From the Avenue to the Channel Islands 'ATCI'
The MERITO Foundation was awarded an Outdoor Equity Grant from California State Parks for a new 3-year partnership program titled ‘From the Avenue to the Channel Islands.' 'ATCI' is a collaborative program between the MERITO Foundation, City of Ventura Sustainability Division, and Once Upon a Watershed where we serve the community of the Avenue in the City of Ventura with De Anza Academy of Technology and Arts (DATA Middle School) by including its students, teachers, alumni, and neighboring communities.
About "From the Avenue to the Channel Islands" Program
Through the collaboration between the MERITO Foundation, City of Ventura Sustainability Division, and Once Upon a Watershed, DATA MS teachers receive professional development (PD) in areas of ocean and environmental sciences. Their students participate in outdoor experiences at the Ventura River, State Beaches, and the Channel Islands. Students have the opportunity to participate in a number of recreational activities including biking, hiking, kayaking, camping, snorkeling, sailing, surfing & leadership skill-building as well as take part in outdoor community events.
Students also participate in citizen science, environmental monitoring, habitat restoration, creation of native & edible plant gardens, and project-based learning challenges to reduce the environmental footprint of their school & homes according to grade level. The purpose of the grant funding is to help advance the ‘Outdoor Access for All’ initiative championed by Governor Gavin Newson and First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newson, and the Natural Resource Agency’s ‘Outdoors for All’ initiative. The effort expands outdoor access to all Californians through focused investments with a priority to expand access in underserved communities.
- Reforestation Trips to Matilija Dam
- Bike to Nature
- Wetland Restoration
- Overnight Camping Trips to Santa Cruz Island
- Rocky Intertidal Monitoring