs to support standards-based instruction
  • Introduction to using environmental literacy as a context for the Seal of Civic Engagement

"Every Classroom a Green Classroom" Teacher Leadership Institute for Sustainability

Kick-off January 14 & 15, 9:00am - 3:30pm (in person)

Follow-up Afterschool Sessions 1/31/23, 2/21/23, & 3/14/23, 3:45 pm - 5:15 pm (virtual)

Final showcase April 15 (in person) 9:00am-3:30pm

The goal of this teacher leadership institute is to increase TK-12 teacher capacity for integrating environmental sustainability with classroom curriculum in any content area and connect students with sustainability efforts at school and in their communities. Teachers and their students who complete the program will receive recognition for taking part in the countywide "Every Classroom a Green Classroom" challenge.
Audience: TK-12 Teachers interested in connecting instruction in a content area of their choice to real-world issues and action

Green Ribbon Schools Working Group


August 23, September 13, October 25

This series is a follow up to the Green Schools Working Group that took place in Spring 2022. These three fall convenings will provide tools and support to gather information needed for applying to the November 2022 CDE Green Ribbon Schools Award program for either schools or districts. Teams attending will need to include representatives with access to school or district work in the pillars of Curriculum, Facilities, and Health and Wellness.
Audience: School or District Teams interested in applying to California Department of Education's Green Ribbon School Recognition Program in November

Leveraging Outdoor Learning for STEAM and SEL

Available for school site or district instructional teams

90 minute to 3 hour sessions available by request

Introduction to using outdoor spaces on campus for student-centered investigations that emphasize NGSS science practices and student engagement. Highlight materials and routines that support successful outdoor teaching and content integration.
Audience: K-12 Teachers and Expanded Learning Staff

Nature Journaling for Science, Nature Connection and Wellness

Available for school site or district instructional teams

90 minute to 3 hour sessions available by request

This session uses the BEETLES Professional Learning module for an in-depth introduction to nature journaling techniques that emphasize social-emotional wellness and focus on science through developing questions, recognizing crosscutting concepts, and capturing student thinking using words, pictures and numbers.
Audience: K-12 Classroom Teachers and Expanded Learning Staff

Networking in Nature

Monthly on 3rd Fridays beginning September 16, 4:00-5:30pm

Teachers and Environmental Educators will meet for an uplifting walk in nature and informal networking time to share ideas about your teaching practice and ways to increase environmental connections for students K-12. We Locations will vary. Join us for a joyful end the work week!
Audience: TK-12 Teachers and Environmental Educators

Project Learning Tree Training and Activity Guide

Available for site teams, 6 hour outdoor session on your campus

Training and certification for Project Learning Tree along with interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates the CA Environmental Principles and Concepts and stewardship projects. PLT’s new flagship curriculum Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide includes 50 hands-on, multidisciplinary activities to connect children to nature and increase young people’s awareness and knowledge about their environment. Activities include detailed step-by-step instructions, academic correlations, time and material requirements, and corresponding student worksheets with green career connections. This supplementary curriculum is designed to develop students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Participants can also apply for redwood forest field trip funding supported by Save The Redwoods Foundation.
Audience: K-8 Classroom Teachers and Expanded Learning Staff

Redwoods Transportation Grants


Use this form to submit a request for transportation funding for students to visit the redwoods. SUBMIT ONE FORM PER FIELD TRIP. Multiple field trips may be requested. If approved, Santa Cruz COE will reimburse districts for field trip transportation costs. An email will be sent within 2 weeks of submission to notify you of your application status. Funding is provided by Save the Redwoods League.
Audience: K-8 Classroom Teachers and Expanded Learning Staff

Youth for Environmental Action


Youth group focusing on student voice, engagement and leadership for a sustainable future. Teachers support by promoting the program to students, serving as mentors and chaperoning school teams to the Youth for Environmental Action Summit in Spring 2023.
Audience: HS Student Participants, Teacher Mentors