BEC has created and run several successful programs over the years. Our programs are generally either grant-funded projects, or the result of partnerships between BEC and another entity. Our Alternatives to Toxics work, funded by The California Wellness Foundation, was an example of a highly effective, grant-funded program. Our ongoing partnership with the City of Chico on the Creek Watch Hotline is another example of one of our programs. And, of course, the Recycling Program, which North Valley Disposal bought from us in the late '80's, was the first major long-term program that BEC implemented. In 2014 we took on a Watershed Program to continue and expand the efforts of the now defunct Big Chico Creek Watershed Alliance. Also in 2014, we received a grant from the CA Wildlife Foundation for a 4 year Oak Restoration Project to plant and maintain 200 oak seedlings in Bidwell Park.
The Humboldt Community Garden is another highly successful program that we are currently running. In 2011, BEC began working with the City of Chico to establish a community garden on unimproved city land across from Marsh Jr. High at Humboldt Rd and Notre Dame Blvd. The City purchased the land for a park over twenty years ago, and a portion is currently being used as a storm water retention basin. After a lot of help from city staff and members of the community, we were able to strike a deal. In spring 2012 BEC signed a lease with the City of Chico to use the property for a community garden.
The Humboldt Community Garden operates under BEC’s non-profit status. Individuals who want to use the garden, in turn sign “member” agreements with BEC. These agreements contain the rules and responsibilities of all parties. The garden will operate using a typical community garden governance structure. An advisory committee of garden “members” will oversee the garden, with the help of the garden coordinator. All decisions will be made democratically at monthly member meetings.
In 2015, BEC launched the Energy Ambassador Program and created an incredible outreach campaign. Butte residents, business owners, and renters were given resources on how to use energy wisely and to conserve our precious water. Energy Upgrade California was a statewide effort with BEC leading the way in our area.