Climate Adaptation is the New Black

Climate and Drought Statement of WildPlaces

Regardless of whether drought and climate change are influenced by humans or is a natural phenomenon, we must face the problem and learn to adapt now or risk further calamity resulting from denial, ignorance, and lack of preparedness.

The lives, economies, limited available water resources of future generations are already at risk and likely will worsen. Adaptation is the rule now and with East Porterville as the epicenter of drought and climate effects in Valley, it is a perfect place for WildPlaces to begin helping.

With 250 media stories since July 2015 showing the drought and poverty, East Porterville alone is home to close to a thousand dry wells and that number increases at a frightening rate. The extreme drought, intensified by a changing climate, has left many with dry wells and NO WATER. Tulare County and several organizations such as the Porterville Area Organizing Committee (PACC) and International Humanitarian Aid Organization donate water and tanks to families, and yet resources are dwindling with increasing aid costs, and no sustainable plan is in site -- the future looks grim.

Tragic as it may seem, this is an opportunity for community and individual empowerment! We as citizens and the grassroots can make knowledgeable and achievable decisions on conserving water and mitigate the effects of climate change on a local (or home watershed) scale.

So what do long-term water solutions look like and what is WildPlaces’ response as a stakeholder in this area?

1. Protect and restore Sierra Nevada Meadows, which are directly correlated with the water quality and quantity of the valley below. Improving the structural habitat of high Sierra meadows is an important task that WildPlaces has helped undertake. Join us in an effort to restore meadows and learn to include the entire watershed within each drop from the home faucet.
2. Since 2008, The Rio Limpio: River Stewardship Program has helped people fall in love with rivers and meadows by leading volunteers in clean-up, graffiti removal, water monitoring events on the Tule.
3. WildPlaces is developing a water conservation guide for the community of East Porterville that, combined with bilingual outreach, describes various tactics homeowners and renters can do to re-use, reduce, and capture water, grow food, and become empowered.
4. Stress climate change awareness into school curriculum with particular emphasis on East Porterville schools. The students of Porterville need to learn about climate change, develop the appropriate adaptation skills, and not remain stagnant or in fear.
5. WildPlaces main office is in east Porterville, a presence there will contribute long into the future.

Donate to our efforts or volunteer for projects that help communities adapt to drought and climate change and that create pride in using less.

Climate Adaptation is the New Black

Declaracion sobre el Cambio Climatico y la Sequia de WildPlaces

Independientemente si la sequia o el cambio climatico han sido influenciados por el ser humano o si es un fenomeno natural, tenemos que enfrentar el problema y aprender a adaptarnos ahora o arriesgarnos a fomentar un desastre o calamidad resultado de la negacion, ignorancia y falta de preparacion.

Las vidas, economias y el limitado recurso del agua para las futuras generaciones, ya estan en riesgo y probablemente, la situacion empeorara. Adaptacion es la regla actual y con East Porterville (Porterville del Este) como el epicentro de la sequia y efectos climaticos en el valle, es un lugar perfecto para que WildPlaces empiece a ayudar.

Con 250 historias en los medios desde Julio del 2015, se ha mostrado la sequia y pobreza. East Porterville por si solo es casa a algo cercano a mil pozos secos, numero que aumenta en una tasa aterradora. La extrema sequia, intensificada por el cambio climatico, ha dejado a muchos con pozos secos y SIN AGUA. El condado de Tulare y varias organizaciones como el Porterville Area Organizing Committee (PACC) y la International Humanitarian Aid Organization donan agua y depositos o cisternas a familias, sin embargo los recursos han menguado (disminuido) con el incremento del costo de asistencia, y no hay un plan sustentable en la mira - El futuro se muestra sombrio.

Tan tragica como parezca, esta es una oportunidad para el fortalecimiento de la comunidad e individual! Nosotros como ciudadanos y como una organizacion comunitaria, podemos tomar decisiones de caracter informativo y viable para la conservacion del agua y mitigar los efectos de cambio climatico en una escala local (o cuenca particular).

Entonces, ¿Como podemos solucionar el problema del agua a largo plazo y cual es la respuesta de WildPlaces como principal interesado en el area?

