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Oct. 14 Event to Highlight Outdoor Classrooms in Columbia, Mo.

Release Date: 10/12/2010
Contact Information: Kris Lancaster, 913-551-7557 or 816-719-6375 (cell phone for event only), lancaster.kris@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., Oct. 12, 2010) - News media representatives and the public are invited to attend an Oct. 14 event in Columbia, Mo., to highlight environmental education grants for outdoor classrooms.

Teachers and outdoor classroom specialists will discuss the migratory behavior of monarch butterflies and tour a rain garden. Students will be using nets to collect monarch butterflies and other insects as part of a Monarch Watch Biological Survey.

During the event, EPA scientists will also have instructional booths and teach students about water chemistry of a nearby creek as well as its biology. They will examine fish and insects that indicate stream health. Students also will learn about the stream's habitats and how various land uses and urban runoff can affect a watershed and the stream into which it drains.

WHAT: News conference to announce $43,780 grant to Missouri River Communities Network and $15,000 grant to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Missouri and tour of outdoor classrooms held at a rain garden and creek west of the school

WHEN: 10:30 a.m., Oct. 14, 2010 (A tour of two outdoor classrooms for the news media will take place at 11:00 a.m.)

WHERE: West Boulevard Elementary School, 319 West Boulevard North, Columbia Mo. 65203. Parking spaces are available for the news media near the front entrance of the building. (In case of rain, the event will be held in the media center.)

WHO: EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks, Columbia Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Dr. Sally Beth Lyon, West Boulevard Elementary School Principal Susan Emory, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Missouri Outdoor Specialist Ryan Olson, and Missouri River Communities Network Executive Director Steve Johnson

The Missouri River Communities Network in Columbia, Mo., received $43,780 to teach elementary 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.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Missouri in Columbia, Mo., received $15,000 to 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.

October is Children's Health Month, when EPA brings awareness to children's health protection. EPA celebrates 10 years of protecting children's health this year. The grants are designed to expand our connection to children’s health and environmental education.

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Learn more about EPA's environmental education grant program

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