California is one of the states with the greatest diversity of climate and terrain in the US and is home to the largest, tallest and oldest trees. California's native grasses are perennial plants. You could work in a variety of landscapes and environments such as deserts as well as coastal lands and urban regions.
If you are based in Santa Cruz, California you will get to experience an even wider variety of environmental conservation projects than if you are placed in Arizona. The nature of your work can vary from conservation work in National and Regional Parks to local community work in towns dedicated to protecting the natural environment. Therefore, volunteers must be flexible and be willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved.
You could be preserving city trails in Santa Cruz and get to experience the city life but you could also be located in a stunningly beautiful setting for example in a national or regional park or a privately-owned residence and help protect threatened and endangered plant species or clearing along the more fire prone areas.
Your base depends on the type of project you will be doing and the location. If your project is in proximity to Santa Cruz then you are likely to stay at the volunteer house. However, most volunteers also get the opportunity to camp right in the heart of America’s most breath-taking landscapes while working on a project. While some project locations have developed campgrounds with warm showers, the majority are in remote and beautiful locations and have basic or no facilities, meaning volunteers get a real experience of living with just the bare necessities! Food is provided at each project and volunteers cook with their teams, taking turns preparing meals for the whole group.
On days off
During days off, volunteers stay in dormitory-style rooms in a shared volunteer house in Santa Cruz. Volunteers are responsible for their own food when they’re not working on a project. There’s a shared kitchen in the volunteer accommodation and plenty of grocery shops (as well as a number of restaurants that volunteers tend to visit on lazy nights!). Most houses are equipped with wi-fi.