Looking Forward to 2015! Six Year Anniversary! In November 2014, BAGT celebrated its 6th anniversary—six years since our launch at the Green Festiva

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Looking Forward to 2015!

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Sonoma after the Welcome Rain

Marissa In the Green Hills

The green hills are back!

Six Year Anniversary!

In November 2014, BAGT celebrated its 6th anniversary—six years since our launch at the Green Festival in 2008! The end of the year is a perfect time to reflect on the lessons we’ve learned along our journey. We had to survive a horrible economic downturn and continually re-invent ourselves to stay financially afloat. Our new focus has also proven difficult to sustain financially and in the coming year we will explore new ways to support our mission. For example, we discontinued our Open to the Public Tours and have turned our attention to charter tours for groups like senior citizens, school groups, and international visitors. But fear not—we will continue connecting people from around the world with the solutionaries and changemakers in our amazing Bay Area!

Recently we developed a special relationship with Sabor Mexicano Farm in Guerneville (Sonoma County) and are now booking visits to their farm. We hope this kind of endeavor will prove sustainable and supercede our dependence on writing grant proposals.

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New Partners

Our collaboration with Sabor Mexicano coincides beautifully with the work we intend to accomplish with EcoRing and Delta EcoFarm. Together, these affiliations signal a new focus for our work. Last week, BAGT and EcoRing’s board members and other interested parties met at Casa Panama near the mouth of the Russian River in Jenner to strategize.

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EcoRing: Non-Emissions Travel Network

Our collaboration with Sabor Mexicano Farm coincides beautifully with the work we intend to accomplish with EcoRing and Delta EcoFarm. Together, these farm affiliations signal a new focus for our work. For two days last week, staff from BAGT, three of EcoRing’s board members and other interested parties met at Casa Panama near the mouth of the Russian River in Jenner.

Getaway Adventures is creating a monthly six-day bike-and-boat tour that highlights:
• Travel by boat from San Francisco to Delta EcoFarm
• Continue by boat through the maze-like waterways of the Delta to Sacramento
• Bike from the river to the train station and catching the train to Santa Rosa
• Bike 21 miles to Sabor Mexicano Farm in Guerneville staying for two nights where guests could relax at the farm: pick, cook and consume from the garden, hike nearby at Armstrong Redwoods Park, bike to local wineries and visit the Russian River in town
• Bike or kayak along the Russian River to Jenner staying at Casa Panama before returning to San Francisco or possibly staying overnight in Marin

Together with EcoRing we hope to eventually expand this non-emissions travel network to other Agritourism spots and expand into the South Bay. (More info on EcoRing, Getaway Adventures and Delta EcoFarm below.)

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Board of Directors

 
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Rick Coates from EcoRing

 
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Hiking Goat Rock Beach

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Delta EcoFarm

 
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Cooperation members

 
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Jeff Hart at Delta EcoFarm

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Looking Forward to 2015

EcoRing Collaboration to link sustainable farm stays around the Bay
Generate crowdfunding campaigns to support our middle and high school tours
Fall 2015 Sponsored Social Entrepreneurship Tours for business school students

Sabor Mexicano Farm

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Welcome to Sabor Mexicano!

 
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Selling homemade treats and produce

On October 26th we held our final Open House at Sabor Mexicano Farm. It was the 5th event of the season in which we showcased the farm to more than 150 event planners, nonprofit leaders, school teachers, friends and colleagues.

“The farm tour and dinner were so wonderful; thanks a million for organizing the event and for inviting us. All the folks were so kind and sweet and generous. I can see why you like them so much and want to help them get off to a good start. It’s terrific to see such good people succeeding in the world by doing what they love and sharing it with others.”
—Open House attendee

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Everybody listen carefully...

 
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Jorge is explaining

 
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Spring Equinox Housewarming Party at Sabor Mexicano Event & Retreat Center

March 21st: Mark Your Calendar!

After several years of hard work the Saldana family will be welcoming guests to visit the renovated historical Armstrong Home! Where possible they have used salvaged wood that was milled from the property and have incorporated their tasteful mexicano style in the furnishings. Welcome springtime and celebrate the rebirth of this landmark home!

Early Bird Special. Reserve the house before March 21st at a 10% discount! Host your retreat or workshop at Sabor Mexicano and be one of the first persons to stay at the Armstrong Home.