Proteger y restaurar la Pradera de la Sierra Nevada, misma que esta directamente correlacionada con la cantidad y calidad del agua en el fondo. El mejoramiento del habitat estructural de las altas praderas de la Sierra es una tarea importante que WildPlaces a ayudado a sobrellevar. Unetenos en un esfuerzo por restaurar las praderas y para aprender a inlcuir la totalidad de las cuencas incluyendo cada gota de la llave de casa.
Desde el 2008, El programa Rio Limpio: River Stewardship ha ayudado a gente a enamorarse de los rios y praderas al liderear voluntarios en limpiezas del rio, borrar grafitis y eventos de monitoreo del agua del Rio Tule.
WildPlaces se encuentra desarrollando una guia de conservacion del agua para la comunidad del Este de Porterville que, combinada con la divulgacion bilingue, describe varias tacticas para los dueños de las casas o personas que renten en cuanto a lo que se pueda re-usar, reducir, y capturar el agua, crecer alimentos y empoderarse a si mismo.
Destacar y aumentar la conciencia en el cambio climatico en el curriculum escolar con enfasis especial en escuelas del Este de Porterville. Los estudiantes de Porterville necesitan aprender sobre el cambio climatico, desarrollar habilidades o tecnicas de adaptacion y no permanecer estancado o con miedo.
La Oficina Central de WildPlaces se encuentra en el Este de Porterville, su presencia en dicho lugar seguira contribuyendo en el futuro.
Dona o unete al esfuerzo ademas de ser voluntario en proyectos que ayuden a comunidades a adaptarse a la sequia y el cambio climatico para que nos enorgullezcamos de utilizar menos.

WildPlaces receives Anthony Grassroots Prize 2016


April 27, 2016, Oakland, CA: Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment today announced WildPlaces as the winner of the 2016 Anthony Grassroots Prize, an annual $1,000 Earth Month award recognizing an outstanding example of grassroots environmental stewardship.

Porterville-based WildPlaces serves disadvantaged communities at the intersection of California’s great Central Valley and majestic Southern Sierra. Although the landscape is vast and beautiful, WildPlaces constituents suffer from poverty, high unemployment, disproportionate incarceration, high school drop-out, gangs, drugs, poor water quality, high teen pregnancy, fear of deportation and prejudice, and inadequate access to governmental and health services. But WildPlaces’ small, diverse team of staff and volunteers draws from their own deep spiritual connections to our land, water, and air to help many thousands of students and community members go home at night with a single shared thought – they have taken a meaningful action to protect Nature and the world is a better place for their actions.

WildPlaces was founded 15 years ago by Mehmet McMillan, who drew from his background as an urban forester with Los Angeles nonprofit TreePeople, civil disobedience and campaign experience with Greenpeace and Amazon Watch, and international human dignity work with the Burma Humanitarian Mission. WildPlaces’ fundamental concept revolves around reconnecting the human sprit to Nature. Whether it’s helping remove tens of thousands of pounds of trash from the Tule River through Rio Limpio or a multi-day meadow restoration project in the Wilderness, the disadvantaged youth who participate in WildPlaces’ programs gain a deep understanding of both the value that Nature provides to sustain all of us and the value that we – in turn – must provide back to sustain Nature.

“WildPlaces is involving our next generation in restoring and preserving the special beauty of the Southern Sierra,” said Anthony Prize founder Juliette Anthony. “They provide young people with hands-on experiences to protect Nature now, and they are broadening and strengthening the environmental movement so we can all benefit from Nature tomorrow.”

To learn more about WildPlaces, please visit

ATTENTION: Photographs featuring WildPlaces can be found at:

About the Anthony Grassroots Prize

The Anthony Grassroots Prize was endowed by Juliette Anthony, a lifelong environmental activist who has received wide recognition for her work in protecting the Santa Monica Mountains, banning the toxic gasoline additive MTBE, promoting solar power, and publicizing the negative environmental impacts of ethanol. To learn more about the Anthony Grassroots Prize, please visit

About Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment

Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment supports community-based advocacy to protect the environment and public health through grantmaking and direct service programs. Rose Foundation’s focus includes grassroots activism, watershed protection, environmental justice, and consumer rights. Rose also administers New Voices Are Rising, a youth leadership development and environmental justice advocacy training program. To learn more about Rose Foundation, please visit

Tim Little, Rose Foundation,, 510-658-0702
Mehmet McMillan, WildPlaces,, 760-447-1702
WildPlaces Honored With 15th Annual Anthony Grassroots Prize for Growing Community and Giant Sequoias from the Same Seed


The mission of WildPlaces is to implement collaborative volunteer-driven conservation projects in the Southern Sierra Nevada watershed and its diverse communities. To inspire a reconnection to nature, WildPlaces facilitates personal responsibility through art, culture, activism, and science.

