What is outreach?

  • Outreach is the act of extending services and benefits to a wider population.
  • In addition to teaching environmental education at Howlands Landing, CELP staff extend their knowledge and services to many communities on and off the island.
  • Each year, we deliver workshops at dozens of schools and community organizations, jump-starting projects and conveying skills and knowledge to empower long-term positive change.

What do we teach?

Appropriate and Sustainable Technologies

Participants assemble and experiment with new sustainable and “appropriate” technologies.  Appropriate technologies are designed to promote self sufficiency and support local social, economic, and environmental conditions.  Some examples are aqauponics systems, biodigesters, and microbial fuel cell technology.

Alternative Transporation – From Biofuels to Bicycles

  • Participants experiment with bio-fuels and compare them to traditional fuels.
  • We deliver an introductory bicycle maintenance workshop for all ages. The workshop covers the basics of bicycle maintenance, from tube replacements to tune-ups and inspections.


  • We demonstrate portable home compost systems and show how anyone, even those living in an urban environment, can compost their food scraps to make rich, fertile soil.
  • Using our worm bins, participants young and old can hold our red wriggler worms and watch them eat, reproduce, and break down organic matter.
  • We design and build school compost systems and teach students and educators to manage them.

Homesteading Skills

Making natural body care products, wild fermentation, sprouting, and baking bread are just a few of the many ways to live sustainably.

  • We take participants through the process of making their own bath and body care products, from lip balm to deodorant, toothpaste, and soap.
  • We demonstrate the ancient art of wild fermentation, from sauerkraut to natural sodas.

Sustainable Gardening

  • Workshop participants learn to implement principles of permaculture while mixing soil and designing and planting their own garden beds.
  • Through hands-on projects, we facilitate discussions about nutrition, local food economies, and natural systems agriculture.

Solar Cooking

    Our solar ovens illustrate the abundance of free, renewable energy which radiates from the sun.  We demonstrate how to bake solar oven cookies and homemade crackers for garden fresh bruschetta.  Participants also enjoy the delicious results.

Where do we go?

Sustainable Living Bike Tour

In the fall of 2005, ten CELP staff members volunteered two weeks of their time to ride bicycles from LA to Arizona, via San Diego.  Their mission was to inspire youth to affect positive change.  Today, our team of volunteer cyclist-educators cycle eight hundred miles down the California coast.  The tour stops at dozens of schools and community organizations, conducting workshops and catalyzing projects to empower long-term positive change.  Catalina Island Camps continues to support this now annual outreach event.  The tour uses and demonstrates solar and waste vegetable oil-powered bus to carry curriculum materials, luggage, and food.

  • Want to Learn More?  The Sustainable Living Bike Tour has a Blog. Check it out to read more about this epic journey.


Santa Monica Public Library

  • A LEED certified building, the Santa Monica Library has been an advocate for sustainability, designed and built with the intent of significantly reducing the building’s negative impact on the environment.  This effort is extended to the community by offering public education and outreach events.
  • Every year a group of CELP staff leave the island with solar ovens, buckets of compost and seeds to connect with community members.

Avalon Earth Day

  • Hosted by the Catalina Island Conservancy Education Dept, Avalon Earth Day is an annual celebration that brings together advocates of environmental conservation and education.  At this day-long community festival, the CELP staff share information, demonstrate sustainable systems, and provide food harvested from our garden and prepared in our commercial kitchen at Howlands Landing.
  • This outreach event has become an opportunity for the CELP program to meet and collaborate with the island community and promote island-specific sustainability initiatives.

Two Harbors School

  • A one-room schoolhouse is located in Two Harbors just 5 miles down the road from Howlands Landing.  Working with local students, we facilitate beach clean-ups and gardening at the schoolhouse, fostering a sense of respect for the diverse and beautiful ecosystems surrounding them.  We also host student groups from the Avalon High School who use our facilities for team bonding.


  • The Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education hosts conferences around the state of California to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, systems, and skills across outdoor and environmental education organizations.  CELP staff regularly attend AEOE conferences and both teach and learn fellow educators.  Our staff present an array of workshops at the conferences, covering topics from organic gardening to multicultural education and sustainable living.

Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education

Back to Top

Back to About CELP

Search CELP