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School Tours

Geared for students

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Ambessa Cantave

Meet Ambessa Cantave

Tour Manager and Guide

Ambessa is a father, event producer, activist, educator and Green For All Fellow who is dedicated to transformational change on the planet. He has over ten years experience in environmental justice, art and non-profit management. He is co-founder of Grind for the Green and United Roots Art and Media Center. In addition he served as the premier environmental educator for the Alliance for Climate Education from 2009-2011. In January Ambessa will be contacting schools and teachers to offer our educational tours. If you’d like to learn more about our program for school or teachers please contact Ambessa Cantave at Ambessa@bayareagreentours.org.

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Zero Waste Tours—One of Our Favorites!

"One person’s garbage is another one’s gold. Meet the innovators responsible for keeping tons of reusable materials out of the landfill, and see how waste is transformed into valuable products through creative reuse and recycling."
Mary Lou Van Deventer, co-founder of Urban Ore and our Zero Waste Video

Crowdfunding Tool for Your Class or School Tours

We will soon be launching our new Fundly Campaign to help sponsor elementary and high school kids. If you know of a teacher or group that would like their own campaign to raise funds for a trip please let us know.

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Social Entrepreneurship Tours

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Fall 2015

Do you know of a green certified or socially responsible business (especially B Corps) that would help sponsor and/or host students at their workplace? For years we have hosted MBA students from around the world to visit local mission-driven businesses but have not had the opportunity to work with our own local college business students. We have a growing list of interested professors who would like to include our trips in their curriculum but just don’t have the funding. Our goal is to engage socially responsible business leaders who care about the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) and will influence the next generation of business leaders in supporting the health of our community and our planet.

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BAGT News

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1% for the Planet

We are extremely honored that BAGT has been approved to be part of “1% for the Planet”—a global network of businesses that donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental and sustainability nonprofit organizations.

One percent of the money that you spend in local shops (that are members of 1% for the Planet) goes to nonprofits in your own neighborhood. If you shop locally it benefits yourself and the people in your community!
1. It's good for our economy, environment, and community.
2. It's more fun with unique, personalized offerings. You feel connected.
3. For every $100 spent at an independently-owned business $68 stays in the community. That makes our cities more economically resilient!

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PopUp Treasure Hunt

In cooperation with PopUpsters and Google’s City Experts, BAGT launched a PopUp Treasure Hunt at Public Works, touring Bayview, Dogpatch, Inner Sunset and Upper Haight all in the same building! We brought in people and allowed them to discover and become experts on all the places that San Francisco offers to eat, shop and play! We were also able to enjoy live music and delicious food!
Special thanks to Aaron Lander, CEO and founder of PopUpsters, for bringing us to the event, Kelsi Seid, for taking such lovely pictures and of course BAGT amazing tour guides!

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Green Building Tours

This fall we had two Green Building Tours with a group of architects from Sweden. We visited the Intercontinental Hotel, the United States Federal Building and the Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. We were so lucky to have a great tour guide for each of these stops, it has been very exciting. We hope that our swedish guests enjoyed it as much as we did and to see them again anytime, maybe in Stockholm?

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EcoRing Collaboration

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EcoRing

EcoRing's mission is to forge alliances among community organizations and green businesses to promote eco tourism in a truly responsible and fun-filled way using low carbon transport- ation including: hiking, biking, kayaking and even ziplining while staying in certified green lodging, sampling healthy food and organic wine while supporting locally owned agriculture.

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Get Away Adventures: Bike and Kayaking

Randy Johnson owner of Getaway Adventures has been leading kayaking and bike tours in Northern California since 1991 and is a board member of EcoRing. He is busy developing his monthly bicycle trip described in the introduction.

“We want to create an environment where people can learn through first hand experiences that ecotravel is not only easy, but the best way to travel. We use the word sustainable a lot—we believe it can be applied to any business, and we realized how important it is to focus on the long term well-being of the world that we come into contact with.”
—Randy Johnson

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Delta EcoFarm: Hosted by Sundoggie Farmers Toni and Jeff Hart

Jeff and Toni Hart grow amazing fruits and vegetables on their Delta Eco Farm near Walnut Grove on the Sacramento Delta. (If you’ve eaten at Revival or Cafe Rouge in Berkeley you’ve tasted their veggies.)
Both of them grew up on the river and have a deep love of local and natural history. Toni earned her undergraduate degree in Natural Resource Sciences and Forestry. Jeff studied environmental biology and ethnobotany earning a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology, and is an accomplished writer and photographer who has led many tours of the Delta.
Check out more about the farm on our Facebook page—we also made a stop to the nearby fascinating town of Locke founded by Chinese workers. (While you’re there please like our page.)

Welcome New Interns

We greatly appreciate the dedication of our fantastic iinternational interns!

