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EPA Awards $190,000 in Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 08/27/2009
Contact Information: Denise Morrison, (913) 551-7402, morrison.denise@epa.gov


Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., August 27, 2009) - EPA Region 7 has awarded eight grants totaling $190,000 to develop new environmental education projects. The proposals came from the four Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

"These projects will allow students and adults to work together to learn about environmental issues and stewardship," said William Rice, acting regional administrator. "Collaborations among schools and community organizations can help students learn how their actions can improve the environment."

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

Boone County Health & Sanitation, Boone - $26,390: This project will involve Boone County Health Department staff conducting quarterly seminars to teach homeowners and renters how to recognize environmental hazards such as lead-based paint, radon, proper operation and maintenance of septic systems and proper management of household hazardous wastes. Staff will teach residents how to identify lead-based paint hazards and develop plans to reduce or eliminate them. Residents will attend seminars to learn about proper operation, maintenance and care of septic systems. Boone County Health Department staff will show residents how to reduce and remove potential home based hazards, and proper operation and maintenance of septic systems and residential water wells. Community members will learn how to protect and improve their environment and health by reducing these hazards.

City of Dubuque, Dubuque - $28,000: This Generation Green project will involve city staff teaching homeowners, businesses and students about energy efficiency. Project curriculum will include a sustainable communities conference, the Mayor's Green Pledge, a storm water drain stenciling program, a green vision school certification, bio-fuels state conference, creation of a Web site focusing on topics such as sustainability recycling, and tips on how to use energy efficiently. Staff will conduct educational seminars, events, classes and develop toolkits to teach the community about ways to save energy and money.
KANSAS

Dyck Arboretum of the Plains, Hesston - $19,847: This project will create a network of prairie landowners and conduct outreach to them, in order to improve understanding of the connection between people and the prairie. Participants will learn about prairie preservation in South Central Kansas. Staff from the arboretum will provide landowners with prairie management information to assist in assessing the ecological value of their property. This network of landowners will share ideas about managing their property and create a prairie management plan for Kansas.

Flint Hills Resource Conservation, Emporia - $8,790: This project will teach farmers within the Clarks Creek Watershed about long term soil testing to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous that runs off cropland fields into surface waters. Farmers will receive assistance from the county extension service with taking soil tests, submitting soil samples for testing and interpretation of the results. Farmers will learn how to apply proper amounts of fertilizer to balance soil fertility needs while reducing excess applications that can contribute to runoff and water quality issues.
MISSOURI

Green Works, Kansas City - $25,000: This project will involve a year long environmental stewardship curriculum for high school students with service learning activities, field trips and mentors in the environmental field. Students will learn about local environmental issues; clean water, solid waste, recycling, air pollution, energy use, urban forests and climate change. Students will have an opportunity to learn about new jobs in fields such as green building construction, engineering, hydrology, urban planning and environmental science.

National Audubon Society, Joplin - $31,158: This project will teach third through fifth grade students about water quality and how to protect water resources. Students will study water quality assessments, journaling, and wildlife management and bird habitats at the Shoal Creek, Silver Creek and Wildcat Spring watersheds. Students will address two major environmental issues: the water quality and quantity of Shoal Creek, and rare chert glades. The Audubon Center will provide hands-on, science-based study of water resources and glade habitat to a diverse audience, and will meet water education needs and concerns addressed by local educators.

NEBRASKA

Doane College, Crete - $27,082: This project will recruit and train a volunteer stream monitoring network. Twenty volunteers will participate in water ecology and aquatic sampling techniques. The project will encourage citizens of Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline and Thayer counties to protect and improve their local water quality by raising citizens' awareness of water quality problems and including them in monitoring and intervention activities. The result of No Stream Left Behind will be a network of trained, involved citizens working to learn about, monitor, improve and teach others about water quality in their area.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln - $24,556: This project will teach and prepare 20 high school students for careers in science and environmental fields. Students will participate in a five-week workshop to learn about engineering, technical trades emerging in green building construction, waste water treatment, wetlands and grasslands. Students will increase their knowledge about environmental research methods, analysis and data collection. They will participate in field trips to national parks to learn about habitat environmental issues and resources. Students will take a field trip to an environmental center to learn about habitat issues. Students will develop an environmental research project to study environmental issues such as climate change, environmental health and justice issues, stewardship and sustainability.
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Learn more about EPA's environmental education grant program