June News

June 13, 2019

The school year has wrapped up and it has been another great year. Here at the EcoCenter, we get excited as our last school program volunteer spots fill up and we reach the end of the school year without having to cancel any programs.

Our year by the numbers

Children dissecting squid in the Marine Adaptations program

This year we taught 412 programs in 52 schools. That adds up to 7159 students who stretched their curiosity, touched materials, and played educational games. These students explored local ecosystems and environmental science in a hands-on way.


We led 119 Field trips where kids got to see the classroom material outside, in real life. They got to connect with nature and smell the fresh air. They were able to touch plants, find snakes or explore tide pools.

Many of our volunteers put in a lot of hours, but Sue So and Diane McCoy participated in 94 and 70 services respectively. This year we had to design a new patch to recognize the volunteers who have been with us for 45 years. The passion our volunteers have for school programs and our mission is clear.

Summer at the EV

We graduated 40 new school program volunteers and EcoCenter docents during the school year. Now that it is summer, the volunteers are planning summer outings to stay connected to the community. They enjoy sharing their expertise and passion with other volunteers. They are going places like Jasper Ridge, Foothills Park and are leading activities such as paper making.


Summer is a time for hiking, camping, and enjoying lakes and streams. As with any activity, indoors or out, being safe is important. Here is a link to an outdoor safety guide so your time outside is as enjoyable as possible…


Recognizing our Supporters

Environmental Volunteers is grateful for the many loyal and active supporters who continue to make it possible bring school programs into classrooms in San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. 

Ward and Mary Paine and Mike and Ellen Turbow, who have been dedicated supporters of the EV, were recognized by Avenidas, a senior serving non-profit, and the Palo Alto Weekly! Both of these couples have had an incredible impact on the social justice and environmental conservation movements in the Bay Area. Environmental Volunteers has been extremely lucky to count them amongst their supporters.

Mary Paine helped found the Environmental Volunteers in 1972. She led the capital campaign to restore the old sea scout building which is now the EcoCenter and headquarters of the Environmental Volunteers. In addition, Ward and Mary Paine were instrumental in developing the Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST). POST has restored hundreds of acres of wetland in the Bay with the help of the Woodside-Atherton Garden Club and pioneers in the conservation movement in the Bay Area.

Mike and Ellen Turbow have volunteered their time to help those making end of life decisions and those with disabilities. Mike Turbow helped establish Pathways Hospice while Ellen spent many years on the boards of organizations such as Children’s Health Council and Abilities United.

Ellen was recruited to the board of the EV in 2010 and became a School Programs Volunteer at the same time. Mike Turbow joined her in volunteering in classrooms several years later. Ellen Turbow helped lead the capital campaign for the restoration of the Sea Scout building. 

Read the Palo Alto Weekly article honoring these couples here