Julia

Julia Sanguinetti Argentina
My name is Julia and I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I graduated with a degree in Environmental Science and Sustainable Food Systems and have recently moved to the Bay Area to learn more about and gain experience in my field. I have always been passionate about food and the environment, and joined BAGT to support the transition to a more sustainable future by educating people about the benefits of sustainable agriculture and by providing resources to help people make healthier food choices. In my free time, I enjoy travelling and exploring nature through outdoors activities, such as hiking, kayaking, rock climbing and camping.

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Rebecca Riedl Germany
My name is Rebecca and I am from Munich, Germany. I am studying Management of social Innovations in my 5th semester and arrived in Berkeley three months ago to support the team of Bay Area Green Tours as an intern. As I grew up (and still live) in a very small village in Bavaria, I am surrounded by beautiful forests, mountains and lakes. During the last years, I realised that we can't take this for granted and our highest goal has to be to retain this beauty. Last year I took part in a "green energy" project at University which was a great experience. Now I am very grateful that I can be a part of Bay Area Green Tours and I already learned so many new things and made some great experiences. I'm looking forward to the next two months, before I fly back home.
In my free time I like all kinds of outdoor activities such as camping and sitting by the campfire or playing the guitar.

Call for New Interns and Volunteers for Winter 2014

Bay Area Green Tours interns and volunteers meet real world heroes of the green economy, where right livelihood and triple bottom line practices (people, planet, profits) intersect with sustainable innovation and successful business.
To Apply please send your resume/CV and cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position to info@bayareagreentours.org.

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Becca, Siree, Pavan and Julia at work in the David Brower Center

 
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HUB party gone crazy!

“We work out of The David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley and The Oakland Impact HUB. We always have fun together and love to do field trips as often as it's possible. There is always something going on in Berkeley and Oakland and as long as we have the time we won't miss it!“
—Becca

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Community News

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How Berkeley can you be? The first city to recognize Malcolm X’s Birthday and Indigenous People’s Day—and NOW! A TAX ON SUGARY SODAS!

The City of Berkeley’s Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Soda Tax, Measure D was a big winner at the polls on November 4, 2014! The uphill fight against Big Soda was one in which BAGT played a seminal and instrumental role. Marissa La Magna has served on the Berkeley Food Policy Council for nearly four years where the idea was incubated to tackle this important health issue. She helped obtain enough qualifying signatures to place Measure D on the ballot. Those citizens that saw through the distortions and deep-pockets of Big Soda are to be congratulated! These are the first such taxes imposed on soda or sugary beverages in the country. We are proud to have helped in ensuring a victory at the ballot box and a healthier diet for everyone.

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Ways You Can Help Sustain BAGT

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All Donations are Tax Deductible!

Donate to our Campaign to Keep Field Trips Alive!
Send a check to Bay Area Green Tours at 2150 Allston Way Suite 280, Berkeley, CA 94704
Become a sponsor: contact Marissa@bayareagreentours.org
Organize a tour with your friends
Host a retreat or tour at Sabor Mexicano Farm
Tell your friends about us
Suggest sponsors
Connect us to teachers
Donate to 1% for the Planet
Install a solar roof from Sungevity (see details below)
Like us on Facebook
YELP us!

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Sungevity Discount Offer—

$1,000 Discount for You,
$750 Donation to BAGT
Get $1,000 off every solar purchase. Go to the BAGT/Sungevity page, or enter the referral code BAGT on the Sungevity home page.

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BAGT Gratitude

Thank you to the following people and organizations who have supported our work in a variety of unique and important ways:

Toni Tacoma for giving us the opportunity to stay at the spectacular Casa Panama for meetings.
Toni & Jeff Hart from Delta EcoFarm for sharing your knowledge on water issues, habitat restoration, natural history and a great tour of Locke.
Kari Wrede for your marketing and graphics help and the beautiful Delta EcoFarm website.
Sharmila Singh from 5M Project for guiding us through our new EcoRing/BAGT collaboration
Gary Meyer the article about Sabor Mexicano in Eat Drink Films.
John Michels for your support and editing skills.
Aaron Lander from PopUpsters for offering us the opportunity to work with Google.
Susan Putney & Michael Strange for helping us with the newsletter.
Frederick Lee for our new Zero Waste Tour Video

Wishing You a Very Healthy and Happy New Year!

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Bay Area Green Tours Mission

Bay Area Green Tours provides educational tours and events that demonstrate the sustainable economy in action, inspire support of local green businesses, and empower people to incorporate environmental responsibility and social justice into their personal and professional lives.

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