College of Science

Habitat Stewardship Project, Monterey Bay Volunteer

Group Volunteer Projects

Is your corporate or employee group looking for a way to give back to the local community and the environment while visiting the Monterey Bay area? Contact us today to set up a fulfilling outdoor experience for your employee group!

The Cycle of Restoration

The service activities that we coordinate are dependent upon the time of year as it correlates to our seasonal rainfall and native plants’ life cycles.

  • December to March - Restoration Planting - Transplanting plants from our greenhouses out to our various restoration sites.
  • April to November - Seeds and Weeds - Collecting native seeds in the field and removing invasive weeds from restoration sites.
  • August to November - Greenhouse Propagation - Sowing seeds in our greenhouse area at the Watershed Institute of CSU Monterey Bay.
  • Year round - Watershed Cleanup - Cleaning up trash and debris alongside water bodies in Salinas’ urban parks.


Our programs run between 2 and 3 hours plus time for transportation to site (an hour of service, an educational component, and a second service session). Volunteer groups are responsible for their own transportation. We provide all of the necessary tools as well as light snacks and water. Groups are encouraged to bring brown bag lunches to enjoy on site. We can accommodate groups of 10 to 50 people.


Return of the Natives is a 501(c)3 registered non-profit that relies on donations and grants for all of our programs. We require a tax-deductible donation (minimum $300). Why pay to volunteer? Our programs offer similar benefits to those of more traditional team-building exercises, with added benefits to the environment, local communities, and employee participants. Participation in our programs provides a great opportunity for photos and videos of your employees volunteering, a wonderful public relations opportunity. In addition, donations support our educational school programs which are offered to many area schools at no cost to the schools.

*Donations are not necessary for small groups (under 25 people) who join one of our community events, larger groups attending a community event are required to make a donation to cover the cost of supplies. Please contact Lindsey Ochoa at 831.582.3686 or to RSVP for a community event.

Employee Groups That Have Volunteered With Us

  • REI
  • Target
  • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
  • HSBC
  • Home Depot
  • Whole Foods
  • BJ's Restaurants-Salinas

Check out photos of our restoration programs!

Environmental Benefits of Restoration

  • Provide food and shelter for native wildlife to thrive and protect endangered species
  • Prevent erosion in fragile areas
  • Filter pollutants and sediments out of storm water and agricultural runoff to improve water quality in creeks, rivers, lakes, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
  • Beautify urban parks and natural areas

Benefits to Employee Groups and Businesses

  • Volunteering shows your business’ or corporation’s commitment to community and the environment
  • Employees get to spend time outside and reconnect to nature in beautiful locations
  • Projects are fun and strengthen employee relationships while fostering collaboration and team-building
  • Employees learn about CA native plants, wildlife, and local environmental issues

Contact us to get started

Please fill out the above application and return to Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, Lindsey Ochoa, to plan an unforgettable experience for your employee group to restore critical areas of the environments of the Monterey Bay area!

Lindsey Ochoa, Volunteer and Outreach Fellow