Environmental Management and Technology  
at Merritt College
    Thank you to all who made the celebration of our 50th Anniversary here at Merritt
    College a success!  A complete list of the past events is listed below.

    Environmental Program at Merritt College
    50th Anniversary Lecture Series

    ~Free and open to the public~

    Saturday, August 25, 2012 Talk @ 10:30- 11:00am, Walk @ 11-12pm
    A talk and walk exploring the type of landscapes which support the recovering species
    featured in the art show "Celebration: Illustrating the Successes of Conservation."
    Meet at the Tilden Park Nature Center in Berkeley (directions here).
    Robin Freeman, Chair of the Merritt College Environmental Program and photographer
    David Zuckermann, Supervising Naturalist

    A brief slide perspective on wild area conservation, wildlife refuges, and the newly emerged field of
    Ecological Restoration including a visit to two restoration sites near the Tilden Environmental Education
    Center. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch to follow the walk; families welcome.

    "Caretaking in a Healthy City"
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012  7:30 - 9:00pm
    Merritt College, Room R-23 (bottom level of the R-Building at the main entrance to campus).
    For video links from this event, please visit our Multimedia page.

    A panel of local experts hosted by the founders of the East Bay Children In Nature social
    media site.

    Speaker 1: Eric Aaholm, Exec. Director of Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES). He has more than 20 years of
    experience in nonprofit and public service, and as a community advocate, outdoor recreation leader and
    teacher in Colorado and California. Serving in a leadership role with YES since 2007, Eric first joined as a
    volunteer with its Family Camp program in 2004 while completing his Masters degree in Solcial Welfare at
    the University of California, Berkeley. Eric has created an ideal niche in developing the YES camp and
    community programs in Richmond and surrounding West Contra Costa County. Recently, Eric and his wife
    purchased a home in Richmond and enjoy their free time biking, hiking, skiing and exploring California’s
    vast regional, state and national parks.

    He’ll discuss why experiences in nature are essential for low-income, urban families, especially the
    potential positive outcomes in mental and physical health, and what are the essential components in
    making the outdoors accessible and inviting to urban youth and families.

    Speaker 2: Mike Lanza, author of Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood Into a Place for Play. He also blogs
    at Playborhood.com. Mike has worked hard to create a very rich neighborhood play life for his three boys—
    ages 8, 5, and 3—in Menlo Park. He's also discovered and written about dozens of neighborhoods
    throughout North America that are doing innovative things to make a vibrant life for kids. Prior to his writing
    career, Mike was a five-time software and Internet entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. He holds an MA in
    Education, an MBA, and an MA and BA in Economics, all from Stanford University.

    Children hardly play outside on their own in their neighborhoods, and they are suffering in many ways as a
    result. Many people lament this problem, but feel powerless to change it. Mike will discuss how parents,
    childcare professionals, and designers can give children a life of neighborhood play, every day. Looking at it
    first as a social problem, he will show us how individual solutions like limiting screen time or structured
    activities are, by themselves, grossly inadequate. Mike will then describe many innovative communities in
    the U.S. that have successfully addressed this problem with innovative community approaches. Finally, he’ll
    provide a comprehensive set of step-by-step solutions to this problem.

    Speaker 3: Cassie Barr, who teaches Child Development and works as a Garden facilitator/ volunteer with
    Oakland Unified School District. Cassie is Chair of  the Wilderness Sub-Committee for the Sierra Club, and
    holds an MS in Education, with a focus on Environmental Education. She grew up loving her family vegetable
    garden and family camping trips. Her parents joined the Sierra Club when she was seven. These childhood
    experiences helped her feel she was part of nature, and happier being close to nature. She became a
    preschool teacher after graduating with a BA in Art from S.F. State University in 1990, and found that nature
    and early childhood development went well together. She went on to earn her Masters, during which she
    wrote and implemented a garden curriculum for 3-year-olds, and completing the program just before her
    son was born. The OUSD elementary school her son would later attend had no vegetable garden and
    looked rather bleak — Cassie joined the PTA one year before her son enrolled and began working with
    others parents, staff, and community members to establish gardens for the school. They now have a
    Butterfly Garden, a Native Plant Garden, Vegetable Boxes, and Kindergarten Wine Barrel Gardens.

