Sacramento Splash

For over 20 years, Splash has provided hands-on environmental education experiences to more than 56,000 students who mirror the racial and socio-economic diversity of Sacramento County. Students are at the heart of Splash's mission: Helping children understand and value our natural world. Each year more than 3,600 Splash students connect with living things -- plants and animals -- in a clean water habitat not far from their homes: the Vernal Pools of Mather Field. Students come prepared after being taught Splash's award-winning curriculum: Life in Our Watershed: Investigating Vernal Pools. Each student becomes an expert on one animal and one plant, and holds clues to uncovering secrets about food webs and ecosystems.

Splash invests in many schools where "The Green Divide" has prevented underserved populations from accessing quality science education and the outdoors. Splash understands core youth development principles and the educational, physical, and emotional value of a place-based education in nature. Our programs help students holistically learn, heal, and advocate for clean water and vibrant ecosystems. Splash supports public school teachers, too, with training and coaching on how to make science standards fun and engaging.

Why? Direct experience in the natural world plays a pivotal role in fostering a generation of environmental stewards who understand how to protect aquatic habitats and prevent stormwater pollution. Climate change cannot be ignored anymore… children like Greta Thunberg are fighting all over the globe to advocate for clean water, healthy air, and wild lands. Access to the great outdoors, recreation, and nature is a child's birthright. Let's help support students with quality science education and opportunities for hands-on learning.

Splash delivers:
- Award-winning watershed curriculum focused on vernal pools for 4th and 5th graders.
- Nearly 200 Splash in the Classroom presentations for elementary students about stormwater pollution prevention annually.
- An annual field trip for over 100 4th and 5th grade classrooms with a 5-year waiting list for new teachers (conducted virtually in 2020-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
- 10 public vernal pool tours to over 1,000 visitors, some led by former Splashers.
- Environmental justice and leadership opportunities for youth and citizen scientists, averaging over 200 hours annually.
- Long-term collaborations and events that connect citizens with nearby nature and engage them in advocacy and stewardship of their watersheds.


Helping children value our natural world, through science education and outdoor exploration.


Splash is planning to update its "Investigating Streams and Water Quality" curriculum and launch an immersive youth environmental leadership camp for 5th & 6th grade students. This program will use tried and true mentoring models to create effective and vibrant natural leaders. Like the Splash curricula, the camp will be rooted in place-based education, oriented around local watersheds.

Implementing a youth-development framework, students will become change-agents who design and implement projects aimed at improving water quality and aquatic habitats. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances appreciation for nature, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens, while exposing them to a myriad of potential career fields involving the nature, science, and community advocacy. These student leaders will engage the following four pillars: Mentorship, Nature and Water Literacy and Connection, Becoming Scientists, and Servant Leadership.

Help Splash deliver our award-winning, Sacramento place-based "Investigating Vernal Pools" program. We are seeking scholarships for 4th and 5th grade public school students to grant 100 elementary classrooms with this valuable experience in 2022. Please help more students than ever connect with the natural world around them instead of concrete structures and video games. $200 provides one student with a full scholarship through the Investigating Vernal Pools program (which includes materials, classroom and teacher support, and the field trip experience to Critterville and the Vernal Pool Prairies) while giving Splash the ability to expand future programs.

Students who experience this program become experts on one vernal pool plant and animal native to our region. They hike through the vernal pool prairies and interact with water, plants, and animals, and use scientific tools, such as microscopes at the Splash Center. During this time, students take moments to stop, observe, notice, wonder, and connect with natural phenomena. They scoop up live invertebrates, crustaceans, and larvae with a cup and realize that even the smallest things are magical and indispensable. Through this nature connection, students develop empathy for all living things. Help us give the gift of magic to 100 elementary classrooms and expand our future programs by raising $100,000 on May 6th, The Big Day of Giving.

Help Splash continue to deliver classroom presentations to elementary schools all over the Sacramento region with our "Splash in the Class" program. Students love learning about their watershed through these interactive, engaging presentations. They discover the importance of our local creeks and rivers in their lives, how some of their everyday activities can cause water pollution, and what they can do to become the solution to pollution! These interactive presentations are designed for grades 3-6 and last about 70 minutes. Splash presenters cover the aquatic food chain and pollution prevention using colorful handouts, posters, videos, and a fun, hands-on experiment. Your gift of $20 will sponsor one student through this program, or $600 for a typical full class. Let's enable more students than ever to experience this great program!

Splash is looking for volunteers to help fulfill our operational needs. If you have experience working with animals, apply to join the team of professional and volunteer critter keepers caring for the native rescue animals living in the Splash Center's "Critterville." Lu-Anne, our staff Critter Keeper is a Vet Tech with decades of experience. She will assist you with feeding, cleaning, and caring for the animals. Candidates should be available at least two hours per week for at least six months. A flexible schedule and willingness to be on-call for emergencies are a plus.

If you're eager to share the magic of vernal pools and engage the public with the natural world, become a Vernal Pool Public Tour Guide! Train to become a co-leader of our public vernal pool tours in March and April. You'll be working with experienced field guides to lead groups of up to 15 people on an educational, interpretive walk through the vernal pool preserve. Extensive training is included and you'll have time to observe and practice sharing information about the natural history, flora and fauna at Mather Field.

Splash is working on building the next 20 years of programming while evaluating the last 20 years of impact. We aim to increase the capacity of our organization by growing our staff to provide our programs to even more classes, expanding our programming and building partnerships with other nonprofits, regionally. We are seeking support to improve program management and delivery, support staff, and better connect with our community of supporters, partners and program participants. This includes field guide hiring, IT staff hiring, web hosting and licensing fees, curriculum updates, promotional video development, and new equipment for programs and staff like microscopes, computers and cameras.

Organization Data


Organization name

Sacramento Splash

Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category


Operating Budget

$500,001-$1 million

Organization Need

Funding: Other, Funding: Program, Volunteers


PO Box 3188
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741


916 364 2437

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