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Using Translation

The County of San Mateo has added a translation feature developed by Google Translate to assist web visitors in understanding information on this website in a variety of foreign languages. Please be aware that Google Translate, a free third party service which the County does not control, provides automated computer translations that may not give you an exact translation. The County cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate so translations should not be considered exact and only used as a rough guide. Anyone relying on information obtained from Google Translate does so at his or her own risk. The County disclaims and will not accept any liability for damages or losses of any kind caused by the use of the Google Translate feature.

San Mateo County Sustainability Department Schools Program

Community Based Partners

Education and sustainability go hand in hand. We are proud to be a part of a diverse ecosystem of community based environmental education partners who work to bring environmental and sustainability literacy to as many students across the County as possible. These are just some of the organizations serving our local communities to increase access, facilitate experiences, grow awareness, create service opportunities, and build more resilient communities by elevating equitable outreach and engagement.  Much of the work from community partners centers a connection to the diversity of land and water around us because we can’t protect what we don’t care or know about. If you would like to see a community based environmental literacy partner not listed here, let us know so we can list them on this page.

San Mateo County Office of Education

The Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Initiative (ELSI) provides “backbone support” to San Mateo County Schools in prioritizing environmental literacy and integrating environmental sustainability and climate-resilient practices across a school’s campus, curriculum, community, and culture. Check out the variety of programs and efforts through which SMCOE equips school communities with the knowledge, skills, and experiences to act individually and collectively to bring forward an environmentally sustainable and just existence.

San Mateo County Parks

Not only does San Mateo County Parks (SMCP) maintain, manage and help to conserve open space throughout San Mateo County, SMCP also offers many educational online and in-person opportunities to increase engagement with and complement environmental literacy awareness gained in the classroom. 

Rethink Waste, a public agency

RethinkWaste values education and seeks to empower children and adults to reduce waste and protect the environment by providing knowledge and resources. To that end, Rethink Waste provides field trip tours of the Shoreway Environmental center and working materials recovery and transfer station in San Carlos, and classroom waste education and school waste diversion resources and support.

FlowsToBay - San Mateo Countywide Water Pollution Prevention Program

Flows to Bay is dedicated to educating as many people as possible about stormwater pollution and how they can do their part to help prevent it. Contact them if you are a teacher or school administrator who would like to learn more about in-class presentations on stormwater pollution prevention, developing stormwater curriculum, or advancing a green stormwater infrastructure project at your school. 

San Bruno Mountain Watch

We provide learning opportunities for students of all ages (K-12, community college, and universities). Our programs include field trips to San Bruno Mountain that combine art and writing activities, hiking, and habitat restoration service-learning opportunities. Custom-made interpretive booklets or “zines” are developed for the themes and topics of each trip, printed, and provided to each student.

Our Mission Blue Nursery also hosts school groups, engaging them in native plant propagation and botany.

Our nursery also connects school landscapes to the mountain—clubs and teachers often purchase plants for native gardens featuring the local flora of San Bruno Mountain.

Youth United Community Action

Through intense leadership development that is grounded in real-time community organizing, young people at YUCA prove that youth are not just the promise of the future, but all the possibilities of the present. YUCA also leads workshops in the community — particularly targeting middle school and continuation schools where the opportunity to learn about East Palo Alto and social justice organizing is most needed.  YUCA strive’s to spread a culture that promotes youth to be civically engaged — not just through their experience at YUCA, but throughout their lives. 

Save The Bay - since 1961

Save the Bay runs introductory programs to brings students to the shoreline to gain a deeper understanding of San Francisco Bay, local wetlands, and our rich relationship to them. Save The Bay’s field staff lead students in educational activities that teach about the history and ecology of wetlands, as well as restoration activities that exhibit the positive impact we can have on our environment. After learning about threats such as climate change, pollution, and invasive species, participants engage in activities to restore the shoreline and improve habitat for a healthier, more sustainable San Francisco Bay for now and generations to come.

Environmental Volunteers

Environmental Volunteers (EV) inspires people of all ages to learn about the wonders of the natural world. They train volunteers to lead hands-on science and nature programs in schools, community organizations, and at the EcoCenter in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. To increase equitable access to their programming, EV volunteers can bring their hands-on science and nature programs to your classrooms, and also has a transportation fund available to make field trips to the Nature Preserve more affordable. 

The Heal Project

Each year the HEAL Project serves over 3,000 students with hands-on outdoor learning opportunities that inspire kids’ natural curiosity and cultivate environmental awareness in the next generation. The HEAL Project offers lessons on health, environment and agriculture at school sites, in the classroom and at the San Mateo County School Farm. HEAL’s high-impact programs for environmental literacy and nutrition education enhance Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Common Core State Standards.

Friends of Edgewood Preserve

Friends of Edgewood engages in a number of activities to restore, preserve, and protect the  Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve and inspire visitors of all ages by offering hands on educational and interpretive natural history through a variety of programs such as its Junior Explorers Program and docent led interpretive nature walks. The preserve is a biodiversity hotspot and offers over ten miles of trails accesible by a short car ride or public transit trip from downtown Redwood City. 


Canopy works to grow the urban tree canopy in Midpeninsula communities for the benefit of all and create life-long environmental stewards through exploration and education about trees and tree care. Canopy prioritizes tree planting and stewardship, education, and advocacy in communities where people do not have a thriving urban forest due to limited resources, competing priorities, and historical development and urbanization patterns.


EcoRise’s school-based programs empower youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship.

Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa’s (HV) educational programs have been inspiring a sense of wonder and promoting an ethic of caretaking in school children, teens, adults, and families for 50 years. HV offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of the community and to help create a supportive environment for all participants. Their experiential programs are designed to support all types of learners of all different ages starting from Kindergarten through Adults. 

Marine Science Institute

The Marine Science Institute provides a scientific experience built on California standards-based activities and a memorable voyage into nature for students of all economic backgrounds. The Marine Science Institute puts students ages pre-K to College, in physical contact with the SF Bay and coast environments to help cultivate their natural sense of curiosity, enrich their understanding of science, and foster a responsibility to protect the environment.