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Nov 10 - Dec 31, 2022

Return of the Natives


The Mission of Return of the Natives is to bring people to nature and nature to people through hands-on experiences restoring habitats and environmental education.

The Big Idea

In the coming year of habitat restoration, RON has committed to 56 weekend volunteer events planting 20,000+ native plants and cleaning up parks and open spaces around Monterey County (Creeks of Salinas, Marina Dunes, FONM, a new Marina Park, CSUMB Campus). Every event will draw about 40 community members and students! Each of these 2,200+ RON volunteers is an environmental super hero, and each deserves a healthy snack to power them along. Wouldn't everyone love fruit and muffins as a thank you for getting up early on a Saturday morning, and going home with dirty hands and a sore back and really deserving of an afternoon nap on the couch.

I became involved with RON in 1994 when my students at Alisal High School helped with planting trees at the new Natividad Creek Park. Since that time, I have led students in planting days at the Marina dunes, Fort Ord, and Carr Lake. We have also participated in numerous clean up days at Upper Carr Lake and the beach. RON was instrumental in the design and creation of the North Salinas Native Plant Garden. Since my retirement, I have volunteered at the greenhouse at CSUMB. RON's commitment to habitat restoration and education have made them very important in sparking student's interest in the environment and making our local wildlands better.

- Christopher Zeeb