All News Releases By Date
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS AWARDED
Release Date: 10/23/2000
FOR RELEASE: MONDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2000
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS AWARDED
EPA has awarded over $2.3 million in FY99 environmental education grants to 165 organizations across the United States for developing a variety of youth-oriented programs including a number of diverse populations, such as one for communities along the U.S.-Mexico Border, the establishment of a youth conservation corps, a diversity project called NatureMapping, interactive and technology-based projects, as well as a number of watershed projects.
The Environmental Education Grants Program assists schools, universities, non-profit organizations, and state, local and tribal governments. It was established by the National Environmental Education Act of 1990. Since 1992, EPA grant funds have been awarded to almost 2,000 organizations. In making selections, EPA gives priority to projects that address education reform goals, and outreach and community programs for the public.
The 15 major grant winners were selected from 226 proposal and are from:
San Francisco, Calif.; Melbourne, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Ames, Iowa; Lewiston, Maine; Gaithersburg, Md.; Houghton, Mich.; Plattsburgh, N.Y.; New York, NY; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; Monticello, Utah; Salt Lake City, Utah; Chester, Vt.; and Kent, Wash.
Information on applying for environmental education grants is available at 202-260-8619 or https://www.epa.gov/enviroed
Information on the regional winners is available at:
See attached list.
GRANTS AWARDED BY EPA HEADQUARTERS
San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco, Calif. 94112 ($149,202)
WALC Across the City
The Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaboration (WALC) is a consortium of academic programs in the San Francisco Unified School District that incorporates environmental education as a tool to integrate science, English, social studies, art, and technology for diverse urban student populations. WALC is introducing disadvantaged inner-city students to nature and new environments and building upon those experiences to inspire students to examine environmental issues in their communities, to take action to address those issues, and to increase environmental awareness among their schools and communities. Goals for the upcoming school year include incorporating WALC into the master schedule at Balboa High School, continuing to conduct the program at Downtown High School, instituting an elective class at Galileo High School, and establishing a network of students and teachers in the three high schools to enhance collaboration on future projects. Students in the program are producing newsletters, participating in field and camping trips, developing an anthology of student writing, and participating in hands-on lessons, among other activities. Resources, curriculum and other contributions are provided to WALC by several partner organizations, including the Marin Headlands Institute, the Environmental Science Initiative of the San Francisco Education Fund, the National Park Service, and the San Francisco Department of Recreation and Parks. Students who represent socioeconomically and culturally diverse populations are the principal audience of the project.
Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Fla. 32901-6975 ($49,427)
Evaluation of Multigrade Environmental Programs in Public Schools
The project addresses a critical need in Florida to document and analyze the effectiveness of environmental education programs in producing positive learning outcomes in school subject areas. The Florida Institute of Technology, assisted by partner organizations, leads the effort to evaluate descriptive information and qualitative and standardized test score data from school-based environmental programs that encompass two or more consecutive grade levels. The target audience of the project includes instructional and administrative personnel in schools that have environmental programs in two or more consecutive grades; key decision makers in the public school, school reform and environmental education communities; state environmental education coordinators and officers and board members of state environmental education associations; and key national and state environmental education providers. Designed to be easily adaptable, the tools and methodologies can be used by any state to analyze similar information from environmental education programs. Activities related to the project will be conducted in Florida, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Key partners include representatives of Florida Gulf Coast University; the Maryland Department of Education; the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning; the University of Central Florida; the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington; The Pew Charitable Trusts and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Atlanta, Ga. 30354 ($40,000)
Environmental Education Enhancement and Coordination
The mission of the State of Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is to provide citizens of Georgia with clean air, clean water, healthy lives and productive land by ensuring compliance with environmental regulations and by assisting others to participate in activities that improve their environment. Recognizing the need to build capacity by improving and enhancing environmental education efforts, coordinating activities and using available technologies, EPD and its partners bring together existing groups, compile existing environmental education information, identify needs and act as a clearinghouse. Following an interagency capacity-building summit to help determine how environmental education organizations can work together more effectively to promote environmental education in Georgia, a Web site is being developed to disseminate information about environmental education activities, opportunities, and resources. The interactive Web site provides users access to curriculum guides and useful information that increases public awareness, as well as links to local, state, federal, nonprofit, private and for-profit resources. Current environmental education providers, as well as others in the teaching community, students, public officials and private citizens, are the intended audience of the project. Key partners in the project include the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Iowa State University of Science and Technology, Ames, Iowa 50011 ($83,635)
