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EPA awards $271,278 in grants to 11 Midwest environmental education projects

Release Date: 11/21/2008
Contact Information: Jessica McIntyre, 312-353-8559,

No. 08-OPA173

(Chicago, Ill. - Nov. 6, 2008) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has awarded $271,278 in grants to fund 11 projects that enhance environmental education in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The annual grants are given to community groups, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools and universities for projects that increase knowledge and awareness of science and the environment. The funding will promote and advance environmental literacy and sustainable practices.

"These grants support projects that help students and teachers learn more about ecosystems, climate change, safe chemicals and how to be good stewards of the environment," said Megan Gavin, environmental education grants coordinator in EPA's Region 5 office. "We are impressed year after year with how much the recipients are able to accomplish with these grants."

The 2008 environmental education grant recipients are:


  • Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Wheaton, $11,054. For its Earth Partnership for Schools curriculum, a nationally recognized model for restoration-based educational programming. The program will train teachers in methods for active engagement of their students in an inquiry-based process for restoring native plant landscapes. Contact: David Guritz, 630-462-5654.
  • Chicago Horticultural Society, Glencoe, $14,000. For its Fairchild Challenge Chicago, a series of multidisciplinary educational challenges that increase student knowledge of local environmental issues and facilitate informed decision-making and problem-solving skills that enable students to address those concerns. Contact: Melissa Matterson, 847-835-8257.
  • Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, $26,689. For training teachers on integrating the concept of "no child left inside" within the No Child Left Behind framework through design, development and delivery of innovative workshops on environmental education. Contact: Sabiha Daubi, 815-754-0723.
  • Illinois Department of Public Health, Springfield, $40,589. For its Safe Chemicals in Schools workshop, a successful environmental education program for teachers to learn about proper chemical storage and handling. Contact: Ken Runkle, 217-785-1666.

  • Ball State University, Muncie, $36,630. For its Envirotech Project designed to initiate, enable and facilitate a critical examination of a contemporary issue which ultimately enhances environmental literacy of technology teachers and their students. Contact: Annette Rose, 765-285-5648.

  • Dickinson Conservation District, Kingsford, $23,508. For its Energized for the Future program that takes curriculum lessons on energy, fossil fuels and sustainable resources and makes those lessons come alive for students. Contact: Ann Hruska, 906-774-8441.
  • Inland Seas Education Association, Suttons Bay, $29,770. For its Invasive Species Education Initiative whose objective is to increase awareness and knowledge of invasive species and provide educational materials for integration of invasive species research into classrooms and local communities and to form networks to increase access to resources concerning invasive species. Contact: Tom Kelly, 231-271-3077.

  • Proctor Public Schools, Proctor, $44,446. For hosting a Lake Superior youth symposium for middle and high school students. The goal of the symposium is to enhance the ability and motivation of middle and high school students and teachers to understand and act on the environmental issues facing Lake Superior both now and in the future. Contact: Diane Podgornik, 218-628-4926.
  • Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs, St. Paul, $15,000. For a two-week immersion course for undergraduate students called Environment and Agriculture. The program offered in the spring focuses on connections among agriculture, sustainability and global environmental justice. Contact: Julia Frost Nerbonne, 651-646-8831.

  • Ohio River Foundation, Cincinnati, $19,592. To provide hands-on learning about watersheds and storm water management to students in grades 6-12 participating in a school rain garden program. Students will design and develop rain gardens that serve as a model for the community at large. Contact: Erin Crowley, 513-460-3365.

  • Wisconsin Children's Museum, Madison, $10,000. For its Leap into Lakes, an inquiry-based, hands-on experience that immerses preschool children in the underwater world of lake critters and plants, and plays on their innate connection to living creatures while connecting them to larger ecological concepts such as stewardship. Contact: Allison Hildebrandt, 608-256-6445.

The grants are awarded yearly under the National Environmental Education Act, which was passed in 1990 to stimulate environmental education through design, demonstration and communications projects conceived by local organizations.

More information on EPA's environmental education grants is at .
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