Growing Solutions
Restoration Education Institute

P.O. Box 30081
Santa Barbara, CA 93130
(805) 452-7561

Our Mission

Growing Solutions Restoration Education Institute’s mission is to build environmental and societal sustainability through hands-on education. Our programs focus on the integration of self-reliant technology coupled with agricultural, watershed, and resource management projects. Students study real-world issues using a theme-based educational setting gaining a sense of stewardship and practical real-world job skills.

Letter From The Founders

Autumn finds us pleased to report that several long-term projects have been completed, our plants are growing well and with the change of season we see some students off to new adventures as we welcome a new crew of students and interns.

We are also pleased to announce that last year’s intern Peter Harman, a graduate of Westmont College, is now a Growing Solutions’ employee. As our in-house restoration ecologist Peter works on various Santa Barbara County projects, intern management, nursery operations and with the ongoing seabird-habitat restoration project out on the Santa Barbara Island.

Former student and Growing Solutions’ employee Mark Broomfield is now Grounds Maintenance Supervisor at Santa Barbara City College. He has already begun new and exciting sustainable management strategies for the campus and we look forward to seeing how the landscape evolves on his watch.

The Malibu Lagoon project is looking good with the lagoon re-contouring allowing a daily tidal flush that improves overall lagoon water quality and health. The lagoon native plants, gathered and propagated from the site, are filling in nicely. We are seeing a marked increase in bird migration through the lagoon, making the local birders very happy. 

Prisoner’s Harbor wetland restoration on Santa Cruz Island is progressing with Juncus mexicanus, (Mexican rush) and Distichlis spicata (salt grass) sending out runners and creating much needed ground cover.

Our current SBCC students are an enthusiastic, diverse crew ranging from teens to seniors. We recently returned from a fun productive planting trip to Santa Barbara Island installing over 2000 island plant natives in the continuing efforts to restore critical ground habitat for the Scripps’s Murrlet and Cassin’s Auklet.

We have five new part-time interns focusing on native habitat restoration, small-scale farming and combining the two as “farmscaping”. The interns are working on a variety of projects including the planting of our new fig and cherry orchards, seeding and tending winter row crops and marketing of produce and products such as “Oak-Ay”, an effective all-natural poison-oak remedy wildcrafted from wild herbs harvested in the Santa Barbara backcountry. 

We thank all our friends, family and supporters and look forward to an awesome 2014.

The Latest News...

  1. Growing Solutions has become a non-profit recipient for 1% for the Planet, an organization that helps conscious business members donate 1% of their profits to environmental groups. 

  1. Pizza Oven Construction. Learn to build your own backyard outdoor oven. Perfect for summer parties, cooking and more. For more information contact: Peter at 805.452.7561

  1. Foothill Open Space Community Planting Day.  Please stay tuned for upcoming dates. Contact Growing Solutions or Joddi Leipner at 882-3614 or for more information.

Become a Part of Growing Solutions!

Join the growing movement to build sustainable communities.


Members receive a 10% discount on all plants