Caroline Bartolome, Program and Education Manager for the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), is a key player in the County’s partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric to promote energy efficiency through education and outreach.
DPR is involved in the Energy Initiative Partnership Program (EIPP). Designed to inform San Diegans about their energy consumption and to share energy-saving tips, EIPP activities reach audiences of all ages and interests through 70 community events a year. Bartolome’s event calendar spans the entire county, featuring a mix of public workshops, town hall meetings, fairs, festivals and field trips.
Her background in kinesiology, coupled with her fluency in California State Science Standards, provides Bartolome a unique perspective – one that she has used to launch a program for teens that relays energy efficiency messages through exercise, activism and volunteerism. The program is called Energy Saving Adventures and it’s a pinnacle of programming at the Lakeside and Spring Valley teen centers.
“Science powers everything,” said Bartolome. “It helps us understand how physical activity affects our health, and how personal habits affect the natural world.”
Bartolome supports other teen-centric programs like Nature Explorers, focused on sustainability and outdoor recreation, along with special projects like “Join Our CommunitEE – 30 Actions to Energy Efficiency,” which posed everyday challenges to 84 teens, resulting in 396 behavioral changes, such as reusing homework paper or composting food scraps, in 2017.
The Energy Initiative Partnership Program is keeping pace with the sustainability industry, Next Generation Science Standards, and Science-Technology-Engineering-Art-Math (STEAM) curriculum. As a result, Bartolome's role has evolved quite a bit since she first embarked on this adventure seven years ago.
“We revamped our messages for 2018; we have new partners and we’re looking at ways to reach new audiences,” Bartolome said.
She is especially excited about an innovative “Women in Recreation and Energy Series” that provides leadership and collaboration opportunities to eco-friendly, tech-savvy girls.
Bartolome juggles a lot, but the work pays off. The programs she’s involved with have been recognized at the local, state and national level, earning seven awards and several speaking opportunities.
To learn more about Energy Saving Adventures, Nature Explorers, and other environmental or energy-efficiency programs offered by DPR, visit sdparks.org.
Caroline Bartolome, left, with team members at a community outreach event.