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Sustainable Systems Research Foundation

Organization Mission

The Sustainable Systems Research Foundation is a green think tank based in Santa Cruz. We seek solutions to environmental and sustainability problems that confound communities, require complex technical or social solutions, and address each community’s unique context.

We design, develop, and deploy local programs to achieve sustainability through research, engineering, citizen science, and participatory action. We bring together stakeholders that often have competing interests, capacities, and approaches. We pursue local, replicable and scalable projects and look for ways that a project that is successful at one site can be replicated in other places with adjustments to local conditions.

The Big Idea 2022:
The Sustainable Urban Food Initiative

Are you interested in improved local food production and food security? Would you like to support independent Latinx farmers? The Sustainable Systems Research Foundation is working toward these goals in collaboration with Whiskey Hill Farms in Watsonville. We support small farms with new technologies, promote agriculture that protects and restores natural resources, and champion new Latinx farmers. Project impacts are farms that are more productive per acre, more environmentally sensitive, produce healthier food and promote local food justice.

We have received a US Department of Agriculture grant supporting this project, but that covers only a portion of the cost. Can you help? Funds go directly to training costs, including direct support for farmers.

Interning with SSRF has allowed me to expand my network, improve my research skills, and become a better writer. I've also learned a lot about small-scale agriculture practices by working on their Sustainable Urban Food Initiative, which has helped narrow my career goals.

Mia Alonso, Capitola, age 21

We’re In This Together

Nonprofits are more important that ever in this trying time. Santa Cruz Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Santa Cruz Gives! raised over $1.10 million for 82 local nonprofits in 2021.

SCGives! has now raised and contributed over $36 million dollars since its inception Seven years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful. Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 1,455 donors. We did it, together.

Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November


The 2022 Santa Cruz Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) is due by Tuesday, September 7 and organizations will be notified of their application status Sept. 22-24. Santa Cruz Gives! 2022 campaign kicks off in early November.