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Environmental Education Projects in New York Get Big Boost from EPA; Eleven Projects Throughout the State Receive More than $98,000 in Funding From EPA
Release Date: 07/24/2001
|(#01084) New York, New York - Demonstrating its continuing commitment to education about the importance of a clean environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has funded eleven diverse environmental education projects in New York State. Each year, the Agency helps fund projects that foster an understanding and respect for the environment.
"Even with all the progress we’ve made in cleaning up our environment in the past few decades, the future of our environment still very much depends on the knowledge and skills of individuals and their ability to understand how people interact with the environment," said William J. Muszynski, Acting EPA Regional Administrator. "By getting involved in hands-on projects like these, students of all ages will learn the lesson that we didn’t fully grasp just a few generations ago – that we are inextricably connected to and dependant upon the environment."
EPA’s grant program supports environmental education projects that enhance the public’s awareness, knowledge, and skills, enabling them to make informed decisions that affect environmental quality. Since 1992, EPA has awarded $ 20 million in grants. For more information on EPA’s Environmental Education Grant program and how to apply for a grant, visit the Web site at: https://www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html.
The projects in New York State that received EPA funding in 2001 are:
Adirondack Park Institute - $21,720
The Adirondack Park Institute, which supports environmental education programs at two visitor interpretive centers in the Adirondack Park in northern New York, is partnering with the Hudson Basin River Watch. Together, they will provide workshops for elementary, middle and high school teachers from each school district within the Adirondack Park reaches of the Hudson River watershed. The training enables teachers to incorporate authentic field-based programming into their curriculum by using student interest in local water quality as a starting point. In addition to the workshops, this project includes mentoring support for participating teachers. Other partners include the NYS Adirondack Park Agency, school districts in the Adirondack Park and the Warren, Washington, Hamilton, Saratoga and Essex County Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden - $5,000
The Sustainable Garden Project, a new component of Brooklyn GreenBridge the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s community horticultural program, will target members of community-based organizations in Brooklyn’s low-income communities. The project will teach participants about developing abandoned sites and converting them into sustainable gardens and green spaces. The project includes on-site workshops, special plant kits, updated educational materials and site based support for 12 community based organizations’ garden development. Participants, who have not previously learned about environmental stewardship, develop the knowledge and skills critical to maintaining and restoring environmental balance: native plants, water conservation, drought tolerant gardening and wildlife gardening.
City Parks Foundation - $5,000
This project supports an award program for elementary school teachers in New York City. CPF (the City Parks Foundation) will solicit applications from teachers through its partnerships with the New York City Science Coordinators Network and the NYC Board of Education to recognize innovative teaching in the environment. The award program, named after a long time director of CPF, provides funds to enable recipients to purchase materials and/or services to implement their environmental education ideas. In addition to receiving the cash award, these teachers will participate in two full day workshops to prepare them for the following semester’s programing in environmental education, enhance their teaching skills and trouble shoot implementation of their plans. The project actively encourages these teachers to network with each other and participate in professional programs and workshops.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County - $22,315
Great Lawns/Great Lakes expands a pilot project that reaches homeowners throughout Monroe County. This project helps improve water quality by reducing fertilizer and pesticide runoff to waterways through an education program to motivate homeowners to reduce the amount of fertilizer and pesticides they apply to their lawns. Partnering with Monroe County Department of Health and in cooperation with other Extension Service programs, Great Lawns/Great Lakes uses radio, television and print media, community workshops and educational programs to enable homeowners to determine an appropriate level of fertilization that reduces their costs while improving their lawns and the environment. The program also incorporates education on Integrated Pest Management to eradicate pests while reducing the amount of pesticide used. This lawn care education project is part of a large-scale watershed plan for Lake Ontario and the Genesee River.