Nature Mapping: Involving Citizens in Mapping Iowa’s Biodiversity
NatureMapping is a hands-on environmental science and education program modeled after a similar program conducted in the state of Washington, that brings together students, educators, members of the general public, scientists and representatives of natural resource agencies to study and document biodiversity. Under the first phase of the project, a statewide steering committee was created, materials were adapted for use in Iowa and the basic structure of the project was developed. Under the second phase of the project, participants analyze biodiversity data and develop maps of a variety of species that identify the status of common species and their habitats. Using the information about biodiversity, participants can determine where and why gaps in species distribution occur. The information also is available on the NatureMapping Web page. Members of the community are being educated about actions they can take to improve their environment and preserve biodiversity. Training is provided through hands-on workshops, as well as interactive sessions conducted through a statewide video network and the Internet. Partners in the NatureMapping project include the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.
KIDS Consortium Inc., Lewiston, Maine 04240 ($109,204)
Gulf of Maine Institute Without Walls
A unique collaboration among the Kids Involved Doing Service (KIDS) Consortium, Inc. and several key partners, the Gulf of Maine Institute Without Walls is a binational, multi-jurisdictional effort focused on developing partnerships and educational initiatives among adults and youth at five watershed sites in the Gulf of Maine area. The mission of KIDS Consortium is to move education beyond the classroom as students apply academic knowledge and skills to real community needs. Under the project, students are involved actively in learning about watersheds and producing data, information and products that are used by partner community organizations and businesses. In addition, teams from each project site participate in a summer institute to share their knowledge and ideas, participate in training programs and train new teams from communities in the region. Students in kindergarten through 12th grade participate in the project, as well as teachers at each watershed site, representatives of the partner organizations and community and parent volunteers. Partners include the Wells-Ogunquit Community School District, the Cocheco River Watershed Coalition, the Roxbury Science Workshop, Eastern Charlotte Waterways and the Tusket River Environmental Protection Association.
Council for Environmental Education/Project Wild, Gaithersburg, Md. 20878 ($49,900)
Science and Civics: Sustaining Wildlife
A training curriculum developed by Project WILD, Science and Civics: Sustaining Wildlife is a unique wildlife-based environmental education program for high-school students that aligns activities with national standards for science and social studies as well as national best practices for service learning. The project provides training to staff of the state wildlife agency, school administrators, university faculty and classroom teachers on such topics as: (1) engaging students through service learning; (2) using the environment as an integrating theme for science and civics courses; (3) conducting educational activities that prepare students to select and implement environmental projects in their communities; and (4) seeking expertise and involvement from members of the local community. The primary audience includes high school teachers, future teachers, and high school students in urban and culturally diverse communities. Project WILD, sponsored and administered by the Council for Environmental Education in cooperation with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program for teachers of kindergarten through high-school students that emphasizes hands-on learning. The project is supported by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Phillips Petroleum Co. and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Mich. 49931-1295 ($37,311)
Education for Watershed Planning and Management
Through the project, citizens of primarily rural, low-income communities in Houghton County, Mich., are learning about local environmental issues and how to participate in local environmental decision making related to watershed processes, human effects on those processes and the economic trade-offs associated with mitigation of such effects. Stakeholders are enhancing their knowledge and understanding of economic, hydrologic, and ecological effects of various watershed development and management scenarios by becoming actively involved in the development of goals and participating in information sessions, watershed field trips and model-building workshops. The target audience, residents of the selected watershed, watershed interest groups and university students, is being reached through town meetings, workshops, field trips and dissemination of information by newsletters and through the Internet. Partner agencies include the Sturgeon/Otter River Watershed Council and the Groundwater Education in Michigan (GEM) Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University.
