Sonoma Ecology Center launches second teen program

When COVID struck, Sonoma Ecology Center was forced to cancel the spring term for its Enviroleaders internship program. By summer, SEC was able to safely hire two Enviroleader crews working alternating days for the summer term growing crops, managing compost and maintaining its Sonoma Garden Park for the community.

High interest from home-bound teens in its fall semester program led SEC to offer a second “EnviroAmbassador” program, according to SEC Education Program Manager Tony Passantino.

The new program is for teen volunteers interested in supporting childcare, food pantry programs and leading volunteer environmental stewardship activities. This pilot has an inaugural cohort of nine participants meeting weekly. They were integral in documenting the creek cleanup data through the app Clean Swell, used to help define policy such as plastic bags and straw bans based on the numbers found during cleanups across the state.

The EnviroAmbassadors can be found at Montini Preserve during the month of October as docents for families every Wednesday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Due to public health safety, all families are required to RSVP to attend the events. There will be a 1:30 to 3 p.m. time slot and a 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. slot to accommodate more people in smaller groups.

To learn more about the weekly teen-led walks and RSVP, visit

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