Every Day Is Earth Day for Us

Save Mount Diablo Signs Second Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Campolindo High School and Compass

WALNUT CREEK, CA—On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthier environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. That was the start of Earth Day, which marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. However, giving gratitude and respect to our Earth one day a year should not be the message of Earth Day. It has seemed at times that is how some people approach it, with devastating consequences.

For example, late last year, the world’s leading climate scientists on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a stark new report that warned that Earth is on the brink of failing because of our inability thus far to keep global warming to moderate levels. It noted while it is still possible to keep global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, governments would have to take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Making the changes necessary to prevent the severe consequences of climate change would require a transformation of the global economy at a scale and speed that has “no documented historic precedent,” the report stated.

And according to a new report, The Path Ahead, “Today, kids spend less time outside than prison inmates, with the average child playing freely outside for just four to seven minutes a day.” This report, commissioned by the REI Co-op, notes that the average American now spends about 95 percent of their life indoors. It further notes that we are becoming an “indoor species,” which comes with consequences: “Our health and well-being may suffer. And the less we value our outdoor spaces, the less likely we are to protect them.”

We are grateful that our supporters help Save Mount Diablo protect and give thanks for our extremely beautiful part of Earth day in and day out. Together, we protect our quality of life and place. In this spirit, Save Mount Diablo (SMD), Campolindo High School (CHS), and sponsor Compass signed a Conservation Collaboration Agreement on April 15, 2019.

“After studying and working in the conservation field for over 30 years, I have come to realize that the most significant threat to the environment is the lack of meaningful connections between people and nature, which results in us lacking the love and will required to fully address major environmental threats like climate change. The experience we will have on Save Mount Diablo’s conserved land with students from Campolindo High School and staff from Compass will remind us that if we quietly and respectfully enter nature we will be transformed for the better—and in that lies our hope for salvation and survival,” said Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director. He went on to state, “Save Mount Diablo is incredibly grateful for, and inspired by, Campolindo High School and Compass for stepping up to be part of our new Conservation Collaboration Agreement program.”

The Conservation Collaboration Agreement has three basic parts. For the first part, staff of SMD will provide educational presentations regarding land conservation of the Mount Diablo area to the participating students of CHS at their school and to employees of Compass at their office.

Second, on April 22, Earth Day, SMD staff and naturalist Judy Adler will teach and lead the participating students of CHS and the employees of Compass in a nature service project, involving the removal of invasive plant species, and an interpretive nature hike at SMD’s conserved Big Bend property along Marsh Creek Road. The outing will also include a solo on the land for each participant where they will do a contemplative journal writing exercise reflecting on the Mount Diablo natural area.

Finally, in an act of educational and participatory philanthropy, the students will raise money to become members of SMD through SMD’s new discounted youth membership program.

Compass generously sponsored the Conservation Collaboration Agreement to help get more kids connected to nature and SMD’s time-sensitive land conservation mission.

Regarding the Conservation Collaboration Agreement, CHS Teacher Jane Kelson stated, “An important part of the AP Environmental Science course at Campolindo is providing students with opportunities that simultaneously connect them with the natural world and give them the opportunity to make positive environmental changes. We are thrilled to be partnering with Save Mount Diablo, as they are providing our students with the opportunity for both, as well as providing excellent role models who are acting locally to protect and preserve land on behalf of people, and on behalf of wildlife. There is much bad news when studying environmental science—it is very encouraging and empowering for our students to engage with an organization that is accomplishing so much in terms of land conservancy and habitat restoration.”

“Campolindo Environmental Science students are so excited to partner with Save Mount Diablo to turn their passion into action, practice what they have been learning about all year long, and work to restore such an important environment so close to their community. The Campolindo Science Department feels so privileged to have the opportunity to work with Save Mount Diablo, to inspire our students, for a second year in row,” said CHS Teacher Tren Kauzer.

On behalf of sponsor Compass, Hank Perry noted, “When we started our collaboration with Save Mount Diablo, it began with a vision of our business working together with conservation groups to assure future generations of the quality of life offered by our open spaces in central Contra Costa County, and in particular, the Mount Diablo environment. We embrace and support the great work that this organization does to preserve open space for the present and future, their efforts combined with the efforts of so many of our neighbors and clients, and we strive to introduce new arrivals to our community to this vision as we serve their housing needs.”

Save Mount Diablo

SMD is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, and watersheds through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide recreational opportunities consistent with the protection of natural resources. Learn more at www.savemountdiablo.org.

Campolindo High School

CHS has a mission to foster academic achievement and cultivate personal growth in a supportive educational community to prepare all students for a successful future. Learn more at www.acalanes.k12.ca.us/campolindo/.


Compass is a national real estate firm, with offices throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, with a mission to help everyone find their place in the world. Learn more at www.compass.com/.

High Resolution Images and Press Release Files:


Image Credits & Captions:

All photos please credit Al Johnson.

For more images of the 2018 Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Campolindo High School, please visit Al Johnson’s gallery.

Caption for all images outdoors:

At SMD’s Marsh Creek 7 property, Campolindo High School (CHS) and Save Mount Diablo (SMD) completed a Conservation Collaboration Agreement on April 23, 2018. Participants included CHS Teachers Tren Kauzer and Jane Kelson, Campolindo Environmental Science students, and SMD staff and volunteers. For Earth Day 2019, Campolindo High School is heading back outdoors to complete a second Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Save Mount Diablo at SMD’s Marsh Creek 8 property—also known as Big Bend.

Caption for Classroom image:

As part of a second Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Campolindo High School (in honor of Earth Day), on April 15, 2019, Save Mount Diablo joined CHS students in the classroom. Save Mount Diablo presented a lesson on environmental issues and the Diablo area’s wild lands to six AP classes in preparation for a field trip to SMD’s Marsh Creek 8 property—also known as Big Bend—where the students will participate in an environmental service project.


Caleb Castle, Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo;

T: (925) 947-3535 x17, C: (925) 451-8376, ccastle@savemountdiablo.org


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