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Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2023

Habitat Stewardship Project


The mission of Habitat Stewardship Project Monterey Bay (formerly 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

The Habitat Stewardship Project lives up to our new name (formerly we were Return of the Natives) and the numbers show it! Annually, our stewardship volunteers (850+), school children (1600+) and CSUMB student leaders (85+) propagate approximately 10,000 native plants (most are pollinator species) for outplanting on local dunes, on Ft. Ord National Monument, the Creeks of Salinas, and in local parks! CSUMB students and graduate students (25 paid students) lead school planting fieldtrips (60+/year), weekend stewardship events (52 plantings and cleanups), work daily in our greenhouses, and learn about land management on Ft. Ord. All the efforts of HSP go to "bringing people to nature and nature to people through hands-on experiences restoring habitats". We know that Climate Change, pollinator health and the health of the planet are inextricably connected. Support our pollinator plant work through MCGIVES! and by volunteering with HSP.

HSP gave learning opportunities. During many weekend events, I learned about different plants and the people in our communities. Growing up, I did not get to experience much of our natural world, and so I’ve gained a deep appreciation for it. Starting as a student staff, I became a AmeriCorps VIP fellow with HSP. During 10 months of service, I experienced the meaning of community. It was through the guidance of HSP staff that I was able to develop a connection with nature. I became aware of the small white yarrow, the twisty coast live oaks, the western blue birds, and the different swallows. I think everyone deserves to have a feeling of belonging, to love and take care of all the living things around them. HSP makes it accessible for people of all ages to get to know their natural habitats while partaking in an impressive collective effort.

- Bibiana Carrazco