Environmental Volunteers, Inc.

Rating: 4.84 stars   70 reviews

Issues: Education, Environment, Philanthropy

Location: 2560 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto CA 94303 USA

Mission: To promote the understanding of and responsibility for the environment through hands-on science education.
Target demographics: inspire a love of science and nature.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000 people.
Geographic areas served: San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties
Programs: 500 classroom programs and 125 field trips each year, serving 10,000 local children in schools and 5,000 people at the EcoCenter in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-2550385
650-493-8000
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

The EV is an awesome organization! I joined in 1977, and have been a volunteer, former paid staff, former team member of volunteer education. My fellow volunteers are like extended family and we always feel appreciated. Connecting children to their environment is imperative so that they will want to sustain it, and will want to go out and enjoy it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own natural science growth, and being able to teach my own children.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The service delivery is on a cyclic school year and I have seen many (both) small and large changes over 33 years. Having a permanent, rent free, office space would be a great.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting out into nature with children. I've enjoyed being with fellow volunteers who bring their own knowledge base to the table, and, in turn, enrich my life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

over the top wonderful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

connect even more children to the wonders of the natural word around them. It would make them better well rounded adults, and show them that there's a constant, accessible place they can go to recharge!

Ways to make it better...

the EV had 10 million bucks to underwrite every school service and to recruit new volunteers.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

maintaining a volunteer work force that's big enough to meet the demand for services we receive from teachers.

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Working with the EV, I have visited school classrooms with hands-on science materials and followed up with field trips to a local area, such as the San Francisco Baylands or the foothills. We have tasted pickleweed and looked at animal scat to learn more about our natural surroundings. Volunteering with the EV for 30+ years, leading school trips, working in the office, and helping with fundraisers, has been an inspirational and fulfilling experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The smiles of children as they experience nature firsthand.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with wonderful volunteers, as well as being involved with young people who were enjoying learning about nature.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

interesting, dedicated, and inspiring.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

The training program to become an EV was extremely well organized an informational. Even as an avid naturalist I learned more about the bay area, and renewed my excitement for sharing this information with others. The classroom services generate interest and excitement in the kids, and the team of volunteers are reliable and generous with their time.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the eyes of kids light up when they learn about a new bird, see habitats for the first time, and explore the unknown natural world.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The ability to connect with kids over a topic that I am personally very passionate about.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Generous. Detailed. Knowledgeable.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I participate with other volunteers in leading hands-on sessions designed to enrich elementary students' understanding of environmental and science related subjects, such as earthquakes and the carbon cycle. Many of the sessions are followed in subsequent days by field trips to sites that exemplify the subjects discussed, such as the baylands, earthquake fault zones and tidal zones. The organization provides outstanding support to volunteers, including training and monthly meetings with enrichment presentations. No expertise in science is expected (although welcome!); no experience in teaching is required -- just an appreciation of the environment and a desire to work with kids. Great opportunity; rewarding experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing kids enjoy learning about natural science.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly, dedicated, interesting.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

inspire children in schools across the state, if not throughout the country, to become great stewards of the environment.

Ways to make it better...

the organization had the resources to update and improve their classroom teaching kits more often.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I started volunteering with EV at the end of February. It's a very rewarding experience. Our goal is to teach children about the environment. The teacher chooses which learning stations she wants to have taught. These stations supplement the science education she is teaching her children. I taught owl pellets on Monday. The children loved taking apart the pellets to find out what the owl had eaten. They were amazed at the owl facts. It was wonderful watching their facial expressions. The teacher told us that the class had behavior problems. She was amazed at how engaged they were with all the stations. I've only worked with a couple of kits. I had a hard time keeping the kindergarten kids engaged with the types of feathers kit. I did the bag of junk kit twice and added live things to it the second time. Those were the best items to teach with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated and very happy to be participating in the work of teaching children about the environment.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

This organization leaves you with such upbeat feelings by sharing your knowledge of nature with elementary school kids and working with wonderful caring staff. this is the best non profit organization I have ever been associated with due to the kids, training, other volunteers and staff.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

finish our new home at the Baylands and offer more programs to low income schools.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I am a retired Biologist, and EV gives me a chance to share my life learning while gaining much new skill and information to share. I just spent two days with 50 beautiful second graders and their outstanding teachers. Many of the children thanked me for teaching them about plants and said they know much more plants now. I could tell on our hike that they had retained much from the classroom experience. What joy!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My amazing initial and ongoing training, the friendly and competent support of all staff, positive attitude and help of volunteers, feedback from children and teachers, and a wonderful summer camp experience of my grandson.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

(Not to duplicate other posts:) It could start working seriously on cloning itself throughout California as a beginning...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

While I love having my photography featured in the online store, the best experience is taking photos of the work in the classroom and on field trips. The kids are so absorbed in the class materials and so inquisitive in the field, and they are ably assisted by the excellent docents, who communicate their own enthusiasm and knowledge. My favorite line from a kindergarten student who was encouraged to use his five senses to observe the world:

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the enthusiasm in students for what they are learning.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

how well thought-out and creative the lessons are and how enthusiastically the lessons are presented.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

well-trained, forward-thinking, creative, and dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

finish construction of its educational center, serve many more schools, and expand the networking role it is already undertaking among natural science education groups.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-4-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

This is one of the best organizations I've volunteered for. They provide great training. The staff is very friendly. It was a great learning experience.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the chance to make a difference on the environment.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

Seeing and hearing young children connect with their environment and realize the importance of it is gratifying. It is fun to be that volunteer and to observe this. The EV reach over 10,000 students in the San Mateo and Santa Clara School Districts each year - with volunteer docents who help them discover things about the natural world around them. To help them appreciate and understand our world so that they will become better stewards of our environment. It is a great organization and I've been happy to be a member for over 12 years.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

how the science scores have improved in the schools the EV serves.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being able to get kids excited about science and realizing it can be fun.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

wonderfully dedicated to education and the environment and devoted to the volunteers and the students. It is amazing what a small group of people can accomplish when they are motivated and appreciated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

they could help more California Schools improve their science education and finish restoring the Birge Clark EcoCenter building in Palo Alto which could serve as a showcase for how science and natural science education is important for our sustainability.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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