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EPA Awards $217,036 in Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 08/18/2010
Contact Information: Denise Morrison, (913) 551-7402, morrison.denise@epa.gov

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., August 18, 2010) - EPA Region 7 has awarded eight grants totaling $217,036 to schools, universities and organizations in the Agency’s four-state region to fund the development of new environmental education projects. The proposals came from the four Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

“The variety of organizations and diversity of proposals selected to receive these Environmental Education grants exhibit the commitment of the people of Region 7 to creating and sustaining a healthy environment,” said Karl Brooks, Region 7 administrator. “The rewards to be reaped from these grants will be visible in a stronger earth, more abundant wildlife, cleaner air, reduced pollution, smarter community growth, environmentally astute citizens, and healthier people.”

EPA’s 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

University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls - $34,465: This project will help Iowa classroom teachers of grades K-12, and naturalist partners, improve their teaching skills in environmental education and their knowledge about the underlying causes of flooding problems. Two workshop sessions will train 48 participants, who will in turn teach their students and community members about runoff, watersheds and flooding. This project will provide information to citizens to understand ecological and environmental issues affecting their communities, and what action they can take to monitor and improve water quality.

Iowa Recycling Association, Cedar Rapids - $14,104: The objective of this project is to address resource conservation and pollution prevention through recycling mechanisms. Conservation educators, secondary science teachers and students in grades 8-12 will develop a program that aligns with core science requirements while providing a solid waste,recycling component. Teachers will develop a recycling curriculum that will include science concepts as well as address resource conservation and pollution prevention topics. Students will design a conveyor system for sorting recyclable materials.
KANSAS

Fort Hays State University, Hays - $35,466: This project will focus on improving K-12 teachers' environmental education teaching skills through the creation of an interpretative nature trail. The audiences for this project will be K-12 teachers, students and the general public. The nature trail, part of a 22-acre outdoor classroom, will provide an opportunity for participants to observe nature and ask questions from local environmental experts about the natural environment in an urban setting. Students will learn about native ecosystems and their function in urban settings to diminish the impact of storm water pollution and promote environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Kansas Wildscape Foundation, Lawrence - $19,722: This project will involve addressing multiple environmental issues of water quality, indoor and outdoor air, energy conservation and natural resource management. This project will increase the capacity of public and private organizations to deliver environmental education programs, information on children’s health and outdoor experiences to the youth in Kansas. This expanded environmental literacy program will impact education programs and activities throughout the state and give educators an opportunity to teach students about environmental stewardship.
MISSOURI

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Missouri, Columbia - $15,000: Staff from Big Brothers and Big Sisters will teach K-12 students and teachers about environmental issues through community and school-based programs. The community-based program will consist of a series of seasonal field trips that teach youth about monarch butterflies and tagging, bald eagle viewing, wildflower education and stream cleanup. Students will learn about the habitat problems butterflies face, and then participate in the monarch butterfly watch program to help further study the species. Mentors will develop environmental education trunks to be used in conjunction with classroom curriculum to teach students about recycling, solar energy, pollution, plants and habitats. Both programs will improve environmental literacy and teach students what actions they can take to protect the environment.

Chillicothe Middle School, Chillicothe - $5,775: Middle school students will learn, study, research green careers, living green and travel to Greensburg, Kan., to learn about green buildings. Students will investigate options that may be available to the school district as their new K-12 building is designed and built. Some options they will explore are energy conserving timed lighting, heating systems, graded sidewalks at building entries, green materials and water conserving plumbing systems.

Missouri River Communities Network, Columbia - $43,780: Teachers will receive training on how to use outdoor classrooms to teach K-12 students in their day-to-day curriculum about environmental issues in their community. Students will learn about native plants, habitats, ecosystems, recycling and energy. An existing outdoor classroom will be used to teach students how they can become involved in preventing pollution through environmental stewardship activities.

NEBRASKA

University of Nebraska, Omaha - $48,724: High school students will develop research projects and water quality experiments to study environmental issues such as suburban, urban runoff and water pollution. Students will focus on issues and experiments that affect the environmental quality of the Elkhorn River and its watershed. This project will address issues and experiments identified, investigated and presented by students. Students will share their knowledge about environmental research methods, analysis and data collection on a website the students develop to post their research, educational materials and watershed information.
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Learn more about EPA's environmental education grant program