The Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability collaborates with members of the Tongva community, the Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral land on which the Claremont Colleges stand. Indigenous elders helped us actively plan and plant many of the outdoor spaces at Redford Conservancy, which now serve as a gathering site for seasonal celebrations. To be able to learn from and with Indigenous Peoples who are of this place, and whose ancestral land now hosts us all, is an honor and responsibility we are fortunate to have.
Since 1996, Pitzer College has worked to bring environmental education programs to local school-aged children through LEEP—Leadership in Environmental Education Partnership. In this program, Pitzer students teach ecological literacy to elementary school children from diverse socio-economic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. For many of these children, it has been their first opportunity to meaningfully connect directly with nature. In over two decades, LEEP has inspired over 3,000 elementary school graduates, a significant number of whom are now old enough to be passing down their appreciation for ecological well-being to their own children.
To deepen and institutionalize Pitzer’s focus on Environmental Youth Education, with LEEP at its core, K-12 outreach is now under the umbrella of the Robert Redford Conservancy.
Pitzer College offers a rich and varied set of courses that address environmental issues. In addition to professors in the Environmental Analysis field group, faculty in Anthropology, Art, Media Studies, Politics, Sociology, and the Sciences actively contribute to advancing the Conservancy’s vision of interdisciplinary approaches to environmental engagement.