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EPA Announces Environmental Education Funding in Maryland

Release Date: 8/13/2002
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

Bonnie Smith, (215) 814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – Today, in Clarksville, Howard County, Md. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the first of 21 grants to be given region wide for grass-roots environmental education programs.

Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh presented a $14,240 environmental education grant to the Middle Patuxent Environmental Foundation for a collaborative project with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks and the University of Maryland at College Park. The grant will be used for a program called Linking Biodiversity and Urbanization in the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area; Environmental Lessons for an East Coast Community.

Its goal is to help Howard County residents become better informed about the effects of land use decisions on habitats and native species in the county. The project provides for funded and voluntary internships for high school and college students. The grant also includes teacher training and community education workshops demonstrating outdoor teaching techniques.

“This grant will encourage school children and neighbors to discuss important local environmental issues and examine how land use decisions are made. Environmentally sustainable communities are built by citizens who understand environmental protection and care about their communities,” said Regional Administrator Welsh.

Environmental education enhances people's understanding of the need for healthy plant and animal life and biodiversity. It also educates the public about how their actions affect the natural ecosystems and how positive steps taken to minimize impacts on these ecosystems will improve the overall environment

Two other environmental education grants are also being awarded in Maryland. One is for $14,000 for the Wildlife Habitat Council’s program Wings of Wonder. Based in Silver Springs, the Wildlife Habitat Council promotes adding quality wildlife habitat on corporate, private and public lands. Wings of Wonder educates students and teachers, employees and community, about how to protect and conserve migratory birds and their habits through an investigative process. Employee wildlife teams will link local schools with corporate sites and schools in Latin America to study migratory birds and butterflies. The project help expand student and community awareness about the benefits of wildlife habitats.

EPA also awarded a grant to the Ward Foundation, in Salisbury for $3, 940 for a program called Maryland Summer Center for the Lower Eastern Shore: Diary of a River. The project is a partnership between the Wicomico County Board of Education, Pemberton Historical Park, Salisbury Zoological Park, and the Ward Museum. The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art at Salisbury State University is dedicated to exhibiting wildfowl art and reflecting the heritage of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The program focus is educational reform with particular attention to environmental science indicators related to state math and science performance standards. Forty-five gifted and talented, ethnically diverse students in grades three to eight will benefit from this program.

Since 1992, EPA has provided more than $2 million annually in funding to local organizations and schools and has awarded a total of 1,700 grants. These grass-roots funds to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies to support educational programs on a wide range of environmental issues for citizens of all ages.

To find out more about EPA’s environmental education grants and online resources for communities, educators, and children, check out EPA’s website at