North Country Workforce Partnership, Plattsburgh, N.Y. 12901 ($99,700)
Establishment of Youth Conservation Corps
With the establishment of the Adirondack Youth Conservation Corps, crews of 14 to17 year-old are learning about environmental science and conservation by participating in environmental restoration projects being conducted in Adirondack Park. Drawn from four neighboring counties, selected youth are involved in such projects as restoration and maintenance of trails, reforestation, watershed restoration and wildlife restoration and maintenance in an area affected by several recent federally designated disasters. A typical week for the crews includes two half-days a week in classrooms, one half-day on field trips and the remaining three and one-half days at work sites in Adirondack Park. The purpose of the project is to deliver a high-quality environmental education curriculum in a real-life, problem-solving context. The youth also are exploring potential career options in the field of environmental science and conservation. Supporters of the project include the CVTEC, the Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Social Services, the New York State Department of Labor and the Adirondack School to Work Partnership.
West Harlem Environmental Action, New York, N.Y.10027 ($61,628)
Environmental Education Training for Teachers and Students
This project improves environmental health and quality of life and secures environmental justice for members of predominantly African-American and Latino communities in New York City. The project strengthens ongoing efforts to promote children’s environmental health education by: (1) implementing in three schools in Harlem a scientifically sound, culturally sensitive educational model program to improve teaching skills, environmental health literacy and problem-solving; (2) demonstrating the benefits of establishing collaborative partnerships with local school systems to enhance science curricula; (3) encouraging students to pursue environmental careers through a student-scientist mentorship project and (4) sustaining those activities through several targeted strategies. Initially, train-the-trainer interactive educational sessions and teacher-student environmental field trips are being conducted for a small number of teachers, to be followed by the training of additional teachers. The teachers in turn train students at three high schools in Harlem. Partners in the project include the Harlem Center for Environmental Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan, the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health and Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
City of Austin, Water Resources Division, Austin, Texas 78701 ($53,150)
Hornsby Bend Ecological Mentorship Program
The project brings together environmental professionals; university students; and urban, ethnically diverse students to address issues related to urban sustainability at Hornsby Bend, a 700-acre site along the Colorado River, as well as to explore future careers in the environmental field. Teams of university students, guided by environmental professionals and university scientists, are conducting various research projects and undergoing training. They in turn mentor elementary, middle school and high school students from low-income, ethnically diverse communities. The students are studying issues associated with local ecology, urban environmental management and urban sustainability at Hornsby Bend by participating in classroom instruction and field trips to environmental sites in the area and using on-line resources. They are learning about the importance of education, environmental career paths and local urban environmental issues. Multimedia Web-based resources, developed by the university students, also facilitate on-line mentoring among the students. The results of the project are being made available online, along with career resources. The University of Texas, the Travis Audubon Society, the Colorado River Watch Foundation, and a fourth-grade class at Hornsby Bend Elementary School are partners in the project.
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX 77225-0036 ($80,850)
Environmental Education for Communities on the U.S.-Mexico Border
Through the hands-on environmental health training program, citizens of low-income and remote communities in areas along the borders between Texas, New Mexico and Mexico are participating in a program that addresses health problems that affect children as a result of exposure to environmental risks. The citizens, who are Hispanic, Native American and Caucasian, learn how to detect, manage and prevent the exposure of children to toxic chemical and microbial health hazards. A contingent of environmental health providers, pediatric caregivers and clinical care professionals who work in communities within 100 miles of the area, train members of the communities using their mobile outreach and field demonstration capabilities. The program, which addresses a severe shortage in the area of environmental training and experience among health care workers and members of the public, builds upon and expands the geographic coverage of similar projects conducted in 1995. The educational outreach strategy developed under the grant has wide application because it promotes binational environmental awareness and serves as a model for involvement of academic institutions with border communities and other organizations. It also can be replicated easily in other remote, inaccessible locations. Key partners in the project include the University of Texas School of Public Health Border Campuses at El Paso, San Antonio and Brownsville; the El Paso Area Health Education Center; the New Mexico Office of Border Health and the Border Health Council.
