Worm Composting Workshop at Explore Ecology

Any time that we place compostable food scraps in the trash we are throwing away valuable natural resources. In Santa Barbara County, an estimated 700 tons of trash a day goes to our landfill and of that, about 40% is considered compostable. What happens to food scraps in the landfill? After being buried under layers of trash and dirt, food scraps begin to slowly decompose and emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and methane- a potent climate change causing gas.

Food Scraps On Their Way to a Worm Bin

Food Scraps On Their Way to a Worm Bin

What to do? Compost!  Using red wiggler worms to compost your food scraps will turn your trash into treasure, save you money on gardening inputs, and will help you become part of the solution to climate change.  Worm composting is easy, doesn’t require a lot of space, tools, or materials and is a lot of fun. Finished compost is an excellent soil amendment. When you feed the soil with compost, you are improving soil tilth and providing plants with beneficial nutrients and microbes.

Learn how to compost using worms  in a Composting Workshop at Explore Ecology on Saturday, February 21, from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Oscar Carmona, owner of Healing Grounds Nursery will teach you how to create and take care of your own worm bin, harvest compost, and make and use compost tea.

Oscar Carmona, Healing Grounds Nursery

Oscar Carmona, Healing Grounds Nursery

The workshop is open to the public and costs $10.00 at the door. Buy your ticket now by clicking here. Complete worm composting kits and worms will be for sale at this event.

Posted in Explore Ecology | Leave a comment

Fun For The Whole Family- New Art From Scrap Workshop

The Art From Scrap (AFS) Workshop comes alive with a themed workshop every Saturday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Open to artists of all ages and abilities, the workshops take place in the AFS Art Center; located upstairs from the Art From Scrap Creative ReUse Store.

AFS Art Workshop 045Art From Scrap Workshops utilize the vast amount of materials found in our Creative ReUse Store. By making art out of discarded materials; resources are saved and imaginations are stoked. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Make Art! Come to an AFS workshop and unleash your inner eco-artist.

Our NEW Art From Scrap Workshop Schedule:

Feb 7 Animals & Habitats Guest Artist: Jason Summers
Feb 14 Valentine’s Day Art Hearts Guest Artist: Judy Nilsen
Feb 21 Wizard & Fairy Houses Guest Artist: Beth Amine
Feb 28 Automata- Machines That Move! Guest Artist: Laura Denny
March 7 Springs Into Things Guest Artist: Judy Nilsen
March 14 Sensational Space Ships Flying to Mars! Guest Artist: Geoffrey Barber
March 21 Catchers of the Light- Garden Sculptures Guest Artist: Jason Summers
March 28 Magical Mixed Media Insects Guest Artist: Laura Denny
April 4 Time Machines & Other Imaginary Inventions Guest Artist: Geoffrey Barber
April 11 Tiny Growing Vessels Guest Artist: Jason Summers
April 18 No Workshop
April 25 Roar! Assemblage Animals Guest Artist: Laura Denny
May 2 Board Games Guest Artist: Jason Summers
May 9 Mother’s Day Bouquets: Paper, Fabric, & Lace Guest Artist: Judy Nilsen
May 16 Pirate Treasure Chests Guest Artist: Beth Amine
May 23 Printing With Found Objects Guest Artist: Laura Denny
May 30 Puppets! Guest Artist: Judy Nilsen

You don’t need to make reservations. Only $8.00 per person. For more information call 805-884-0459 x11. All workshops at Art From Scrap at 302 East Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

Posted in Art in Santa Barbara | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Art From Scrap Reuse Store Grand Re-Opening

store 4 - CopyJoin us on Friday, February 13th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm for a celebration of all things Art From Scrap at the Art From Scrap Store Grand Re-Opening!  We’re celebrating a new year, a new store, and a new Executive Director!

Lindsay Johnson, New Explore Ecology Director

Come meet our newly appointed Explore Ecology Executive Director Lindsay Johnson. Hear her vision for the future of Explore Ecology and its programs at 7:00 pm.

