The Partners in Environment, a coalition of environmental nonprofits that operate on the South Coast, has begun recruiting members in an attempt to boost local volunteerism. Already signed on to the partnership are Goleta Valley Beautiful, Explore Ecology, Los Padres Forest Watch, UCSB Sustainability, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, SB Bikes and more.
By pledging to post all volunteer opportunities to VolunteerMatch.com, the members of Partners in Environment are creating a one-stop shop for anyone interested in volunteering with an environmental organization. This central location for searching through environmental opportunities will make it easier for volunteers to find the organization or event that best suits their interests, skills, and time commitment. Members also pledge to meet annually to discuss current and future collaborations and opportunities for improvement.
The idea was hatched at the 2012 Central Coast Sustainability Summit by Ben Romo, former director of the Center for Community Education and Partners in Education, from which the Partners in Environment gets their name but to which they are not affiliated. After explaining the model that Partners in Education has implemented with great success throughout Santa Barbara County, Romo asked those in attendance why there was not something similar for environmental volunteers. A community workshop was held in April of 2013 to generate ideas for such a service, and a working group spent the next 8 months deliberating those ideas, surveying local organizations to better understand what they needed, and drafting a pledge for members to sign.
All organizations related to environmental, social or economic sustainability are welcome and encouraged to join. For more information about PIE, check out our website http://www.sustainability.ucsb.edu/partners-in-environment, or email Zac Trafny at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for the Partners in Environment at Earth Day!