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EPA Awards $182,000 in Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 08/26/2008
Contact Information: Denise Morrison, (913) 551-7402,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., August 26, 2008) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7 office has awarded nine grants totaling $182,000 to develop new environmental education projects. The proposals came from the four Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

John B. Askew, Region 7 Administrator, said, "Environmental education is a unique tool to engage students in stewardship activities and provides opportunities for them to learn about environmental issues and ways to preserve and protect natural resources."

The environmental education grant program provides seed money for new projects and to advance existing projects. The projects increase the public's awareness of environmental issues and provide the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. Projects chosen were:


Friends of the Kaw, Inc., Mission - $19,566: This project will involve students, teachers and parents using science to understand river ecology and public health threats from river pollution. This project will add a Kids Corner to the Kaw River Web site. A Sandbar School will also be created, which teaches students ages 9-18 about natural history, fish species, how rivers work, geology and geography. The Sandbar School will serve 50 Douglas County fourth graders and approximately 40 middle school students from the Potawatomi Boys and Girls Club, their program sponsors or teachers, and families of the students.

University of Kansas Center for Research - $19,999: This project will teach 25 seventh graders about environmental stewardship. Students will participate in a field study to learn about environmental issues that affect an urban stream in the Brenner Heights Creek Watershed, located in Kansas City, Kansas. Students will monitor this local stream to evaluate stream health. Students will perform watershed clean-up activities, discuss stewardship issues, and prepare Power Point presentations about their work. At the end of the project, students will lead a symposium for community members to share the results of their study of urban streams and watersheds. Community members will learn how they can become involved in improving the quality of streams in their neighborhood.


Blue River Watershed Association, Kansas City - $16,592: This project will teach students and teachers from Missouri and Kansas about water quality issues in the Blue River Watershed. Six middle and high school science or environmental education teachers will participate in a one-day summit to be held at the Swope Park Interpretive Center which overlooks the Blue River in Kansas City, Missouri. Teachers will spend the day learning about watersheds, storm water runoff, flooding problems, pollutants, their sources and their impact on water quality. Teachers will develop a true blue curriculum and lesson plans to teach students about the Blue River Watershed. Students will take a field trip to the watershed to apply their knowledge and participate in water monitoring activities.

Friends of the Green Center, St. Louis - $24,280: This project will teach 10 high school students in grades 10 -12 about prairie conservation and restoration to encourage careers in the sciences. This project will involve restoration of the Calvary Prairie through burning, plant reintroduction and exotic species control. Friends of the Green Center will conduct outreach to the community to provide training in restoration techniques. The prairie will be used as an outdoor classroom in the fall and spring for seasonal field experiences for students, teachers and the community.

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis - $24,507: This project will involve teachers and fifth through eighth grade students assuming the roles of energy auditors, building designers and green building ambassadors to present the benefits of going green to the public. Teachers and students will present information about green buildings at school board meetings and create public service announcements to get the message out about the advantages of going green. Students, teachers and the community will learn about green schools, steps school districts can take to green their buildings, and how schools can lead community-wide sustainability efforts. Students, teachers and community members will learn about the environmental impact of energy consumption in schools and steps to minimize this impact.

Iowa Public Broadcasting Board, Johnston - $20,000: This project will teach fourth through eighth grade students about environmental careers, issues and resources available to students to pursue careers in science. Iowa Public Television, in partnership with youth organizations, universities and nonprofit organizations, will present interactive video sessions on environmental issues and information about science careers. Students will have an opportunity to become aware of science careers, coursework, learn skills to analyze problems, and arrive at an action plan. Students will participate in these sessions to gain knowledge about environmental issues such as renewable energy, how it will impact their future, and how they can prepare for the challenges ahead in pursuing science careers.

Polk County Conservation Board, Granger - $17,642: This project will involve 175 sixth grade middle school students and 50 high school students serving as mentors in a green arts project. Green art merges the arts with conservation and encourages environmental stewardship. This project will give students an opportunity to address environmental issues, habitat restoration, waste reduction and water quality in their community.


Groundwater Foundation, Lincoln - $19,000: Waterways for Urban and Rural Youth is a creative outdoors water project to encourage creative play and build a connection with young children to the environment. This project will teach groundwater activities to 25 students, ages 2-15. Students will have an opportunity to attend field trips to learn about groundwater, nature and the environment. These water activities will be incorporated into existing youth programs throughout Nebraska.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission - $20,000: This project will involve the development of a tool box and curriculum on CD entitled Nebraska's Bird Diversity, covering content such as avian adaptations, bird species at risk, habitat needs and eco-region specific information. Students, teachers and landowners will receive information concerning Nebraska's birds, habitats and the environment. Copies of the curriculum and tool box will be distributed at workshops among schools, nature centers and conservation organizations held across the state to fifth through eighth grade teachers. Two workshops will focus on training resource professionals, general public, landowners and teachers. These educational materials have the potential to reach several hundred students, landowners and resource professionals throughout Nebraska.

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Learn more about the environmental education grant program