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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Environmental Volunteers, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Environment, Environmental Education, Philanthropy, Voluntarism Promotion

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: 480 classroom programs and field trips each year, serving 10,000 local children in schools and 5,000 people of all ages at the EcoCenter in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve.

Community Stories

70 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I served as a board member for 6 years and am an ongoing donor. The EV is constantly reviewing their environmental education programs for kids to update and improve the materials and information. Now that the EV is in its Baylands home they use the gorgeous facility to inspire people in even more ways. I can learn about grey fox habits or enjoy an afternoon of opera surrounded by nature's beauty. The people who make up the heart and soul of the EV are down-to-earth wonderful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an elementary school teach, I had used EV programs in my classrooms. I had always been an advocate for involving young children more deeply in hands-on, basic science experiences — young kids eat this up. There is a great need to have these interests piqued early so they can begin to understand and see the beauty in the world around them and understand the basic stuff they will need to make intelligent decisions.

After retiring, the EVs seemed like a perfect place to continue carrying on something I loved. Now, looking back over more than 20 years of EV classroom visits & field trips, I know I could not have made a better choice.

Not to be overlooked is the wonderful community of many dedicated volunteers I have met, worked, and played with over these years. This has been a most remarkable, satisfying experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a child, I clearly remember the Environmental Volunteers (EV) coming to my school and doing a program with my class. The program involved creating a food web with a ball of yarn and finger puppets that represented each of the animals in the web. When the web was complete, the volunteer pulled on the web to show how each species is connect to and affects the rest. Today, I am a volunteer with the EV and do this same activity with students in local schools. I feel very fortunate to get the chance to connect kids to nature in the fun, engaging, and memorable ways that the EV provide.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The EV organization is what every nonprofit should strive to be - effective, well-run, of highest integrity and a beloved pillar in the communities it serves. I've been a volunteer docent and a supporter for years and am reminded at every point of coming in contact what a decent, dedicated group this is. I'm always delighted to tell people about the EV's and their tireless, critially important work in teaching kids about science, the environment and conservation -- something they simply do not get otherwise in school.

Donor

Rating: 5

My daughter introduced us to EV. She was a 4th grade teacher at Oak Knoll School. Michelle's classes enjoyed bird watching among other experiences. The people of EV are committed to teaching children about their environment through field trips, classroom visits and many other outdoor opportunities. EV offers schools a wonderful means to enrich their own science programs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Environmental Volunteers is an incredible organization that provides thousands of children every year with an incredible hands-on learning experience. I have never seen a kindergartener more engaged than when digging for microorganisms in bayland mud or a third grader when drilling holes in clam shells with an Ohlone pump drill. There is nothing more personally rewarding for me than inspiring a genuine passion for the natural world in young hearts and minds. In a perfect world, every child would enjoy the wonders that EV has to offer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Many years ago as a classroom teacher, I thoroughly enjoyed having the EV bring hands on activities for my students followed by a coordinated and meaningful field trip. Now as a retired science educator, I love the opportunity to be a volunteer myself sharing my enthusiasm for the natural world with children. Given that there is little time in the elementary classroom day for science, I believe that the EV experiences are so important for young learners. It’s especially valuable that the EV kits/lessons are coordinated to the California State Science Standards by grade level so that students glean a deeper understanding of what is in their curriculum.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with EV for almost 20 years. I've stuck with it because I believe in the mission and I enjoy the experience. Although I am a native Californian, I have learned a lot about our environment from participating with EV. It has an excellent training program and offers wonderful enrichment activities to its volunteers. I like doing the hands-on activities with the children in their classrooms and I love taking them on hikes. I recommend EV to anyone who cares about the environment and is able to donate or volunteer.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer docent with and donor to Environmental Volunteers (EV) for almost 15 years. Additionally, I was a member of its board of trustees for six years. I enjoy doing the hands-on natural science activities with the students in their classrooms and taking students on hikes. The EV organization supports me with training and enrichment activities, makes me feel appreciated and provides a structure for volunteering that works efficiently with my availability and interests.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Environmental Volunteers has a great training program for its volunteers... I learned so much about our local environment, and how to share it with kids that I felt confident and well-supported when I started leading field trips. The trips are fun, the kids full of surprises and (mostly) eager to learn. It's been a great experience for me.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization. Even people without either a teaching or a science background can help teachers in the local area provided critical nature and science education. The EV's training program is excellent. Not only do you get a chance to further nature and science education in the schools, but you also get the opportunity to learn about these subjects. As a retiree who has been a volunteer with the organization since 2007, I truly love the chance I have been given to learn about things I never had a chance to learn when I was in elementary school. The children so appreciate our efforts that it really makes you feel like you are making a difference. As a side benefit, the knowledge I have gained has helped me bring nature experiences to my own grandchildren.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been with Environmental Volunteers for two years. I am thoroughly enjoying the experience because I see how much the children Enjoy and Learn from our efforts. Plus, it's a pleasure working with children. I do a short ten minute or so introduction on the subject we will be teaching. All of the kits are a hands on experience for the children. For example, the younger kids love the marine skulls and bird skins. The older kids learn about earthquakes or energy and natural resources. The teachers choose which subjects and kits they want to have us present to their class. I feel we do a lot to support the children's learning experience.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Environmental Volunteers come to our school and give nature programs to the different grade levels. First graders receive education about birds. One center covers types of feathers, another types of eggs, and another types of beaks. The children are able to handle materials and learn specific information about animals operating in the food chain. When students are deprived of so much sensory education during these testing times, Environmental Volunteers bring back happiness and fun to education. Thank you!

