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EPA AWARDS $2.1 MILLION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION PROJECTS - Massachusetts

Release Date: 10/24/1996
Contact Information: Frank McIntyre, Office of External Programs, (617) 918-1095

BOSTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $2.1 million in grants to states, tribes, schools, universities, and non-profit organizations nationwide for environmental education initiatives.

There are 23 recipients of grants totaling $167,474 in EPA's New England region, including 11 in Massachusetts. The New England recipients were selected from 153 proposals requesting funds of more than $1.6 million. Sixty-seven proposals seeking $798,519 came from Massachusetts.

"These grants represent our smartest investment in the future," said John P. DeVillars, regional administrator of the EPA-New England. "There is nothing more important we can do than educate people about their role in protecting the environment to ensure future generations will inherit a cleaner world.

"Whether it's focused on the streets of South Boston or the wilderness of Maine, environmental education provides us with the most valuable tool in protecting our natural resources," added DeVillars. "I commend the recipients of these grants for their good work to infuse greater environmental awareness into the lives of New Englanders."

The Massachusetts winners of 1996 Environmental Education grants are:
(Note to editors: A contact for grant recipient is also listed)

Urban Stewards Program -- Appalachian Mountain Club, Boston $5,000
This community-based conservation project, as well as an environmental careers training program is for urban youth in the diverse and disadvantaged community of Chelsea. The program is designed to teach outreach and advocacy skills through the process of planning, promoting and implementing a neighborhood environmental service project. The project seeks to provide youth with the necessary training to become more competitive candidates for employment in the environmental and recreational fields, as well as help young people originate a community base for the maintenance of local parks and green spaces and the support of environmental issues of community concern. (Kevin Knobloch 617/523-0655 x365)

Environmental Health Education Project -- Harvard School of Public Health, Boston $9,000
This expansion of an existing Harvard School of Public Health program aims to increase awareness of the environment and its effects on health among fifth grade public school students by sharing technical expertise with teachers and students. The project is a hands-on educational outreach program that brings high quality instruction about human health and its relation to the environment to inner-city school children. (Marshall Katler 617/432-3485)

The Merrimack River: Our Ecological and Industrial Lifeline -- E.N. Rogers Middle School, Lowell $5,000
This project will focus on educating teachers, students, and public about human health problems from environmental pollution. The E.N. Rogers Environmental School, in collaboration with several partners, will use an environmental thematic curriculum to have students: compare and correlate the effects of water quality on an urban river; collaborate via the Internet with students from Great Britain on historical comparative research; and develop critical thinking, problem solving, decision making and laboratory skills. (Joseph Mastrocola 508/937-7675)

An Urban Collaborative Providing Environmental Field Trips for minority Holyoke Youth -- Massachusetts Audubon Society, Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton $5,000
The Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary is continuing its partnership with local organizations to involve more Holyoke youth in a summer environmental field trip program. Hispanic children between the ages of 5 and 12 who live in Holyoke housing development projects or are served by social agencies or nonprofit agencies. Will be introduced to environmental science through field trips to nearby natural areas, hands-on activities, and simple biological testing techniques. (Tony Symasko 413/584-3009)

Urban Youth: Bridging the Gap to Nature -- Massachusetts Audubon Society, Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, Worcester $5,000
The Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary plans to educate the undeserved, minority residents of Worcester through their program "Urban Youth: Bridging The Gap to Nature." Participants will be engaged in one of types of activities: after-school workshops for elementary students, teen parenting programs, summer programs in the parks, and preschool workshops. The emphasis is on hands-on, inquiry-based, self-directed learning, in which the minds and hearts of students are engaged. (Deborah Carey 508/753-6087)

Riverways Shoreline Survey -- Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, & Environmental Law Enforcement, Riverways Program, Boston $20,000
This project promotes the protection and restoration of rivers in Massachusetts by teaching citizens about the components of healthy rivers and encouraging active stewardship through stream "adoption." Community groups will conduct shoreline surveys using Adopt-A-Stream manuals and supported by Riverways staff. Each surveys will provide baseline data on non-point source pollution, stream flow, and riparian habitat so the groups can determine priorities for their stream section and implement their action plan with the assistance of local citizens, municipal governments, businesses, civic organizations, and Riverways staff. (Maria Van Dusen 617/727-1614 x360)

Environmental Education Obstacle Course -- Metropolitan District Commission, Boston $4,500
The Environmental Education Obstacle Course will offer Metropolitan Boston area teachers and community group leaders an experiential program that fosters an understanding of key environmental concepts and enhances their environmental teaching skills. The project involves a 0.75 mile loop trail with four stations. Using a workbook provided, teams of teachers will perform a variety of tasks (including such things as water quality sampling and map reading) and answer a series of questions related to the environment. (Karl Pastore 617/727-5380)

Environmental Teacher Workshop -- The Thoreau Society, Inc., Lincoln $20,000
The capacity of teachers to teach environmental studies across disciplines and to raise the environmental consciousness of high school students to prepare them to be committed, environmentally literate adults will be done by means of a six-week summer workshop at the Thoreau Institute in Lincoln. During the workshop, high school teachers will learn a multi-disciplinary approach to environmental studies and will have an opportunity to work with world-class Thoreau scholars, botanist, geologists, environmentalists and others to prepare lesson plans for units to be taught the following fall. (Tom Harris 617/ 259-9411)

Model for Community Environmental Education -- University of Massachusetts Extension Services, Amherst $5,000
This project will complete the "Taunton River Watershed Connections Curriculum" for grades 6-12, which has been in development for four years. It will serve as a model for watershed outreach in pollution prevention from the school to the local community and businesses. The Connections Project team of scientists and educators will test, evaluate, and finalize the curriculum and disseminate the final product along with resource kits through workshops for teachers in the Taunton River watershed. (Barbara Waters 508/945-3631)

Summer Exploratory Program in Environmental Technologies -- Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School, Bourne $5,000
The goal of this program is to attract students into the school's Environmental Technology Program and ultimately into environmental careers by providing seventh and eighth graders with a summer exploratory education program. They hope that students will: a) increase their own awareness of the environment; b) become more knowledgeable about careers in the environmental field; and c) enroll in an environmental technology career pathway. (Margaret Wise 508/759-7711 x205)

Aquinnah Environmental Education Project -- Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head $12,555
This project will use existing environmental curricula and case studies to develop a tribal environmental handbook. The goal of the project is to protect the Tribal Lands' ecologically sensitive watershed from pollution, loss of wildlife habitat, and fisheries decline. It also includes hands-on field investigations and workshops to provide project participants with the skills they need to make informed environmental policy decisions. (Philippe Jordi 508/645-9265)