Wanna Be the Change that the World Needs?

Easy. WildPlaces offers a lot of opportunities: volunteer a few hours a week or a month, complete community service hours and court mandated service. You can also intern with us and meet your curriculum requirements.

Maybe you just want to hang with cool people who are changing the world.

Reach us :

Step by our community center at:
466 East Putnam Ave.
Porterville, CA 93257

Program and Event Schedule 2016
**Events Subject to Change. Check in with Oakley or online for changes in schedule. 559.539.5263 --------------------------------------revised 7/20/2016--------------------------------------

May 14th from 2:00pm- May 15th 2:00pm: WildLeaders Training
15 WildPlaces Staff and Volunteer Program Leaders received program specific training on first aid, youth engagement, emergency response, communications, and leadership
May 18th: Rafting/Clean Up on the Kern
WildPlaces and Mountain and River Adventures on the Kern rocked it in rafts of river love.
May 29th from 9:00am-2:00pm: Rio Limpio
Volunteers did the stewardship action on the upper Tule River above Springville. On our 8th year of R
June 25th-26th from 9:00am-2:00pm: Rio Limpio/Kern River Clean Up
Wildfire and heat canceled the event
June 22nd-26th: Outdoor Leadership Training
Held with Los Angeles Wilderness Training (LAWT)
July 3rd from 9:00am-2:00pm: Rio Limpio
A bunch of volunteers knocked the stewardship ball out of the dirty, trashed river and to the clean, cared-for river. Score: Tule to Tule.
July 15th-17th: Jennie Lakes Wilderness
Planned to conduct outreach about nature ethic and decent human behavior, but we got ZERO volunteers. Yeah, we could have tried harder, but if you wanna go, you must reach us too. Reschduled for August. .
July 29th-31st: Long Meadow Restoration with the Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Youth Program.
Our restoration piece of this four-day event will be at 4 p.m. on Saturday 7/30 at Long Meadow. Action to include tree care for past plantings, collect willow cuttings for propagation for use next year, and take a meadow ecology walk with renowned expert, Pedro Garcia of Fresno State. Dolores Huerta Foundation’s Equility Program will bring on the kids. WildPlaces will keep them safe, dry, and alive so they can soak in the various education and direct action sessions.
Only WP’s volunteers who have completed a Live Scan can attend.

August 12th-14th: Jennie Lakes Wilderness
VOLUNTEERS with BACKPACKING EXPERIENCE NEEDED! WildPlaces will go backcountry into JLW to conduct outreach presentations about nature ethic and stewardship in wilderness locations. The Leave No Trace Principles will be explained to wilderness users while also asking for input for better management practices. Difficulty is moderate to difficult. Backpacking skills highly recommended; however, novice backpackers are welcome to attend a workshop in advance to better prepare for this trip. RSVP at and 559.539.5263. Space is limited.
August 25th-27th: Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference
Join us for the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s 22nd annual conference in Nevada City.
August 29th-July 5th: Burning Man with Earth Guardians
Three WildPlaces volunteers will attend the Earth Guardian Camp at Burning Man to volunteer as stewards of the Playa/Black Rock City. This is our fifth year in partnering with Earth Guardians and our away volunteers will return with a few more tools to creatively inspire stewardship and personal responsibility here in our region.
September 17th-18th from 9:00am-2:00pm: Rio Limpio/ Great Sierra River Cleanup
Volunteers invited to join in stewardship action on the upper Tule River above Springville along with over 50 organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada in this California-wide river and coastal stewardship day. Tasks include trash and graffiti removal, trail maintenance, and outreach to other river users. Volunteers to meet at Springville Veterans Park for orientation and safety and then will caravan to high-use spots along the river. Bring sturdy, clos-toed shoes, hat, sunscreen, water bottle, and lunch.
October 22nd: “Reduce, Reuse, ReWild”
WildPlaces will be hosting its end of the year fundraiser with the theme “Reduce, Reuse, ReWild”. Games, Food, Prizes, Silent Auction and more. Stay tuned for details.

