Environmental Volunteers Selected as Recipient of $200,000 Game Changer Grant by Super Bowl 50 Host Committee; Grant to Support the Environmental Volunteers’ Transportation Fund

Media Contact:
Kristi Moos
Marketing and Communications Director
(650) 493-8000 ext. 340; Kristi@EVols.org

For Immediate Release:

Environmental Volunteers Selected as Recipient of $200,000 Game Changer Grant by Super Bowl 50 Host Committee; Grant to Support the Environmental Volunteers’ Transportation Fund

Palo Alto, California (January 27, 2016) —

Environmental Volunteers (http://www.EVols.org), a leading provider of environmental science education programs in Santa Clara and San Mateo County, has been selected by the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee as one of nine bay area nonprofit organizations to receive a $200,000 grant to provide greater access for low-income students to connect to the environment and become better stewards of the natural world.

The 50 Fund, the legacy fund of the San Francisco Bay Area Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, announced the recipients of $2 million in Game Changer grants. The Environmental Volunteers and three other grantees in the Sustainable Environments focus area also have the chance to receive a share of an additional $200,000 that will be decided by fans who pledge to participate in the Host Committee’s Play Your Part campaign to reward ‘net positive’ behavior (e.g. reducing energy consumption, recycling, etc.).

The Environmental Volunteers’ $200,000 grant will support the organization’s Transportation Fund. Through the Transportation Fund, the Environmental Volunteers provides affordable, easy-to-schedule, efficient and safe transportation for low-income youth (K-12) in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates access to science and environmental education field trips. The Game Changer grant will expand the Transportation Fund’s reach with an additional 340 buses, sending over 13,000 more students on field trips.

The Environmental Volunteers launched the Transportation Fund in 2011 through a generous grant from the Environmental Education Funders Consortium. Since its inception, the fund has sponsored over 500 field trip buses that transported over 23,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Christine Thalls, Education Programs Manager at the Environmental Volunteers, serves as project manager of the Transportation Fund. “After working with many low-income schools, I have come to realize how difficult transportation can be for teachers and their students,” Thalls says. “Without the Transportation Fund, many field trips wouldn’t happen due to lack of funding. With this grant, so many more students will be able to visit tidepools for the first time; travel on a research boat on the bay, and visit local farms to learn about sustainable agriculture. Working with our collaboration partners, the Transportation Fund allows us to expand our mission to serve students throughout the bay area who would otherwise be unable to take part in environmental education.”

“The 50 Fund Game Changer program is all about placing big bets on organizations that are making a profound difference in the lives of our young people and in the places where they live, learn and play,” says Keith Bruce, CEO of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee. “These grants are an opportunity for us to make a statement, in the week before our region is on display to the world, that we are ‘community first’ in our approach to redefine what this world-class event can mean to the hosting city or region.”

The 50 Fund’s Game Changer program is 50 Fund’s flagship competitive grants program that has already awarded $2.5 million to Bay Area nonprofits. The program rewards well-run, effective, and scalable initiatives that have evidence of impact. For this final Game Changer round, 50 Fund looked for Bay Area nonprofits that were strengthening the local community through both their infrastructure and through collaborations and also by connecting youth to the natural resources that surround them.

Founded in 1972, the Environmental Volunteers is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to promote the understanding of and responsibility for the environment through hands-on science education. Trained staff and docents from the Environmental Volunteers inspire a love of the natural world through classroom programs, field trips, summer camps, and at the EcoCenter in the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. More than 300,000 children and adults have explored local ecosystems with the Environmental Volunteers. Annually, the Environmental Volunteers serves 10,000 students in schools and 5,000 visitors to the EcoCenter. Visit www.EVols.org.