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Environmental Education Grants Awarded

Release Date: 11/03/2003
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Environmental News

Wanda Loving 202-564-7822 /

(11/03/03) Schools, universities, state education and environmental agencies and nonprofit organizations across the country were given almost 3 million in Environmental Education Grants.

“Environmental protection begins with environmental education,” said Marianne Horinko. “Today’s award grantees will help to educate the American people about complex issues so that we can improve our air, our water and our land, and pass along a better world to our children.”

Hundreds of grant applications were evaluated and scored by EPA officials as well as by external peer reviewers. In selecting grant winners, emphasis was placed on projects that: improve teaching skills; support environmental educational reform; build state, and local capacity to create statewide environmental education programs; create partnerships between organizations that have environmental education goals; and motivate students and the public to protect the environment.

EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., awarded 12 grants larger than $25,000 (a description of these grant winners is attached.) Each grantee matched the federal dollar amounts for these projects with at least 25 percent in local funds. An additional 150 grants for less than $25,000 each were awarded by EPA’s 10 regional offices. For more information on all the grant winners’ projects, go to: .

    (with attachment)


    Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana ($41,765)
    Wildlife Education in Big Sky Program
    The Wildlife Education in Big Sky (WEBS) program enhances the skills of middle and high school science teachers through a combination of field-based workshops and Internet-based courses. The curriculum provides information to teachers about climate change and its impacts on the wildlife and wildlands of the Northern Rockies. The program trains middle and high school science teachers living in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and also trains teachers enrolled in the Masters of Science Education program at Montana State University (MSU). Key partners in this teacher-training program include: Glacier National Park; Montana Environmental Education Association; MSU Masters of Science in Science Education; National Biological Information Infrastructure; and the Burns Telecommunications Center.

    University of South Carolina Research Foundation, Columbia, South Carolina ($60,690)
    Under-Represented Populations Learning in Natures Kindergarten (UPLINK)
    The UPLINK project improves student achievement by providing real world activities in a natural environment. This project uses a mobile classroom at the Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary where students can collect, analyze and summarize data that will enable them to make decisions about an environmental problem or issue. Students in grades 3 through 12 from schools in high poverty areas participate in five program visits during the year - three at the Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary and two visits in their own schools with the UPLINK instructor. The UPLINK project is a cooperative effort between the Natural Resources, Science, Mathematics, Engineering Education Program; the South Carolina Chapter of the National Audubon Society; and the Silver Bluff Audubon Sanctuary.

    Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia ($74,960)
    Central Virginia's Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience
    The project sends students and teachers from 26 elementary schools on a “watershed experience” field trip to Lynchburg College’s Claytor Nature Study Center. The two-year project provides hands-on environmental education lessons about watershed ecology; the impacts of human behavior on water resources; and improves students’ standards-based academic achievement in the sciences. Teachers also will attend summer teacher-training workshops to implement environmental education themes when teaching science and natural resources. Community volunteers also are involved as field instructors. Lynchburg College is the primary sponsor in partnership with Lynchburg City Public Schools and Bedford County Public Schools.

    Riveredge Nature Center Inc., Newburg, Wisconsin ($64,937)
    Center for Regenerative Learning: A Regional Environmental Education Training Program
    This project offers training programs to volunteer and limited-term environmental educators in southeastern Wisconsin by a three-month internship, a 24-month mentoring program, and an ongoing set of locally-based continuing education courses. Using guidelines developed by the North American Association for Environmental Education, this program teaches decision-making skills and professional development opportunities to promote responsible environmental actions. Partners for this project include: The Urban Ecology Center; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Field Station; Lac Lawrann Conservancy; and Pier Wisconsin.

    Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, Manhattan, Kansas ($68,914)
    Four State Cross-Training for Environmental Education
    This project provides an opportunity for board members of the state environmental education organizations in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa to share collective knowledge and expertise through a board-to-board cross training. An additional planning initiative will include environmental education action plans for each state in EPA Region 7. The partners in this project are: Missouri Environmental Education Association; Nebraska Alliance for Conservation; and Environmental Education, and Iowa Conservation Education Council.