    Her talk, “Observations on Evolving a School Garden,” will focus on the importance of utilizing school
    gardens in education, and explore the benefits of school garden programs on education, building healthy
    communities and protecting the environment. She will give concrete ideas and empowerment for creating
    gardens as outdoor classrooms.

    Zara McDonald, Bay Area Puma Project
    Wednesday, October 10, 2012 7:30 - 9:00pm
    Merritt College, Room R-23 (bottom level of the R-Building at the main entrance to campus).
    For video links from this event, please visit our Multimedia page.

    California-based and globally-working wild cat conservationist Zara McDonald, Founder and Executive
    Director of Felidae Conservation Fund, gives an engaging and inspiring presentation about mountain lions
    and the work currently underway to study and protect them. These keystone predators (also called pumas
    and cougars) play a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of our ecosystems. However,
    expansion of human populations is causing increasing encounters and conflicts between humans and
    pumas, and growing tensions in our local communities. Zara shares her vast field experience and stories
    with the audience and  provides a compelling view of the natural grace and beauty of these animals, delves
    into the biological and ecological science that is working for their preservation, and offers essential tips for
    living and recreating without fear in puma habitat.  

    Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:30 - 9:00pm
    Merritt College, Room R-23 (bottom level of the R-Building at the main entrance to campus).
    Parking $2.00 in the C Lot (if full, continue to next lots).

    Organic and Urban Farming is the fastest growing sector of agriculture in the United States.
    There are numerous farms popping up all over the East Bay from back yards, city open
    spaces,  to school yards and parks. As part of Merritt College's 50th Anniversary lecture
    series, this program features four guest speakers lecturing on themes of health, food,
    nutritional awareness, “guerrilla composting” and urban gardening.

    First speaker: Jason A. Harvey, Founder & Executive Director of Oakland Food Connection
    Second speaker: Armando Nieto, Executive Director of the California Food and Justice
    Coalition (http://cafoodjustice.org).
    Third speaker: Eric Holt-Gimenez, Executive Director of Food First/Institute for Food and
    Development Policy (http://www.foodfirst.org).
    Fourth speaker: Max Cadji, Collective Member at Phat Beets Produce

    "Celebration," an art exhibit celebrating the successes of national conservation, opens May
    1 and through August 31, 2012 at the Tilden Nature Area Environmental Education Center.
    This public show will feature 60 original artworks illustrating species of animals, birds,
    amphibians, and plants now at safer poulation levels due to conservation and restoration.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS!! 1962-2012
50th Anniversary on Saturday, December 1st 2012!!

12:30-3:30pm:  Leona Canyon Walk with Ron Felzer (rain or shine, bring lunch & binoculars)  
4:00-4:45pm:  Program: Welcome Founders, 50 Years Taking Care of the Future
4:45-5:30pm:  Learning to Live in Cities, and the future of program
5:30-5:40pm:  ~Short Break~
5:40-6:40pm:  Discussion - "Learning to Live In Cities: 50 Years of Taking Care of the Future"
6:45pm:  Potluck Dinner
Please RSVP to
ecomerritt@yahoo.com by November 15.

Volunteers needed: we will need help on the day of with coordinating activities, food, and
clean up. Please contact us if you are available on or before December 1.

We thank you for your continued support of our program and look forward to celebrating with
you there! Cheers to 50 more years!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2012 12:30 - 3:30pm
San Leandro City Hall, South Offices Conference Room
1:00 Welcome, Introductions around the room, and Program
2:00 Discussion
3:00 Breakout Activities and Displays

We would like to hear your stories and ideas!
How well do you know the creek?
Would you like to hear the water flowing and see fish?
Would like to be able to get down to enjoy the creek at more parks?
Would you like a pleasant, safe way to walk or bike through the city?
Do you have ideas?  
Would you like us to contact you, your business, or your group about your ideas?  
Contact Us for more information at:ecomerritt@yahoo.com, or 434-3840 to leave a message.

South Offices Conference Room
Recreation and Human Services Department / Helen Lawrence Building
835 E14th St.
San Leandro, CA 94577
Go to west part of building to door marked South Offices Conference Room
Building is south of the City Hall and Police Dept.
Park on E14th St. or on Toler Ave. (South of Rec. building