Executive Director, Allan Berkowitz, leaving post at Environmental Volunteers

Executive Director, Allan Berkowitz, leaving post at Environmental Volunteers

PALO ALTO, California (May 22, 2017)— Allan Berkowitz, Executive Director of Environmental Volunteers, is leaving the position as of June 30, 2017.

Berkowitz has held the post for the past seventeen years.

Under Berkowitz’s tenure, Environmental Volunteers received the Tall Tree Award and the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, and the organization doubled its budget and increased the number of learners served by 50%.

In 2012, Berkowitz was honored with a Kiwanis Angel Award, a community service award given annually to an individual in the Palo Alto area who has had a significant, positive impact on children and youth in the community and beyond.

Berkowitz’s accomplishments at the Environmental Volunteers include:

  • The renovation of the iconic Sea Scout Base, which had fallen into disrepair, paving the way for the transformation of the building into the EcoCenter, a state-of-the-art public nature center in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve.
  • Invention and implementation of a new delivery model for science education, the Collaboration Model. The Collaboration consortium of organizations, educators, and funders follows a cutting-edge approach to deliver multiple, coordinated programs of science and environmental education. Collectively, the Collaboration delivers more hours of science instruction to classrooms than any one organization has the capacity to provide.
  • Facilitation of the Transportation Fund, which underwrites the cost of bus transportation for low-income bay area schools to attend science and environment-related field trips throughout the 9 bay area counties. To date, (since spring 2011) the Transportation Fund has sponsored 42,345 students, 1,036 busses, and 684 field trips.

Berkowitz took the helm as executive director in 2000.

Berkowitz’s accomplishments are summarized by Lisa Downey, Program Officer of Environment and Stewardship at Morgan Family Foundation:

“In his 17+ years at the helm of the Environmental Volunteers, Allan has led the organization through a series of shifts and improvements. Many of these, like reimagining an abandoned bayside building as an EcoCenter, and strengthening stewardship practices among youth through in-school programming, have helped prepare students to protect California’s resources. Equally importantly, Allan has been a trusted and respected co-collaborator who generously shared his broad knowledge with emerging leaders, and who spearheaded large-scale, multi-agency projects. The strong working partnerships he has forged have benefitted the entire field of Environmental Education in the Bay Area.”

The Board of Directors at Environmental Volunteers releases this statement:

“The Board of Directors would like to announce, effective June 30, 2017, our Executive Director of the past 17 years, Allan Berkowitz will be moving on to pursue new opportunities. On behalf of the Environmental Volunteers community, we would like to extend our deepest thanks to Allan for his hard work, dedication, and leadership. Allan has led our organization to new heights, educating and inspiring 10,000 students every year as well as welcoming 5,000 visitors to the EcoCenter.

Berkowitz has been an important leader for environmental education in the greater Silicon Valley community. Under Allan’s leadership, Environmental Volunteers grew from occupying a small office space on East Bayshore Road, to establishing a vibrant nature center in the revived, historic building, which now offers a lively schedule of public programs, exhibits, and a popular art gallery.

It is due to Berkowitz’s leadership that the community now has the EcoCenter, a community gathering space that will continue to teach, inspire, and engage for generations to come. Environmental Volunteers has continued and will continue to thrive, thanks to Allan’s commitment to our mission.”

Environmental Volunteers was established in 1972 when a group of local mothers, alarmed by impacts to the San Francisco Bay, joined together to form a working group dedicated to teaching local elementary students about the environment. In 1975, Environmental Volunteers was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Today, the organization is comprised of 8 staff and over 100 volunteers, and provides training and support to volunteers who lead Environmental Volunteers programs in over 50 local schools annually and at the EcoCenter.

A search is currently underway for an interim executive director. Thereafter, the Board of Directors will launch a search for a permanent executive director.

For Press Inquiries, please contact: Communications@EVols.org or (650) 493-8000 ext. 340.