    Catonsville Campus of The Community College of Baltimore County, Baltimore, Maryland ($89,379)
    Community Education and Technology Initiative
    The Community Education and Technology Initiative (CETI) addresses climate change and its potential effects on communities. This project will educate high school students and teachers for grades 9 through 12, community college students and educators, and members of local communities and interested citizens in the state of Maryland. The initiative includes two integrated activities – a “Beat the Heat!” competition to develop emissions reduction or emissions sequestering strategies and the second activity, the “Nine Lives” community forums held at each one of Maryland’s community colleges. The CETI is sponsored by the Community College of Baltimore County Environment Project in partnership with the Maryland State Department of Education and the Maryland Association of Community Colleges.
    San Gabriel Mountains Regional Conservancy, Glendora, California ($55,350)
    Think River! Interactive Youth Watershed Education Program
    Developed by the San Gabriel Mountains Regional Conservancy, this project educates students and teachers for a watershed management plan for the San Gabriel River. The “Think River!” program promotes collaborative partnerships with local municipalities, schools, clubs and businesses. The project includes a high school mentor program for 11th and 12th grade students, a teacher education workshop for 5th grade teachers, and a youth watershed conference for 5th grade students. The key partners in this project are the City of Azusa and a formal planning committee comprised of local organizations.

    Family Service Inc., Lawrence, Massachusetts ($62,493)
    Healthy Homes, Healthy Kids
    This project trains workers who provide direct day-to-day services to families in the communities of Lawrence and Worcester in northeastern Massachusetts. The workers are trained in 8-hour workshops on strategies to teach parents of pre-school children about ways to reduce exposure to toxic chemicals in their homes. These workshops are based on curricula developed and tested by the project sponsors and the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. This training model will establish a resource of community workers with expertise in environmental health education.

    Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan ($45,884)
    A Public Education Project to Protect an Endangered Species in Michigan
    This project educates teachers, students, landowners, roadside maintenance crews who have reported seeing the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, an endangered species found only in the southeast Michigan region of the United States. Volunteers from the local resource network of naturalists will help in workshops, personal consultations and educational materials developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to teach about how to co-existence with the snake, the positive benefits of the snakes such as their reducing the number of mice and unnecessary habit destruction.

    Teachers College, New York, New York ($56,202)
    Alternative Pathways to Environmental Learning (APEL)
    The APEL project uses the arts as a pathway for educating inner-city students in grades 4 through 8 in New York City schools about important environmental issues. Teachers will learn through interactive workshops how to design comic book stories about environmental issues in their communities. The materials are distributed through after-school programs at public housing developments, schools and community centers. The partners for this project are the Center for Educational Pathways and the After School Corp.

    Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky ($92,592)
    Statewide Capacity Building for the Commonwealth of Kentucky
    This project provides personnel at Kentucky’s higher education institutions with tools to develop and implement environmental literacy and environmental education programs across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Directors of established environmental education centers will collaborate with the Kentucky Environmental Education Council (KEEC) to conduct a two-day workshop to help faculty from each of Kentucky’s state universities to develop individual plans to be disseminated on their campuses. The project culminates with a second workshop that allows participants to share the plans they developed, the actions they have taken and reflect on outcomes. Partners for this project include the University of Louisville; Western Kentucky University; and the KEEC.

    The University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho ($74,188)
    Residential Environmental Science Education Center and Teaching Program
    Graduate students at the University of Idaho will participate in a two-week training program focusing on protocols developed by the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program. The project creates a residential environmental science school that serves as a model program in math, science and technology education for students in grades 4 through 8. The graduate students also serve as field instructors in a 10-week residency at the residential environmental education school. The project supports existing efforts to implement a cross-disciplinary graduate course of study in environmental education and natural science. It also increases the ability of Idaho schools to meet science, math and technology standards, and promotes general awareness about environmental issues.