|(#02102) New York, New York – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny today awarded seven Environmental Education grants to New Jersey recipients at a ceremony at the Hillside Intermediate School in Bridgewater. The funding of more than $52,000 gives a green light to environmental education projects throughout New Jersey. Each year since 1992, EPA has funded a wide variety of environmental education projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about the environment.
“These grants make a difference; they help citizens understand how we interact with our environment and leave our stamp on it,” said Ms. Kenny. “Environmental education is a life-long process. EPA grants support that process by funding projects to effectively educate people of all ages.”
The seven grants, ranging from $3,500 to $19,000, will reach a broad audience including the general public, community social service workers, teachers, non-formal educators and elementary and high school students. School districts and non-profit organizations are receiving grants that will support projects across New Jersey.
This year’s recipients in New Jersey will conduct projects that educate the public about environmental or health issues, improve educators’ environmental education teaching skills, educate students about careers in the environment and promote environmental justice.
Today’s event highlighted Hillside’s Habitats of New Jersey , a program that uses the outdoors as a place to learn about biodiversity and the consequences of rapid development in New Jersey. The funding will enable children from other towns to visit Hillside’s Habitats and learn valuable environmental lessons from student guides.
For more information on EPA’s Environmental Education Grant program, visit the Web sit.
The projects in New Jersey receiving EPA funding in 2002 are:
Bridgewater Raritan Regional School District
844 Brown Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Hillside’s Habitats of New Jersey
Citizen Policy and Education Fund of New Jersey
This program will develop the educational potential of an outdoor learning site, Hillside’s Habitats of New Jersey. Hillside students, community residents and students from East Orange will learn how urban sprawl and habitat destruction are impacting the ecosystems of New Jersey and, specifically, the Bridgewater community. The school district’s third graders will work with other students and adults of the school’s Outdoor Site Committee and environmental club. Together, they will design activities for the district’s third graders who will come to the habitat as part of their course of study. Students will also make presentations about the program to the school’s Outdoor Site Committee and serve as guides for visitors to the habitat. The program, which focuses on the effect human development has on natural ecosystems, is of special interest to residents of New Jersey, the country’s most densely populated state.
400 Main Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601
Lead Poisoning Prevention “Train-the-Trainer” Statewide Program
Because lead poisoning remains a significant threat to the health of children, Citizen Policy and Education Fund will teach staff members of social service organizations and community groups across New Jersey to help their clients determine if lead is present in their homes and how they can avoid lead poisoning. The workshops will focus on training social service and community organization staff, because they effectively interact with families considered at high risk for lead poisoning. Trainees attend a full day workshop that teaches them about the sources, pathways, medical effects, prevention methods, laws, regulations and tenants’ legal rights regarding the presence of lead. Participants will be encouraged to develop poisoning prevention strategies that relate specifically to the communities they serve.
229 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
New Jersey EnvironMentors Project: One-to-One Environment-Based Academic Mentoring
Greater Newark Conservancy
The EnvironMentors Project helps students become knowledgeable about the academic and career possibilities open to them in environmental and scientific fields. Students develop an increased competency in science and mathematics through one-to-one mentoring with adults who hold degrees and/or are employed in environmental fields and monthly workshops. The high school students also participate in a program to facilitate their applying to colleges and universities. Monthly seminars on environmental issues of local relevance enhance their environmental literacy and help them identify opportunities to improve conditions in their neighborhoods. This project will serve 80 public high school students in Trenton and Princeton who will, through environmental presentations, reach out to 1,600 local elementary school students.
303-9 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Environmental Health Education Program at the 2003 Annual Conference of the Alliance of New Jersey Environmental Education (ANJEE)
Greater Newark Conservancy
The Conservancy will conduct a series of workshops on environmental health for the two- day ANJEE annual conference in January 2003. Each day there will be workshops on topics including asthma, air quality, and lead poisoning in urban and suburban communities. The goal is to help the formal and non-formal environmental educators who attend the conference to understand key issues in environmental health education. The workshop will familiarize participants with a variety of teaching techniques and community service project models so they can implement environmental health education programs at their schools and facilities. Workshop materials will include those developed by the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Management's AirCURRENTS curriculum.
303-9 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102
Environmental Health Discovery Box
The Port Republic School District
The goal of this project is to teach second and third grade students about the connection between health and the environment. The Greater Newark Conservancy will create an Environmental Health Discovery Box that it will make available to second and third grade teachers in Newark through a free loan program. The box enables teachers to present a course of study, lasting from one day to several weeks, on environmental health to a class. During the loan period the teacher has use of the box’s age-appropriate materials including lesson plans, teacher guides and all necessary materials, equipment and supplies. The lessons will focus on air quality, the respiratory system, asthma, toxins in the home, the circulatory system and lead poisoning. The hands-on inquiry lessons will correlate with state curriculum standards. The Conservancy will provide one-to-one support for the teachers who borrow the box of materials.
135 Pomona Avenue, Port Republic, NJ 08241
The Bristow-Phillips Enrichment Project
Partnering with the Atlantic Audubon Society, Port Republic School students will study the ecosystem of a 300-acre mixed woodland and cranberry bog in order to develop it as a wildlife preserve and study center. The acreage, a recent bequest to the New Jersey Audubon Society, will serve as a field study resource for students and teachers who will work with the faculty at Stockton State College and Audubon staff to catalogue and investigate the flora and fauna at the site. In addition to developing an understanding of the ecosystem, students will create and rehabilitate trails and look for evidence of the previous use of the site as a 19th century farm and lumber resource. The school population and neighboring community will also benefit from workshops that will be held over the course of the study.
1075 Stone Harbor Blvd., Stone Harbor, NJ 08247
Expansion of the Jr. Naturalist Program
The Wetlands Institute will work with the Middle Township Public School System, The Cape May County Mosquito Commission, The Cape May Municipal Authority, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and The Nature Conservancy to expand its Junior Naturalist Program to include economically disadvantaged students. Middle grade students will participate in a week-long program that develops and supports their interest in science by providing them with in-depth opportunities to explore the natural world. Scientists and staff from the participating organizations provide guidance for the students' exploration, research and discovery. The program helps students learn about New Jersey’ s natural habitats, understand the challenges humans pose to the natural world and evaluate everyday environmental choices.