About Us

About Us

The Ecology Center is a non-profit eco-education center focused on creative solutions for thriving on planet Earth.

Our holistic approach to change-making is based on our core belief that we are a part of nature, intimately interconnected to each other and our shared environment. Through daily action, we can transform our schools, homes, workplaces, and communities into vibrant spaces.

We work to inspire communities around simple solutions that empower individuals everywhere to be part of the solution. Together, we can create a healthy, abundant future.

Our Initiatives

We highlight cutting-edge environmental perspectives through our four core initiatives.

Grow

Grow Your Own

Growing garden ecosystems at home and at school.

Creating gardens, resources, and community to make vibrant spaces out of vacant places.

Water

The Water Effect

Simple solutions to cut our daily water use in half.

Empowering students, their families, and their communities to become advocates for water conservation.

Eat

Community Table Accord

Building pathways to an ecological food future.

Gathering chefs, farmers, and community together to eat with intention.

Make

Handmade

Supporting local artisan culture.

Creating pathways for more conscious consumption by building a vibrant local economy.

Our Home

The Ecology Center’s headquarters is located in the historic Congdon Farmhouse in San Juan Capistrano, CA.

From an empty dirt lot, we have created an ecological oasis. Our home is a model for how every home can be reimagined and every space revived.

Having witnessed more than 130 years of social, agricultural, and environmental change, the Congdon House is the perfect venue for an exploration of the links between past, present, and future. At the same time, as one of the oldest standing embodiments of the past, it serves to remind us that we must act today to rejuvenate the environment for the generations to follow.

Our Team

Evan Marks

Founder & Director

With his background in permaculture and agroecology, and, having worked extensively in California and Hawaii and internationally in Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Ghana and Nigeria, Evan Marks knows that people have the ability to directly impact the environment through individual change.

Staff
Bret Babos

Operations

Nate Bernitz

Development /
Communications

Jessica Campbell

Development

Kristi Day

Graphic Design

Anna Maria Desipris

Community Table Accord / Celebrations

Lauren Fieberg

School Programs

Meg Hiesinger, Ph.D.

Grow Your Own!

Debbie Hanson

Bookkeeper

Aly Muysenberg

Tools for Change /
Team Support

Lucian Toma

Skills-based Programming

Kate Weiner

Marketing

Other Contributors
Natale Lessey

Grants

Vicki Marks

Green Feast Chair

David Marks

Tools for Change

Kristin Morrison

Handmade: A Maker's Market

David Rager

Design

Board of Directors
Joe Baird

Board Member
Business Development

Rick Bolton

Board Chairman
Brand & Business Strategist

Laura Donovan

Board Secretary
Marketing, Chipotle Mexican Grill

Ben Edwards

Board Member
Sustainable Business and Innovation, Nike

Mark Magiera

Board Member
Operations, Chez Panisse

Eric Paine

Board Treasurer
Principal, Community Development Partners

Dan Pingaro

Board Member
Executive Director, Laguna Beach Community Foundation

Ann Shea

Board Member
Sustainable Agriculture Advocate

Kay Taygan

Board Member
Volunteer, The Ecology Center

Ryan Wilson

Board Member
Executive Chef, Lawry's Restaurants

Caitlin Wege

Board Member, Angel Investor and Philanthropist