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208 Elkus Ranch Director/Youth Development Advisor


Associated Documents


This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



Thanks for sending your proposal regarding the Director/Youth Development Advisor. I had to chuckle at the coincidence of receiving this today because my partner, who is a kindergarten teacher, just returned from taking her class to Elkus Ranch – they had a great time & she has been rhapsodizing about how wonderful it is to have Elkus Ranch so easy to access. She noted their great guide (Amy), tasting the garden, and giving kids the chance to be so close to the farm animals (grooming, petting, feeding). She also observed that your staff “knows” kids and parents very well! So kudos all the way around!

I think your proposal for the Director/Youth Development Advisor makes good sense. Elkus Ranch is such a great resource & it seems as though this position would be hugely beneficial in “widening the net” in terms of helping youth to get all sorts of leadership opportunities in environmental education. It’s a great way to help them become responsible stewards of the environment as they mature into adulthood. I know I’ve been extremely impressed with all you’ve done to make Elkus Ranch accessible to special needs students & it would seem that might be an area where youth development could prove beneficial to everyone. Also, fund raising is definitely the name of the game these days, so it would be great to have someone who would be focusing on growing that critical area for you. So, guess the bottom line is I think it’s an excellent idea. I’ll send positive karma your way as this proposal wends its way through the system.
I’ll also forward the link on to Mark Nolan & Gary Waddell because they can certainly provide helpful feedback!

Take care & thanks for reaching out,
Anne E. Campbell
County Superintendent of Schools
San Mateo County Office of Education
101 Twin Dolphin Drive
Redwood City, CA 94065-1064
Phone (650) 802-5554
Fax (650) 802-5564

Posted Jun 7, 2012 9:47 AM by Anne Cambell
This position is crucial the continued operations of Elkus Ranch for the following reasons:

Fiscal Management & Strategic Vision:
Effective 7/1/2012, approximately $97,967.44 in temporary Elkus Ranch Operational Funds will no longer be available, it is important for a Director to guide Elkus Ranch to become self-sourcing in operational monies to maintain and continue capital improvements.

Principal Investor for Grant Management:
Increased self-sourcing will include grant writing and management

Outside Business to Business Community Exposure:
Elkus Ranch will need to build new community connections to increase awareness of services/benefits to continue to act as a resource to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Posted Jun 8, 2012 5:03 PM by Darin Lum
I am pleased to see this position proposed for Elkus Ranch. During the 13 years that I served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors I represented the San Mateo County coast and became intimately familiar with the valuable resource that is Elkus Ranch. My affinity for the program was enchanced because of my prior work experience as the Executive Director of a nonprofit youth agency and my service as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Education. I immediately understood that Elkus Ranch provided a unique opportunity to connect young people with the environment. One of the great challenges of the environmental movement is to extend its reach to more diverse populations. Children of color in particular need opportunities to develop into the environmental stewards of the next generation. The proximity of Elkus Ranch to major urban centers in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose make it a great location for environmental education. Because of my youth work background, I sponsored an initiative as a member of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to create a youth development initiative in San Mateo County. Elkus Ranch could play a key role in enhancing this initiative. The position that you are proposing will meet the needs of the facility and most importantly, the needs of young people in the community. I wish you success in securing this position.
Posted Jul 6, 2012 4:49 PM by Richard Gordon, California State Assembly
I am a present Bd. Member of Elkus and view the creation of the Director/Youth Development position a wise, fiscally sound and innovative choice. The potential here is great and the staff have over achieved in the past in meeting the Mission established by Mr Elkus and the Regents. However, the explosive potential here for Programatic Youth Development projects, innovative water projects, and expansion of fledgling supplemental revenue programs can onlly be achieved if the existing staff gains the expanded band width, vision, and operational direction that this position provides.

Given the future challenges of fiscal management to sustain operational revenues and facilitate capital improvements the creation of such a position is considered essential by the Board Members. Having such an individual with the appropriate skill set will facilitate the strengths of the exisiting staff in Progrmatic Develoment. By promoting opportunities for increased Community Support, business development and grant writing the Director position will help to asssure future economic vialbility and growth for this vital resource and can only be considered a fiscally sound investment by the Regents in the future.
Posted Jul 17, 2012 9:17 AM by gordon ray
I have had the opportunity to work in the field of informal environmental education for over thirty years. During this period I have observed a growth in both the need and impact of engaging our youth with the natural world. The recent theoretical development of the movement "leave no child inside" has formulated a very strong argument for the value provided by facilities such as Elkus Ranch Environmental Education Center.