Margot

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported the EV as a donor, board member and volunteer for nearly 25 years and marveled at the way they have grown and responded to the changing needs of the environmental world and children with improved teaching and technology. The new Eco Center is very exciting and I am proud to be a supporter.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I served as a classroom docent for this fabulous nonprofit for almost ten years before returning to full time paid work. Teaching young children about the water cycle, tectonic plates or bird bills was very rewarding and helped to maintain my faith in the Socratic style of teaching. I then served on the board of trustees and discovered that the EV was also incredibly well-run as well as having passionate volunteers. Great place to put your time and your money.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a great organization to join as a volunteer. The subject matter is interesting and the other volunteers are great people. Visiting classrooms is a blast as the kids are always enthusiastic. I was really impressed by the training and support for new volunteers.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an environmental education consultant, I worked with many nonprofit organizations in this field. Very few reach the caliber of the EVs on any, let alone every, count.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with EV for three years. It was amazing to see the children in the classroom light up when then understood the concept we were teaching to them. I suspect the hands-on learning will remain with them for a long time. Even if only a few of the students become environmentally aware, they will help make the world a better place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the EV organization a couple of years ago and try to spend one morning a month in the classroom. The children K-6 are amazing. They ask so many questions and learn by experience. Whether it's learning about earthquakes, birds or nature in their neighborhood they learn by doing. The organization has the tools to support learning by both adults who provide the service and also the children who are so inquisitive.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Scatman sez this about that: I have volunteered for the Ev for 23 years now as a service provider, field trip leader, board member, committee member and volunteer trainer. It is an extremely well run organization that provides hands-on environmental education to thousands of elementary school students yearly. I am proud to be a member of this group and hope to continue my activities with them for another decade or more.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an EV for many years. I find that the organization is extremely well run & very professional. Not only have I gains personally from my EV experiences but most important, the population receiving our services has gained & continues to gain tremendously. Words are inadequate to express the innumeral benefits from this group!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

EV came to teach my daughter's girls scout troop about local wildlife. Based on that hands-on experience we signed up for EV's summer camp. All these fun experiences support my children's appreciation for the habitats that are important for us to protect and preserve.