Four Corners School of Outdoor Education, Monticello, Utah 84535 ($74, 953)
Bioregional Outdoor Education Pilot Project
Using a unique approach to introduce bioregional environmental education to multicultural, rural school districts in remote areas, the Four Corners School of Outdoor Education provides training and resources to teachers and students in kindergarten through sixth grade. The pilot program links and strengthens the sustainability of environmental education programs in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico and uses environmental education as a catalyst to advance state, local and tribal education reform goals. Teachers representing 12 schools participate in the project, which includes an intensive 10-day summer institute and training courses on how to develop and use an environmental curriculum that is aligned with state standards. Students reached by the project include elementary school children from diverse communities of Native American, Hispanic and Caucasian populations. Partners in the project include the school districts of South Sanpete, Utah; Montrose, Colorado; Ganado; Arizona and the Shiprock Bureau of Indian Affairs School; the American Honda Foundation; W.M.B. Berger Foundation; the Utah Society for Environmental Education and state affiliates of the North American Association for Environmental Education.
University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-($113,991)
Environmental Research and Training Project for High School Science Teachers and Students
In collaboration with the University of Utah’s College of Mines and Earth Sciences, the project educates citizens of many different sectors about the effects of environmental pollution and actively involves them in efforts to address the most pressing environmental issues in Utah. The project is based on training teachers to help high school students develop and implement community-based environmental research and pollution prevention projects. In turn, students, organized into teams, discuss their projects with students at other high schools and work with representatives of industry, environmental organizations and other community agencies to implement their projects. Specifically, the students are identifying and gathering data pertinent to resolving environmental problems and developing and submitting project proposals for peer review. Funding for at least one environmental project per science class also is provided under the project. As the project progresses, the students learn critical-thinking skills and develop an appreciation for how individuals can address and resolve environmental challenges. The target audience includes high school teachers and high school students at 10 to 12 schools in urban, suburban and rural school districts. The Utah State Office of Education, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, the Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation and Utah Partners in Education are partners in the project.
Vermont Center for the Book, Chester, Vt. 05143 ($105,569)
Mother Goose Meets Mother Nature Program
The Vermont Center for the Book works collaboratively with several partners to develop and implement programs focused specifically on reaching low-income, educationally at-risk preschool children and their families. Using picture books, discussions and activities to bring environmental themes to life for preschoolers and the professionals who work with them, the project on an existing environmental education curriculum that was implemented successfully in Vermont in 1997 and 1998. Training is being provided to Head Start trainers and selected teachers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, who in turn train Head Start teachers to organize and facilitate preschool environmental programs in each of their home states. The program builds local capacity to deliver high-quality environmental education by educating Head Start trainers and teachers about environmental issues, enhancing their access to and understanding of environmental information and improving their environmental education skills. Key partners in the project include the Vermont Institute for Natural Science; the Stewardship Center of Shelburne Farms; and Head Start centers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Kent, Wash. 98032 ($29,500)
Interactive Education Program for the Internet
Under the project, an interactive animated educational game will be developed to educate students about the diverse wildlife in Washington and the effects of human actions on the wildlife. Through the game, sixth- through eighth-grade students in both rural and urban areas will learn about and using scientific concepts and principles and applying their newly acquired skills to increase their knowledge about diverse species. The program addresses the need to assist students in urban areas in learning about the natural environment from which they may be far removed. The students learn about fish, wildlife and plant species with which they may not typically come into contact in their communities. They will apply critical-thinking and problem-solving skills as they are engaged in the game and are provided access to a wide selection of resources and publications. The Internet game will be housed on an existing Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife site and is linked to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site. Development of the project is supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Seattle School District; and the Tacoma School District.