November-December (Dates TBD) Sequoia Forest Days Giant Sequoia Tree Planting
Did some say Giant Sequoia planting? As in planning 2,000 years into the future? Join us. Space is limited and the weather will be cold. We are waiting for the first rains to reintroduce seeds that were collected from Belknap Grove by a volunteer from Camp Nelson. They’ve grown up in pots for the past year and now is time for their return into their home stands—very Lord of the Rings. I think the Ents would approve. Check space availability at or 559.539.5263 ______________________________________________________________________
cupy-the-tule-event">Click for Details


Learn about our new program to giant plant trees that can live for thousands of years

Plant a tree

Help Out!

Our program and office funding comes from foundations, grants and membership from folks just like you.

Every Donation Helps!

Our Programs Nuestro Programas

Immersed in the WIld

The Immersed in the Wild Program is one to five-day backcountry and front country trips into the mountains where participants learn leadership skills, nature ethic principles, habitat restoration techniques, culture and culture identity, art , and much more. Our youth return more empowered, renewed, and better prepared to be active witnesses to the issues important to them

Este programa es de uno a cinco dias en el bosque y (front county trips into the mountains) donde los participantes aprenderan (leadership skills, nature ethic principles), tecnicas para restaurar la ecosistema, cultura y la identidad de su cultura, arte, y mucho mas. Nuestros jovenes regresaran sintiendose mas poderoso’s, sintiendose como Nuevo, estar listos para actuar y estar informados en los problemas que les preocupan.

Rio Limpio

Rio Limpio: Tule River Stewardship, Education and Outreach are single and multi-day river stewardship events where volunteers improve water quality, reduce the risk of catastrophic fire events, increase the publics personal responsibility for the river, reduce violence and gang activity, and enjoy the beauty and magic of our rivers.

Rio limpio: cuidando el Rio Tule, Educacion y yendo afuera de lo ordinario con un pojecto de un dia o mas donde los participantes mejoran la cualidad de aqua, redusaran el riesgo de fuego catastrófico, mejorar la resposabilitad personal del publico para quidar el rio, reducir violencia y reducir la actividad de pandillas, y disfrutar la belleza y magia de nuestos ríos.

Sequoia Forest Days

WildPlaces gives Giant Sequoia seedlings to mountain communities above Springville California

WildPlaces les da arboles bebes de Giant Sequoia a comunidades arriva de Springville California.

Oak Propagation

Our native plant nursery located in Springville is a partnership with U.S.F.S. where we propagate and care for hundreds of trees, grasses and shrubs unique to this area. Plant material is used in restoration projects as well as given away to the public for home gardens. Volunteers manage the nursery where Blue and Valley oaks, elderberry, redbud, Giant sequoia, willow, wild rose, ceanothus, and other unique plants thrive throughout the year.

Responsible Growth

WildPlaces tracks and supports city-centered approaches to urban development, protection of oak woodland habitat in rangeland landscapes and county general plans, the use of drought tolerant native plants in home and business landscape plans, public transportation, and other sustainable tactics that create greener and healthier spaces. We take a watershed-wide view of protecting water resources and improving air quality.

River Ridge Ranch: Rangland and Oak Woodlands Restoration Porject

Rangeland often contains viable and recoverable native woodland habitat. By creating a demonstration site where habitat protection is combined with working landscape activities such as farming and cattle grazing, WildPlaces and River Ridge Ranch offers techniques and ideas on how to sustainably manage working landscapes, protect riparian habitat, encourage wildlife presence, and increase the productivity of rangeland habitat.

Service Learning

Meaningful community service for young people to teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities

significante servicios para los jovenes para aprender responsibilitad civico y fortalecer communidades

Springville Nursery

Our native plant nursery located in Springville is a partnership with U.S.F.S. where we propagate and care for hundreds of trees, grasses and shrubs unique to this area. Plant material is used in restoration projects as well as given away to the public for home gardens. Volunteers manage the nursery where Blue and Valley oaks, elderberry, redbud, Giant sequoia, willow, wild rose, ceanothus, and other unique plants thrive throughout the year.