Connecting our diverse community to nature
Nature discovery for all ages
With the vital support of our donors, Pepperwood makes environmental education affordable, accessible, and a whole lot of fun! We empower community members from diverse backgrounds to explore, examine, hypothesize, and express themselves through our vibrant classes and programs, and equip them with knowledge and hands-on skills applicable far beyond our preserve. Pepperwood also deepens the educational experience and inspires stewardship by connecting people with opportunities, peer mentors, and greater knowledge of local environmental issues and actions they can take. We are thrilled that as an inspiring showcase of natural habitats, Pepperwood is igniting a love for learning!
Community Education - Science and nature for all ages
Hiking! Animal tracking! Foraging for edible plants! Painting! Anchored in the natural wonders of Pepperwood’s 3,200 acres, our Community Education program offers classes and workshops that educate and inspire. Whether you are cultivating a new love for the outdoors or deepening a life-long connection, there is always something for you at Pepperwood!
SCENIQ - Students Conducting Environmental Inquiry
SCENIQ is a classroom program for area elementary schools that inspires the curiosity and excitement of our area’s youngest scientists. Designed in accordance to grade-level state science standards, Pepperwood's SCENIQ brings science to life and enhances learning through experiential discovery during a year-long program. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, this program serves over 800 students each year, with a focus on serving those who wouldn't otherwise have access to quality environmental education.
TeenNat - A nationally-recognized youth leadership initiative
Teens get up close and personal with butterflies, lizards, plants, lichens and the abundance of other plant and animal life during TeenNat, a 5-week long summer internship with continuing mentorship and networking opportunities. Interns participate in real research at Pepperwood and learn about career pathways in the sciences during a critical time in their education. TeenNat was recognized for its innovation with a Toyota TogetherGreen fellowship after its debut season in 2013.
Español - bilingual instruction for our diverse community
Many of Pepperwood's family-oriented classes and hikes have a bilingual educator present, and our SCENIQ nature journals contain both English and Spanish to better serve our community.
SRJC Partnership - Preparing tomorrow's STEM leaders today
Pepperwood is thrilled to continue our extensive partnership with the Santa Rosa Junior College (SRJC). Our preserve serves as a living laboratory and enables students to experience the ecological concepts they are studying first-hand. Together, we host a two-semester accredited natural history course that served as the pilot for the now-statewide UC California Naturalist training. Pepperwood also provides SRJC students with career-boosting field experience through internships and volunteer opportunities.
SEEC - Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative
Pepperwood serves as the fiscal sponsor for SEEC, a regional consortium of environmental education professionals from organizations, agencies, networks, and school districts. The SEEC mission is to create vibrant, innovative collaborations that increase environmental literacy in Sonoma County citizens. As a collaborative, SEEC undertakes its mission by identifying and addressing regional needs for environmental education beyond the scope of individual organizations. Pepperwood's Education Director currently serves as the SEEC chair.