EcoCenter at Heron's Head Park

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is an off the grid, conservation-based learning center for environmental education, public outreach, and connecting people with the beauty of San Francisco’s wild landscapes. Free to the public, the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is San Francisco’s best example of sustainable solutions to adverse human impacts on the environment, and is a model for green building, sustainable resource use, environmental justice, and experiential learning. Surrounding the EcoCenter is Heron’s Head Park, filled with native plants, birds and other wildlife common to San Francisco Bay and the surrounding shoreline.

Community-based Eco-literacy

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is resident-friendly, driving home the message that this is a space created with the central purpose of building community. Four days a week, our learning center is open as a visitor center with free tours available to any guest who walks through our doors. Our center is used for community meetings and events, public programs, seminars, and workshops that serve longtime residents, as well as newcomers and visitors to the area. The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is a public space and everyone is made to feel at home here.

Direct Connections through Place-based Learning

The only opportunity in San Francisco for place-based education about sustainable systems, the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park provides unprecedented opportunities for ongoing learning and green jobs training through monitoring and analysis of its wastewater treatment, constructed wetland, rainwater harvesting, and renewable energy systems. We also offer hands-on experience with native plants, landscaping, and habitat restoration.

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is also the only site in San Francisco where visitors can make direct connections between sustainability in the built environment and the natural processes that inspire sustainable resource conservation and management.

Living Classroom for Conservation-based Education

The EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is a living classroom that demonstrates how we can better use the Earth’s resources in order to foster healthy people, ecosystems, and economies in our local communities and beyond. Elementary school through college programming, tours, seminars, workshops, and other events are offered free of charge.

Our hands-on, inquiry based education programs are designed to bring science, biology and conservation to life, fostering an understanding of sustainability through the building’s many examples of resource conservation and innovative, sustainable design features.

Environmental Justice and Urban Stewardship

For the past decade, Literacy for Environmental Justice, and now bay.org together with the San Francisco Recreation and Park’s Youth Stewardship Program and City College of San Francisco, have the responsibility of the education and stewardship of Heron’s Head Park.

Emphasizing the integral connection between healthy ecosystems and healthy urban life, we are a destination for leaders involved in the greening of the economy, particularly those representing disenfranchised communities. As a landmark in sustainable development and a model environmental education facility located “in a place where no one would have imagined,” the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park is a place where sustainability advocates, regulatory agencies, and policymakers have an opportunity to learn from and showcase the Heron’s Head Park site at the local, regional, national, and international level.

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