Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Northern California Winner of the Department of Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award Congratulated by Congressman John Garamendi

January 17, 2014
Press Release

Center for Land Based Learning Teaches Conservation Across the Region

WALNUT GROVE, CA – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, today congratulated Woodland resident Mary Kimball on earning the United States Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award. Mary is the Executive Director of the Center for Land-Based Learning, which works across Northern California to promote the integration of agriculture, nature and society, as well as to motivate the community to respect the natural environment that produces our food. She was in Washington, DC this week to receive the award at Interior Department Headquarters from Secretary Sally Jewell and to meet with local Members of Congress.

“Our district’s natural environment is vital to Northern California agriculture and food production. I commend the Center for Land-Based Learning for their excellent land stewardship achievements, which have provided countless benefits to our community,” said Congressman Garamendi, who is a rancher and pear farmer. “It is a pleasure to partner with Mary in her mission to conserve our great outdoors and enhance the quality of life of Northern California residents.”

 “We have been educating high schools about conservation on private and public lands for 20 years in the Sacramento region as far north as Colusa and as far south as Vallejo,” said Mary Kimball. “We have improved the ecosystem and habitat for our wild life. 23% of our students are going into careers that involve agriculture and environmental science.”

Located in Winters, California, Center for Land-Based Learning is dedicated to the future generation of land stewards through their SLEWS (Student and Landowner Education and Watershed Stewardship) programs. Since 2001, SLEWS has engaged local high school classes in habitat restoration with farmers, ranchers, and resource professionals.

“Students have improved more than 1,000 acres of habitat in the nearby national wildlife refuges and private lands. In addition, the partnership has reached over 5,000 high school students.” Kimball said.

She added, “This award recognizes the Center for Land-Based Learning and all of our partners: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Audubon California, USDA-NRCS, California Waterfowl Association, and many Resource Conservation Districts, high schools, teachers, and students.”

More information about Center for Land-Based Learning is available at

For organizations and schools interested in creating their own SLEWS program more information and applications are available at

Click here to watch video from the ceremony at Interior.