Environmental Groups – Education



Austin Youth River Watch

10611 Platt Lane

Austin, TX 78725

Melinda Chow (512) 708-9115

E-Mail: riverwatcher@riverwatchers.org

Net:  riverwatchers.org

Facebook: facebook.com/AustinYouthRiverWatch

Purpose: Austin Youth River Watch serves the citizens of Austin by monitoring the quality of 27 sites along Austin area creeks, streams, and rivers, and by performing stream improvement projects throughout the area.  We are empowering primarily underserved youth in our community through our hands-on environmental science program.

Projects/Activities: Austin Youth River Watch works with approximately 120 students at 10 Title 1 high schools each year in our program.  In partnership with the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department, Parks and Recreation Department, and the Austin Water Utility, we engage underserved youth in real-world projects that facilitate learning about science and our community.

Meetings:  Board meets monthly.

Volunteer Opportunities: Stream improvement service projects, ongoing program involvement, event assistance, and special-program involvement. Inquire via our Web site: riverwatchers.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer.

Newsletters/Publications: Sign up for news about us at this link:  http://bit.ly/2bSWCm4


Camp Fire

P.O. Box 303040

Austin, TX 78703

Barbara Dunnam (512) 349-2111

FAX: (512) 220-2360

E-mail: BDunnam@camp-fire.org

Net: camp-fire.org

Facebook: facebook.com/CampFireCentralTexas

Purpose: Camp Fire works to build caring, confident and responsible youth through active learning, outdoor experiences, and service to the community.  Programs such as traditional and outdoor family nature programs, after-school programs, community service-learning activities, and weekend outdoor adventure programs provide kids and adults with an opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of STEM concepts, as well as appreciation and understanding of the environment.  Over 2,400 youth and their families spread over Central Texas benefited from Camp Fire’s award-winning programming in 2016.

Projects/Activities: “Promise to Children Award Luncheon” (annual); “Absolutely Incredible Kids Day.”

Meetings: Traditional Clubs are volunteer led and meet on a regular basis.  After school programs meet throughout CentralTexas and are led by trained program professionals with a passion for the natural world.

Volunteer Opportunities: Administrative and program support. Student interns receive credit.

Newletters/Publications: Smoke Signal, bi-monthly; E-Spark electronic newsletter, quarterly.

Dues: Fees do apply.  All programs include opportunities for scholarships.  Many programs are funded through philanthropic support.


EcoRise Youth Innovations

4900 Gonzales Street

Austin, TX 78702

Gina LaMotte (512) 651-3563

E-mail: info@ecorise.org

Net: ecorise.org

Facebook: facebook.com/EcoRiseYouth

Purpose: EcoRise Youth Innovations inspires a new generation of leaders to design a sustainable future for all.  Our school-based program empowers youth to tackle real-world challenges in their schools and communities by teaching sustainability, design innovation, and social entrepreneurship.

Projects/Activities: In our program, K-12 students in public, private and charter schools across Texas and beyond learn eco-literacy and design skills to green their own school or invent solutions for sustainability.  We emphasize the 21st century skills and technology literacy needed to be successful in college and the workforce.  EcoRise also provides project funding, professional development for teachers, and green design professional contacts to act as classroom mentors – offering exposure and experience in promising career options in the fields of design and sustainable technology.

We sponsor an annual “Citywide Eco-Audit Showcase” at Austin City Hall in May.

Volunteer Opportunities: We rely on volunteer architects, green builders, scientists, and green business leaders to inspire and direct our students at special points in our program.  Volunteers serve as judges for our student competition.  We also welcome those who’d like to help dig, build, construct, paint, and more for school-based projects.


Texas Conservation Corps

1901 E. Ben White Blvd.

Austin, TX 78741

Jody Karr: (512) 983-9946

FAX:  (512) 692-0769

E-mail:  jkarr@americanyouthworks.org

Net:  americanyouthworks.org

Purpose: The Texas Conservation Corps (TxCC) is a green jobs training and service program at American YouthWorks that allows youth and young adults (ages 15-28) to build and restore the natural environment through habitat restoration, forestry, disaster response, and parks and trails projects throughout the state of Texas and adjacent states.  As an AmeriCorps program, TxCC integrates young adults from throughout the nation with local youth in a crew-based environment to foster a transformative learning experience for all participants.  AmeriCorps members in this program complete environmental service projects and learn conservation job skills while receiving a living allowance, college scholarship award, and loan forbearance.

Projects/Activities: Conservation, Habitat Restoration, Park Improvement, Trail Building, Environmental Education, Disaster Response, Community Building.

Crew orientations generally occur each January and June and terms last for 6-month or 11-month sessions.

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