About us

Carquinez Regional Environmental Education Center

CREEC is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public interest charity incorporated in 1995.

CREEC Greenhouse

Annual Statistics

Plant Sales


Our Mission

CREEC's role is to effect wildlife habitat enhancement and maintenance and restoration projects in the communities and open lands surrounding the Carquinez Strait, one of California's most significant wildlife migratory corridors. CREEC aims to restore and conserve the area's natural resources through cooperative, constructive, and mutually beneficial partnerships with the industries, families, and agencies that live and work along the Strait.

The CREEC Youth Program

The CREEC Youth Program is dedicated to environmental improvement in the Carquinez Strait region. Students participate in habitat restoration, native and butterfly plant propagation, and plant care. Participants earn a stipend for their participation after completing ten volunteer hours. Tasks are designed to create a hands-on learning experience in environmental restoration, basic horticulture, environmental science, nonprofit management, and basic work skills.

CREEC History

CREEC was co-founded by Frances Dahl and David J. Hicks in 1995. Beginning in 1996, CREEC ran the annual Martinez-based Scene of the Strait art event as its fundraiser for twenty years. The CREEC Youth Program started in 1998 and initially included five students for a ten-week summer project. It expanded to a year-round opportunity for youth to earn a stipend while they learn by improving the surrounding community and open space.

CREEC Board of Directors

Board Meetings are held monthly (every second Thursday) on Zoom at 7pm. If you would like to join a meeting or are interested in becoming a board member, contact us (see below).

Susanna Van Greunen

President. She has been involved with CREEC since she responded to a Facebook post looking for board members in 2017. She was new to Crockett at the time, and since she loves gardening and working with children, she thought CREEC was the perfect opportunity to get involved in serving the community. Susanna’s background is in IT—specifically, Quality Assurance and Technical Product Management on native apps. She is changing careers to be an Emotion Code and Body Code practitioner who does energy healing.

Nancy Hawthorne

Secretary. Her history with CREEC goes back to the beginning of the organization when she volunteered at the Scene on the Strait art show fundraiser. She is a retired educator who worked with students in grades K-8. She loves the idea of educating children in ways that encourage them to become actively committed to improving their local environment. Nancy also volunteers for the Red Cross and raises puppies for Guide Dogs of America.

Dean G. Kelch

Treasurer. He is a long-term resident of Crockett who has been involved with CREEC for 20 years. In his varied career, he has always worked with plants, both wild and cultivated. As a researcher and lecturer at U.C. Berkeley, he co-authored the paper Flora of the Carquinez Strait Region, Contra Costa and Solano Counties, California. Dean has served as Director of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, State Noxious Weed Coordinator, Primary State Botanist, and President of the California Botanical Society. Currently, he is a Program Manager with the California Department of Food & Agriculture.

Anamarie Avila Farias

Proud to be a lifelong, third-generation Contra Costa County resident. She is a former Councilmember for the City of Martinez. In her professional role, she has contributed over 25 years of public service, policy work, and community leadership. Anamarie is a dedicated public servant who has worked in several local government housing agencies administering Affordable Housing and Community Development programs. She is a gubernatorial appointee of Jerry G. Brown, Jr. and currently serves on the California Housing Finance Agency’s Board of Directors. Anamarie is actively involved with youth programs and is a current Board Member for the Juvenile Hall Auxiliary of Contra Costa Count

Chris Spinner

A board-certified arborist who has taken on projects such as running a help ticket hotline for a large utility company over a two Bay Area county region, achieved yearly sales in excess of 600k, cut down and pruned a number of trees, performed safety audits on tree and electrical utility contractors in blizzard conditions at times and even helped in the early days of a successful startup.

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Our locations

CREEC Greenhouse

1810 Dowrelio Dr, Crockett, CA 94525

CREEC Donations

P.O. Box 65, Crockett, CA 94525

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