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Release Date: 09/14/2005
Contact Information:

Environmental News
Denise Morrison
(913) 551-7402


September 14, 2005


EPA Region 7 has awarded 15 environmental education grants to develop new environmental education projects or improve existing ones. EPA reviewed 65 proposals from the four Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

This is the 13th year environmental education grants have been available. The Environmental Education Grant Program awards grants up to $250,000. Recipients can receive up to $50,000 from the regional office. EPA headquarters in Washington awards larger grants. More information about the Environmental Education Grant Program is available at

Environmental education increases public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues and provides the skills to make informed decisions and take responsible actions.

Projects chosen were:


Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines - $31,606:
Forty-five students will participate in a 12-week intern program on pollution prevention. The program will teach undergraduate and graduate students about sustainability concepts. Students will learn about pollution prevention, energy efficiency, renewable energy, environmental compliance, environmental management systems and environmental design. The goal of this project is to serve as a catalyst for students to learn how to create sustainable and pollution free communities.

Iowa Conservation Education Council, Johnston - $9,781: The Iowa Conservation Education Council will partner with the North Iowa Area Community College to host a Winds of Change Midwest Environmental Education Conference. About 400 educators and natural resource professionals from across the Midwest will attend the conference. The goal of the conference is to offer participants workshop sessions in environmental, economic and cultural changes that have occurred during the past decades. Educators will learn about new directions in environmental research and education. Participants will learn new skills and techniques in environmental management.


Cheney Lake Watershed Inc., South Hutchinson - $8,023: This project will help watershed farmers develop and practice decision-making skills for nutrient management and protection of soil and water quality. There will be three trainings: a one-day workshop and watershed tour for a group of 40 watershed farmers, a series of workshops on nutrient management planning for a group of 10 dairy farms, and training for one watershed farmer through an environmental leadership program. All trainings will connect the conditions of water quality in their watershed to the daily decision making process on watershed farms.

Kansas Rural Center Inc., Whitting - $31,096: This project will involve 40 children ages 5-12 and 20 young adults ages 13-19 working on a farm. The farm will reconnect children to nature by exposing them to vegetable and fruit crop production, with an emphasis on health, nutrition and environmental impact of these crops on our food supply. Students will learn how sound environmental management choices are applied to a farm and a surrounding ecosystem. Students will also learn about the links between pollution and the long-term stability and preservation of agricultural production.

Kickapoo Tribe, Horton - $5,090: This project will train 15 teachers through workshops on environmental issues such as water quantity/quality, solid waste issues and indoor air quality. The teachers will conduct outreach presentations to community members and 85 students about the importance of these environmental issues to the Kickapoo Tribe. Teachers will incorporate the material into classroom curriculum and develop lessons and activities for students.


Area Resources for Community & Human Services, St. Louis - $50,000:
This project will involve classroom presentations, field trips and after-school workshops at six public schools with 1,985 students. These educational experiences will focus on environmental issues: air and water quality, recycling, conservation of natural resources and pollution prevention. Teachers will learn how to incorporate environmental excellence standards into their classroom curriculum. This environmental curriculum will be integrated into classroom lessons to improve students’ knowledge and skills in math and science. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions, to recognize and solve problems, and to gather, analyze and apply information and ideas.

Center Middle School, Kansas City - $7,915: Nine teachers will learn the methods and techniques of environmental science education. Teachers will incorporate these new skills and materials into classroom curriculum and field instruction. More than 600 students will go on field trips studying environmental issues such as trail construction, habitat restoration, water quality and identification of non-native species.


National Arbor Day Foundation, Lincoln - $48,380: This project will build a tram trail for a conservation education pathway at Arbor Day Farm that will connect many conservation demonstrations into a one-of-a-kind environmental education experience. The Arbor Day Foundation will create interactive environmental education learning stations at key points along the pathway. This outdoor learning center will serve as an outdoor campus for more than 7,000 middle and high school students, for Future Farmers of America and 4-H groups, and for about 1,000 University of Nebraska agriculture, forestry and urban planning students.

Nebraska Rural Water, Wahoo - $6,939: This project will raise awareness and involvement of the public in protecting drinking water supplies. Residents will receive free water testing while they complete a survey of water use and knowledge. Future Farmers of America chapters will test water for nitrates and other parameters. The students will map potential contaminants on the wellhead protection area map and help the water operators complete their contaminant source inventories. The older students will mentor elementary students by providing water education lessons using ground-water models and continuation of the “test your well” program.