Environmental Volunteers and Sprout Up join forces!

July 14, 2022

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum

Environmental Volunteers (EV) and Sprout Up are excited to announce that we have teamed up to expand access to environmental education across the country! By joining together– something that is rare in the nonprofit space– we can accomplish greater outcomes than either organization could alone. Three years ago, Sprout Up – now celebrating 12 years – joined the EV– now celebrating 50 years– as its largest program. Sprout Up retains its trademarked identity and brand. Sprout Up trains college student volunteers to teach 1st and 2nd grade students, while EV trains volunteers of all ages to teach K-6 students. Our shared mission is to inspire a love for science and the protection of nature. Together we have trained over 4,500 volunteers and reached 545,000 K-6 students.

“This strategic unification has enabled us to achieve big things together. It was exciting to discover two organizations that are both scaling volunteer-driven nature science education. Sprout Up and Environmental Volunteers are a natural fit: coming together has enhanced our ability to reach new volunteers and student communities with exceptional programming.” – Elliott Wright, Executive Director of Environmental Volunteers

Elliott Wright with a few volunteers from our UC Davis Chapter

In these past three years, the EV has supported the Sprout Up team to empower college and University Sprout Up Chapters across the country. Leadership from Sprout Up has joined EV as staff members. Co-founder of Sprout Up, Nick Allen, has also joined the Board of Environmental Volunteers. Shortly after we joined forces, the Covid-19 pandemic began. Rather than shrinking our programs as a response to the pandemic, we rose to the challenge and grew through it. With the support of EV, Sprout Up launched a new program called Sprout Up Explores early during the Covid-19 pandemic. To meet the needs of elementary students who didn’t have access to environmental programming during distance learning, our college student volunteers donated over 600 hours to create 36 videos that have been viewed over 10,000 times on our Youtube Channel; several videos focused on environmental justice and youth activism. At the same time, EV offered 1,237 virtual and outdoor programs.

“The opportunity to join with Environmental Volunteers has allowed us to  increase our impact across many geographies and new communities, including new Sprout Up chapters in the Bay Area. Together, we’ll be able to support our shared vision for education and community engagement.” – Maddie Taylor, National Director of Sprout Up

2022 has seen the welcomed return of our EV and Sprout Up in-person programming. Many of our programs are still happening outdoors, and all programs are masked, but we’ve been delighted by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve gotten from students, teachers and volunteers alike. Thanks to support from EV, Sprout Up has grown our staff and opened new Sprout Up chapters in the Bay Area.

A top priority for the merged organization is to revitalize volunteerism by utilizing the reach and expertise of both organizations. This includes the work Sprout Up is doing with its Chapters, advancing education equity, inclusion, new methods for research to change science education, and new programming.

“The time to reimagine environmental education is now. By bringing together the EV’s local presence in the Bay Area and science education expertise with Sprout Up’s energy and network, we have the chance to make progress in reaching students who otherwise would not get the opportunity, and to expand leadership from new communities of future educators and leaders.” -Elliott Wright

The board of directors of Environmental Volunteers is excited about the success of the outcomes with our combined organization. Teams of staff are now working together to envision our growth over the coming years.  We are welcoming new applicants to start chapters, new gifts of support for our programs, and new partners to join our efforts.

Questions about Sprout Up?

Contact Kendall Post, Director of Sprout Up Growth, at Kendall@Sproutup.org

Questions about EV?

For questions about EV and how to support our work together, contact Elliott Wright, EV Executive Director, at Elliott@environmentalvolunteers.org

Learn More ...

To learn more about Sprout Up and EV’s history, check out our video here.

Environmental Volunteer

The “EV” — is a national leader in environmental work reaching more than 519,000 kids since 1972. We accomplish our award-winning programs through the power of our Volunteers of all ages who offer creative learning adventures in classrooms, local tide-pools, redwood groves, oak-woodlands. The EV operates primarily in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties surrounding our EcoCenter in the Palo Alto Baylands Preserve. We are always training more Volunteers! Join us.

Sprout Up

Sprout Up provides free, youth-led environmental education programs to 1st and 2nd grade classrooms in underrepresented public schools. Located at university chapters, as well as online everywhere through Sprout Up Explores, we strive to promote sustainability throughout our many communities, from the youngest members of society up.