Come see the recently remodeled Art From Scrap Store- now designed for a better shopping experience. Program begins at 7:00 pm, bring a friend! Check out the new Art From Scrap Gallery Annex and Reuse Store Art Workshop space.

Visit the AFS Gallery upstairs for an Art Opening and Reception for Nature Literacy, featuring the work of naturalists and artists Mike Kresky and Ariana Rose Palmisano.


Art by Michael Kresky

Meet new friends and enjoy food, refreshments, and music.

2014 was our biggest year yet with even bigger things on the horizon in 2015. We’re excited about our positive changes and are looking forward to sharing them with you.

Posted in Explore Ecology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Increase Your Nature Literacy at Art From Scrap Exhibition

Glass Track Series by Michael Kresky

Glass Track Series by Michael Kresky

Nature Literacy, the first art exhibition of 2015 opens at the Art From Scrap Gallery on Friday, February 13th at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Nature Literacy features the work of naturalists and artists Michael Kresky and Ariana Rose Palmisano.  Inspired by the natural world, their art depicts wildlife in beautiful, educational, and provocative ways.

Woodpecker Series by Ariana Rose Palmisano

Woodpecker Series by Ariana Rose Palmisano

Ariana and Mike say, “In this show we want to bring together the beauty of Art and the wondrous world of Nature that surrounds us in our daily lives. Our experience tells us that local knowledge of the natural world or “reclaiming nature literacy” may be a strong component in the foundation of literacy itself. Most of our inspiration comes from the actual experience of these creatures on their terms, in their homes, and right outside our door.”

Insect Series by Michael Kresky

Insect Series by Michael Kresky

The evening, part of Art From Scrap’s Grand Re-Opening Celebration includes food, music and a chance to visit the newly re-modeled Art From Scrap Store.

Range Map Series by Ariana Rose Palmisano

Range Map Series by Ariana Rose Palmisano

Don’t miss this celebration of art and nature! Join us at Art From Scrap on Friday, February 13, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm and increase your nature literacy.




Posted in Explore Ecology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanks For A Wonderful Year!

Here are some of the highlights of Explore Ecology’s past year.

Our Environmental Educators taught over 750 classes in local schools, inspiring over 19,000 students.

Jan 2012 067

The Art From Scrap Gallery hosted 7 art exhibitions, offering local artists a place to show their work. Our Art Center offered over 100 low cost or free Art From Scrap Workshops.

Call for entries to the sea

Over 200 cleanups were conducted at Arroyo Burro Beach. We managed Santa Barbara County’s Coastal Cleanup Day.


38 classes, grades 4th-6th, participated in our Flows to the Ocean Marine Debris Prevention Program, which includes a trip to Santa Cruz Island and service learning projects.


Our Garden Educators manage 32 school gardens from Guadalupe to Carpinteria where over 8,000 kids learn how to grow their own food and make healthy food choices.

Summerland 2

The Art From Scrap Retail Store diverted thousands of pounds of materials from the landfill, while providing low cost items to the Santa Barbara Community!

IMG_4388Thanks for a fabulous year! We will be closed until January 6th. Our Reuse Store is being remodeled. We can’t wait to share it with you!


Posted in Explore Ecology | Leave a comment

Turn Corks into Beautiful Jewelry- Art From Scrap Workshop

Art From Scrap is offering a new series of art workshops for adults. Enjoy a glass of wine as you design and create cork jewelry with Guest Artist Extraordinaire Mary Price on Thursday December 11th, from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm.  In this two hour workshop, Mary will teach you how to transform old wine corks intro new beautiful wearable creations.

corks 3Sign up for online or by calling Art From Scrap at 805-884-0459 x13. No art experience is necessary. Materials provided by Art From Scrap, although participants can bring their own if desired. The  cost for this workshop is $25.00. Click Here to Buy Tickets Online. 


Corky jewelry

For questions, to sign up, or if you are interested in teaching a workshop, please contact Jill at Jill@ExploreEcology.org or (805) 884-0459 X13.

Posted in Explore Ecology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment