Ecotourism & Nature

Learn about the Natural Environment!

“Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel”

International Ecotourism Society

Banana Slugs


Coast Redwoods

Madrone & Manzanita

Mountain Lions


Oak Trees & Shrubs

Sandhills & Sand Chaparral Communities


Protect & Preserve the Santa Cruz Mountains

Growth in the Santa Cruz Mountains region accelerated starting in the late 1960s driven in part by the rise of Silicon Valley. The rapid increase in housing and commercial development began to raise concern for the preservation of natural resources among open space advocates. Fortunately, for the health and well-being of our communities, there are a variety of hard-working organizations who have moved mountains, so to speak, to protect and preserve open spaces in the Santa Cruz Mountains region for generations to come.

Redwood forests are one of the greatest treasures of the California landscape and play a vital role in the health and well-being of all living things on the Central Coast. The trees filter the water we drink and the air we breathe, provide wildlife habitat and open space for recreation, and play a significant role in global warming. Redwoods transform more carbon dioxide into oxygen than any other tree on Earth. As a result, the loss of forest is a significant contributor to the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Ecotourism can help to mitigate, and in many cases, reverse the adverse effects of tourism on natural destinations. Through education and conservation, we can overcome the forces that strive for temporary gain over long-term preservation. Supporting local businesses is a crucial element in helping the locals to thrive in their communities, as well as supporting local conservation organizations that tirelessly protect these natural destinations for people and wildlife to coexist.

Visit Local Conservation Organizations

Mountains Parks Foundation Logo

Peninsula Open Space Trust

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority

Save The Redwoods League