I appreciate very much the enriching experiences offered by Elkus Ranch to hundreds of youth annually and strongly support the application to create the position of Elkus Ranch Director/Youth Development Advisor.

Elkus Ranch has been a Bay Area resource for many years. My son attended programs at the facility during his teenage years. With a combination of live animal studies, nutrition, horticulture, nature awareness, land use and resource conservation the programs offer a diversity of academic activities supporting state education standards for a variety of grade levels.

The facility is a valuble regional Bay Area resource which requires a diverse budgetary model including representation in the UC Extension system, development of grant opportunities and commercial use of the conference center. This new position would play a significant role insuring a solid finacial program through oversight of the operational budget as well as further solidification of funding opportunities.

Science education for youth is certainly an initiative which deserves additional support and one which most appropriately is a core UC objective developing future students in the university system. While at this time a unique resource, additional research focused on Elkus Ranch programs could well encourage the creation of additional facilties in other areas of the state to expand the impact. In general, the change in education approach in recent yeats which has seen the development of outdoor education programs, development of garden programs/backyard habitat programs at school sites and enhancement of nature/science based curriculum all point to new trends in k-12 education with very positive potential. Research studies at Elkus Ranch tracking long range program impact, organizing formative and summative evaluations with teachers and creating academic connections with professors in the UC system working on youth development are all potential areas of concentration for this new position.

For the reasons outlined above I believe Elkus Ranch would benefit greatly by the creation of this full time management oversight position. Considering other recent changes in the UC Extension management structure in the Bay Area the addition of the Elkus Ranch Director will act to insure the continued efficient operation of the facility to the benefit to the youth of the Bay Area.

Posted Jul 17, 2012 9:53 AM by Roger Hoppes
Great comments above and I can't agree more.

I am excited to see this job up for consideration as this is a much needed position at Elkus. The ranch is in a tough spot financially and it is important to have a director guide the ranch to become more independent on growing funds. Grants and growing the ranch's financial independence is key for this role - as well as serving the community and conducting much needed research.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 10:46 AM by Stephanie Weber
Local business leaders have already shown interest and enthusiasm for working with the type of person this position creates. This would act as a natural multiplier affect to enhance the fiscal future of this very worthwhile UC Program
Posted Jul 31, 2012 6:21 PM by Gordon Ray
I am a member of the Elkus Advisory Board and am very pleased to advocate for this essential Director/Youth Development position to support the valuable environmental education youth programs that serve not only San Mateo County but the greater San Francisco Bay Area.

The Elkus Environmental Education Youth Ranch is a unique resource that is becoming a model environmental science education center and serves approximately 6,000 participants annually.

Although Elkus is minimally staffed, staff are very dedicated to providing the highest quality services to a very diverse youth population while furthering environment awareness and stewardship, and increasing knowledgeable consumers. The Environmental Education Programs at Elkus Ranch are aligned with California's Science Content Standards and provide hands on opportunities to learn about the production of food and fiber, the inter-relationships of plants and animals in their natural habitats and the importance of environmental stewardship. This position is critical to assure that these valuable services continue by maximizing awareness of and access to services, demonstrating program results, and acquiring additional resources and community partners to address a recent funding gap by increasing donation and grants.

Given the fiscal challenges due to the loss of approximately $97,967.44 in temporary operational funds effective July 1, 2012 it is imperative that this position be filled to help further move Elkus to self-sufficiency. The funding gap needs to be addressed to sustain operational revenues and facilitate capital improvements. Staffs have been successful in accomplishing much and continue to strive to meet the strategic plan goals that have been developed with stakeholder participation. This position is especially needed at this critical time to continue the progress made to provide high quality environmental education services in a safe and healthy educational environmental.

Thank you for this opportunity to comment on this critical position proposal.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 11:27 PM by Diane Centoni

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