At the Los Angeles Press Club yesterday, Robert Redford and Laura Skandera Trombley, president of Pitzer College, announced to the world the creation of a new conservancy designed to "prepare students to create solutions for the most challenging and urgent sustainability problems today."


Pitzer, a small and prestigious liberal arts college with just over 1,000 students, was one of the first in the country to launch an environmental studies program. With the creation of the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability, the 76-year-old actor is hopeful more can be done to increase environmental action in the region


"I'm really excited about the idea that -- before it's too late for Los Angeles -- that something could be set aside or set up that would not only honor what was and what could still be but also honor the young people coming into the world," he said.


Redford went on to add that the Santa Monica of his childhood was one of copious green spaces and not the "giant machine made up of buildings and concrete and pavement" that it is today. 


"Suddenly I felt that the city I was born in no longer felt that way. It no longer felt like home," he said. "As long as there is an inch of possibility [for conservation efforts] then I think we have to give it everything we have to do something about it," he said.


The new conservancy, which was established with a $10-million gift from the parents of a former student, will reside on 12 acres next to the Claremont college campus. Initial topics to be explored include ethical water and energy use, human and ecosystem health, air and food quality and transportation alternatives in the region.


Classes are expected to start in the fall of 2014. Check out a promo video for the new conservancy below. 


Robert Redford Conservancy from Pitzer College on Vimeo.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Robert Redford unveils new California conservancy
Actor and environmentalist teams up with Pitzer College to launch the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability.