As a division of bay.org, the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park’s mission is to protect, restore, and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed, from the Sierra to the sea. An essential niche within the environmental education field for Bayview Hunters Point communities and beyond, the EcoCenter fulfills this mission by serving as a model for green building, sustainable resource use, environmental justice, and experiential learning within the beauty of San Francisco’s wild landscapes.
The EcoCenter provides opportunities for ongoing education and place-based green jobs training. Youth interns monitor onsite wastewater treatment, a constructed wetland, rainwater harvesting, and renewable energy systems, and volunteers are always invited to join us for hands-on experiences with native plants, landscaping, and habitat restoration. Through design features that mimic natural processes, visitors can make direct connections between sustainability in the built environment and the wetlands just outside our door, leaving inspired to pursue green resource use in their everyday lives.
An environmental justice success story, the EcoCenter is a living classroom and drop-in visitor center that demonstrates how we can better use Earth’s resources in order to foster healthy people, ecosystems, and economies in our local communities. Committed to community-building, we offer elementary school through college educational programming, internships for youth and young adults, tours, seminars, community space use, workshops, and other events free of charge, four days a week.
In July 2013, the EcoCenter was certified by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum building – the highest possible rating! This makes the EcoCenter one of a only handful of buildings with this level of certification in the City, the first Zero Net Energy Building in San Francisco, To learn more about the EcoCenter’s LEED scorecard click here. Learn more about LEED, click here.