Located right on the tidal flats of Palo Alto, we have a beautiful, natural wood, 750 square foot versatile space for your next meeting or event. With its modern nautical architecture and porthole windows, the center comfortably holds 50 people in lecture seating, 40 around tables, and roughly 75 for a social mixer. Enjoy views of the duck pond from the room or step out onto the deck to see the birds of the Baylands. Available for use with rentals: 50 chairs 6 tables (6’ length) 2 folding tables Speaker’s podium Sink PA System (additional fee applies) There are four parking areas within 100 yards of the building plus handicap spaces next to our wheelchair accessible ramp. This building is the headquarters of Environmental Volunteers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Your rental dollars will support our mission to inspire kids with a love of science and nature. Please note: our staff work in a loft above the rental space. If you require our staff to vacate the loft because you're discussing sensitive materials, we can accommodate that request if you give us enough lead time. In addition, we have 4-5 other staff members who work in a separate area that need to be able to use the bathrooms and kitchenette by the rental space (we are a working nonprofit). While we can be quiet while you're in the building, you may hear a few phone rings and door knocks. Event Set-Up/Breakdown: Event set-up and breakdown time should be included in your rental time. Breakdown must occur immediately after your event and all décor and rental equipment must be removed. We practice 'leave no trace' so please leave the facility how you found it. Caterers: The center has no kitchen facility. There is a sink available for your use. You may use a caterer for your event (please submit a Caterer’s Information form). Caterers can set up a truck in our parking lot for their prep work and/or to heat up food. Recordings: If you plan to record your meeting, our computer server room (which is located next to the rental hall) may create a background hum. We can't turn it off, so just be aware. Note: because we are a working EcoCenter we are unable to completely clear the room. The back of the room along the wall, we have some permanent nature displays that will remain. Also: we are a NON-SMOKING facility (not even outside). History: In the early 1940s, philanthropist Lucie Stern commissioned the building as the future home for the Sea Scouts, an organization committed to enhancing boating skills, water safety, and knowledge of maritime heritage. In 1941, the building opened and the Sea Scouts launched boats onto the Palo Alto harbor, a thriving harbor that once fronted the building. In 1986, the Palo Alto City Council voted to close the harbor and allow the Palo Alto Baylands to restore to their natural state as tidal salt marshes. In 1999, the building received a Preservation Award from the Art Deco Society of California as an outstanding example of art deco style architecture. A few years after, Environmental Volunteers was given the opportunity to embrace the challenge of making it the ultimate recycling and restoration project. After years of permitting and construction, on July 22, 2012, the center opened as the headquarters for the Environmental Volunteers and functions as a public nature center and community education resource. As you enter the building, look for round markers that denote the Green Building features that the EVs incorporated during restoration. These include refurbished siding, flooring, and windows; blue jeans insulation; and soda bottle carpet.
Smoking is not allowed at the facility or on the grounds. Please be mindful that we are in the middle of a nature preserve. Any food left outside will attract critters.
It was a perfect place for our retreat! The facility was very convenient and the facility manager, Arlene was a great help. There were a lot of trails for hiking.
A lovely venue in Palo Alto near the airport. Arlene was responsive and thorough with communications, which was greatly appreciated. The space is on the smaller side, so if you're doing an event for 20-25, it's a great space. Overall, a good experience and would recommend.
Arlene was an amazing host! Communication was a breeze, the location was exceptionally beautiful and our event a big success! Thank you Arlene! We are coming back for sure!