Immaculate Conception Environmental Club - $4,800
This project involves students and teachers in Grades K through 8 in using a natural space environment to learn about living things. This program has been developed using concepts from the National Wildlife Federation’s Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program. The project includes planning, developing and maintaining an outdoor nature laboratory and nearby compost area as a learning center. Students will work in teams and use problem solving strategies as they create a wildlife habitat. Students will also become guides for students visiting from other nearby schools. This project is correlated with state standards for math, science and technology and is designed to help students understand the value of wildlife and the importance of natural ecosystems.
Mohonk Preserve Inc. - $5,000
The Mohonk Preserve, the largest non-profit member supported nature preserve in New York State, is partnering with AmeriCorps in the Mid-Hudson Valley to educate youth about watersheds. A pre-trip classroom visit by an educator is followed by a four hour field study at the Mohonk Preserve. The classroom work focuses on water pollution, watershed and human use of and impact on water resources. The field study actively engages students in water quality testing. Teachers use prepared materials to conduct a post trip class that challenges students to apply what they have learned to their everyday lives. This project targets 7th and 8th grade students in urban schools and their teachers, parents and guardians.
Museum of the Hudson Highlands - $5,000
The Museum of the Hudson Highlands’ Science Institute provides professional development for teachers in grades K to 5 enabling them to provide classes with a teacher-directed environmental education experience at outdoor sites at the museum. This project uses feedback from the program pilot, revising and expanding the original program to enable teachers to use the workshop lessons at other local outdoor areas in the Hudson Highland region. Educators from schools and non-formal educational organizations within a 45 minute drive of the museum are the focus of this program. The expansion project will include three workshops for these educators using the newly revised and adapted lessons.
Research Foundation, State University of New York / College at Oneonta $5,000
New Island is an undeveloped 82 acre riparian lowland located along the banks of the Susquehanna River. Through the New Island Greenway Environmental Education Project, environmental science students at Oneonta College are conducting a detailed study of the river’s riparian zone ecosystem, interpreting elements of the ecosystem to the public and advising the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway Development Committee about the biological resources available for public enjoyment. Their findings will be delivered to the Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway Development Committee at two public meetings. Students will also design eco-stations for the Greenway Nature Trail.
New York University (NYU) School of Education - $5,000
The Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education (the Collaborative) is developing a website to provide resource materials and information about professional development opportunities for students and teachers in environmental education. While initially focusing on students in NYU’s pre-service teacher education and conservation programs, the program also targets educators at informal science education institutions. Partnering with two NYU Departments (Teaching and Leaning and Humanities and Social Sciences in the Professions), the NYC Board of Education’s Science Coordinator’s Network and the Environmental Education Advisory Council, the Collaborative’s website disseminates quality environmental education programming to the education community.
Waterman Conservation Education Center - $4,281
The Waterman Conservation Center, which serves the Southern Tier of New York and Northern Pennsylvania, will utilize a resident Red-tailed Hawk named Redmond to develop critical thinking skills in local school kids grades K through 12 as the students learn about the importance of raptor conservation. Waterman staff conduct classes on a range of topics to build knowledge of conservation as students learn more and design their own conservation projects. After learning to identify characteristics of Redmond and raptors, students also learn the value of these birds to the environment and how they are threatened. Older students explore falconry to learn about the ways human have interacted with raptors. Students in all classes learn the importance of environmental conservation for themselves and wildlife.
Wildlife Conservation Society - The New York Aquarium - $15,017
The New York Aquarium, partnering with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, is conducting a community-based education course on wetland law and ecology in each of New York City’s boroughs. The project targets adults in communities located in environmentally sensitive wetland areas. Linking the educational resources of the Wildlife Conservation Society with the technical expertise of the Department of Conservation, and combining both of their community outreach networks, Project POWER creates an innovative and collaborative workshop program designed to teach the public about wetlands, their ecology and the regulations that protect them. This pro-active project seeks to increase the number of citizens who, as a result of gaining an understanding of the nature of wetlands, will care for wetlands and prevent wetland violations before they can occur.