Helping Hands – Butte Environmental Council


Give the gift that keeps on giving. The Butte Environmental Council (BEC) has been helping give a voice to Mother Nature for 40 years. Started in 1975 by young, visionary college students, BEC addresses threats to the local environment and focuses on finding solutions to these problems. From starting Chico’s first recycling center and curbside recycling service to facilitating community gardens, all of the efforts of BEC center on their ultimate mission − to protect and defend the trees, water, land and air of Butte County. 

art-1215-bec3BEC heavily relies on environmentally conscious community members to help carry out their endeavors. Each year clean-up events at Bidwell Park and Chico Creek see 500 volunteers helping to remove 20,000 pounds of trash, while the planting of more than 200 oak trees in Upper Bidwell Park couldn’t have been completed without the assistance of community groups and youth programs.

While the participation of community members is imperative to BEC, locals of all ages have a lot to gain from the organization. For example, BEC maintains two community gardens in Chico − one on Humboldt Road and the other on Oak Way − where families enjoy being part of a special community by renting a garden plot, growing food and learning gardening skills.

Community education is another component of BEC’s mission. To create a more sustainable future, kids − and adults − need to learn related skills, such as how to install rain barrels, remove lawns for water conservation, save energy or water at home, and learn the ins and outs of recycling. “When we interact with the kids, they get it, they understand why it’s important to protect the environment,” Executive Director Robyn DiFalco shares. “If we can teach the children, they will get it right when they grow up to be the decision makers.”

Whether they are participating as part of their scout troops, church groups, homeschool groups or even in a Butte County classroom, BEC gives kids a chance to become stewards of our environment and our community. From making an endangered animal puppet in class to joining the parade for the annual Endangered Species Faire, there is no shortage of ways North State families can contribute to BEC’s mission.  


Nora Tarte
About Nora Tarte

Nora Heston Tarte: “With a very active 2-year-old at home, I spend more time than most adults singing, dancing and clapping, but am I doing it in rhythm? Probably not. Maybe I should drop in on a class at Butteville!”

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