LET TER FROM THE DIRECTOR
KEEP THE CHANGE
The Ecology Center believes that thoughtful design, modeled after nature, can create communities that are not only sustainable, but sustaining.
About Evolve I’m happy to introduce the first issue of the new Evolve, a quarterly journal dedicated to sustainable culture. What you’ll find in this and future issues are voices from the ecological movement and notes from our perspective, The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano. Each issue will celebrate a particular theme, and this winter we’re celebrating Tools for Change. Tools for Change Tools for Change means a few things for us. First, it’s The Center’s new interactive exhibit that highlights the products and day-to-day behaviors that promote sustainability. In this issue of Evolve, though, we’re digging deeper into what Tools for Change means beyond the four walls of the exhibit. We’re exploring the ideas, products, individuals, and organizations working to improve the health and integrity of communities all over the world. We’re looking at “tools” in a bigger context: through rebuilding communities, sharing skills, and connecting resources to make the most meaningful impact. At The Ecology Center, we believe that each of us, in our own special way, has the ability to become a conduit of change. 2011 has been our greatest yet. This past October marked the third anniversary of The Ecology Center. Three years ago, I threw out an idea to a small group of friends who shared my dedication to the environment. The idea was simple: to create a regional hub for sustainability. I wanted to create a place where people could go to learn, ask questions, and meet others who cared about living sustainably. But having lived abroad for almost ten years, I wasn’t sure if Orange County was ready to make an honest effort to improve our communities
and environments. Three years later, though, I am proud to say that what started as an idea has become a reality--a breathing, palpable reality with legs and a heart of its own. Three years old, and we’ve made a ton of progress. Since 2008, we have welcomed over 15,000 visitors to our facility at special events, educational programs and interactive exhibitions. Many have committed to joining us in building a healthy environment, one solution at a time. Over 3,000 have attended our hands-on programs, implementing sustainability in their own lives. With incredibly generous support from our corporate partners, Hurley, The Boeing Company, and SDG&E, our school-based programs have flourished as well. Over 1,500 children have visited The Ecology Center’s Eco-Labs through guided field-trips and our summer EcoCamps. Our plan for 2012 is to nurture and grow. We’re proud of the strides we’ve made; yet we know there’s still much work to do! This is just the beginning of our journey, and we hope you’ll join us. We need your support! One important way you can support our work is by becoming a member of The Ecology Center. Your membership supports our public programming such as Backyard Skills DIY workshops, the Basic Needs summer speaker series, and school-based programs such as Gardens for Life and Eco-Labs field trips. With your help we can build a truly healthy community.
Evan Marks Executive Director 3
An eco-journal of obtainable and sustainable solutions curated by The Ecology Center