Together We Can—Create a Healthy, Sustainable, and Just Future

Dear Ecology Center Supporter,

This spring, we were a cosponsor of the 34th Bioneers conference, hosted in Berkeley for the first time. The event brought together thought leaders in the environmental and social justice movements to discuss practical and visionary solutions. I was struck by how many of the hot topics being discussed there are ideas that the Ecology Center is leading on at the local level. It was incredibly reaffirming that we are on the right track and leading from the local to the global.

Some of our current efforts include getting our homes and buildings off of methane gas and building community­-based resilience to climate change through our climate equity initiatives. We are supporting regenerative small­scale agriculture through farmers’ markets. We are cultivating the next generation of local youth leaders in our youth development program. And we are addressing toxic plastic pollution through our plastic free programs and coalitions. We continue to pose local solutions that have national and global ripple effects.


Since our beginnings in the 1960s and 1970s, we have taken an intersectional approach to our work, connecting the dots with other movements and integrating social justice values into our community environmental work. This is all possible because when we join your financial contributions with our skilled board and staff, we achieve amazing results.

At the Bioneers conference, I was struck by the breadth of topics and issues woven together, reminding us that it’s all connected. This really hit home as I reflected on our interconnections in our broader community. The Ecology Center is intertwined with a nexus of amazing local organizations and activists and part of global movements, which position us to work across the activist landscape to build a sustainable, healthy, and just future.

I am overwhelmed with civic pride for this community that repeatedly supports our work and is willing to take chances to lead on critical issues. It is humbling to be reminded of how much is possible here because of your support.


As you know, we have social enterprises like the store, farmers’ markets, and recycling programs that generate revenue. And we have leveraged your support to land large government grants that scale up programs like the state-wide Market Match and the California Alliance of Farmers’ Markets. But even more importantly, we depend on your unrestricted individual donations to fund our innovation and advocacy.

We leverage your financial contributions to make significant systems changes that redefine what is possible. Over the years, your community support allowed us to establish the nation’s first curbside recycling program, to lead on Berkeley’s Soda Tax, to help pass Berkeley’s Disposable Foodware Reduction Ordinance, and to make our voice heard at the United Nations Basel Convention that ended the export of toxic plastic waste.

Looking forward, it is your support that is allowing us to lobby to expand our Market Match program and to make impacts on the Global Plastics Treaty. Your financial support will allow us to watchdog the State of California as it implements the landmark Plastic Packaging Producer Responsibility law, which you helped pass last year. Your support is helping us lead in building a model community-based climate equity collaboration and to rebuild our youth leadership programming after a hiatus during the pandemic.

While the Ecology Center has a growing impact, we also have growing needs. The climate leader Bill McKibben reminds us that ”the most effective thing you can do about climate change as an individual is to stop being an individual.” While there are important actions to take as an individual, it is when we pool our resources and link arms together that we have the greatest impact.


Now is a critical time. Inflation and the ever-rising cost of living in the Bay Area challenge us as never before. So we are also challenging you all to give like never before.

Many of you have been long-term members giving year in and year out. You should feel proud of the accomplishments your donations enabled. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Now we need your continued support-time is passing and so much still needs to be done. Can you make a second gift this year? Can you increase your giving by giving monthly? If you give monthly, can you give more each month? Could you make a significant donation beyond your regular giving? Can you donate stock or other assets to advance our mission? I would love to talk with you directly if you feel you can make a larger contribution to our impact.

With your donations, we can advance new solutions like getting the whole City of Berkeley off of methane gas, addressing inequity in climate funding, sustaining regenerative small farms, making every farmers’ market affordable for low income shoppers, ending plastic pollution, and cultivating new leadership in Berkeley’s insightful youth.



Martin Bourque
Executive Director, Ecology Center



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