Education is our number one tool in creating a culture of personal responsibility and stewardship. We approach education here at BEC with positive, inclusive, and accessible opportunities and materials.
The Annual Endangered Species Faire exemplifies BEC's committment to environmental education. Since 1979, the Endangered Species Faire has commemorated Earth Day with a full day of exhibits, activities, presentations and entertainment. Between 6,000 and 10,000 individuals of all ages visit and participate in Northern California's oldest annual environmental fair held at Cedar Grove in Bidwell Park. Schools, environmental agencies, non-profits and other environmental organizations populate the dozens of booths to offer fun activities and education for kids and grownups alike. The Endangered Species Faire is FREE to all people; everyone deserves the opportunity to engage, learn, and fall in love with environmental education.
When people in Butte County have questions about environmental issues, BEC is the go-to source for information and answers. We field questions such as recycling questions, like "Can I recycle styrofoam?"(Answer: Yes, AS Recycling accepts styrofoam; also, the Post Office accepts packing peanuts for reuse), and provide information on who to contact for issues like dumping, non-permitted activities, and other violations of local/state/federal environmental law. We have working relationships with the agencies responsible for overseeing these areas and a strong track record of follow-up for effective enforcement. For a non-government organization, we stand on equal turf with government agencies for action and oversight.
It is part of the civic responsibility of all community members to learn who is responsible for what at an agency level, and how to be effective when dealing with agencies; this is a hugely valuable part of BEC's work and a constant part of our education effort. This is formalized through our Public Forums, and informally practiced every day with the phone calls and walk-ins we receive and process.