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EPA Region 4 announces award recipients of 2004 Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 01/04/2005
Contact Information:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 announced today that it has awarded 15 grants totaling approximately $188,900 as a result of the 2004 competition for environmental education grants.

EPA’s environmental education grants, authorized by the National Environmental Education Act (NEEA) of 1990, are awarded to carry-out environmental education projects.  The winners were chosen from 70 proposals submitted by organizations and agencies in the eight southeastern states.

The EPA Environmental Education Grants Program is designed to stimulate the development of environmental education projects at the community level by local schools and environmental organizations, and to facilitate environmental education partnerships between governmental agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and the private sector.  These projects are intended to motivate the public to be more environmentally conscious and make responsible and balanced decisions to protect the environment.

ALABAMA                                                                                                                                                   

Camp Winnataska/Friends of Winnataska, Inc.
P.O. Box 59514
Birmingham, AL 35259

The purpose of this project is to initiate a Consortium for Teacher Education in Environmental Studies at Camp Winnataska.  Along with other partners, the Birmingham City Schools will be included for purposes of piloting the use of field experiences as part of existing curricular components in environmental education.  The grantee will set up an office at the camp site, revise the camp waste management services to provide for recycling, and provide materials to support the workshops on site.  Twelve workshops for teachers and two for students will be held.  These seminars will address biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, geography and environmental education.

Alabama Forestry Foundation
555 Alabama Street
Montgomery, AL 36104

The grantee will host a five-day workshop for teachers designed to give them a better understanding of Alabama’s forest ecosystems in protecting the environment.  The project will include field trips as well as host guest speakers.  The grantee plans to incorporate Project Learning Tree, Legacy, GLOBE and other environmental curricula.  Topics will include endangered species, water quality, soils, the importance of fire in an ecosystem and a component on energy conservation. Teachers will be given field guides, papermaking kits, and leaf identification kits to ensure usage in the classroom of learned techniques.

FLORIDA

University of Florida
Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences
Office of Sponsored Programs
P.O. Box 110110
Gainesville,  FL 32611-0110

An “IPM Toolbox,” Integrated Pest Management, containing hands-on activities will be developed for homeowners by adopting less toxic pest management practices.  This will enhance the decision-making skills of master gardeners and the public.  This project will train extension agents to utilize the toolboxes as well as train representatives in 50 additional counties.

School Board of Broward County, FL
Driftwood Middle School
600 Southeast Third Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 

The objective of this grant is to establish an outdoor classroom conducive to science and other academic activities.  The grantee will restore native and other plant species, attract native species of animal life and provide hands-on learning experiences to students.  This would be utilized by 18 elementary school teachers and approximately 1,500 students.

GEORGIA

DeKalb County Parks and Recreation Department
The Manuel J. Maloof Center
1300 Commerce Drive, Suite 200
Decatur, GA 30030

The intent of this project is to introduce students and teachers to the value of wetlands, particularly in an urban environment, for wildlife habitat, water quality and flood reduction.  The grantee will transport both students and teachers to the wetlands site and provide test kits and other materials for water quality testing.  This project will be conducted utilizing Project WET resources (Wonders of Wetlands) and Adopt-A-Wetland program techniques supplied by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.  The teacher instruction will include classroom and field study.

Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia on   Behalf of the University of Georgia
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
2450 S. Milledge Avenue
Athens, GA 30605

The grantee will create a website that will become an integral component of a successful environmental education program originally created by the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance in 1996.  The Georgia Endangered Plant Stewardship Network is a teacher training program that emphasizes rare plants, threatened habitats and conservation biology as a training ground for science education.  The workshop includes teaching manuals, lesson plans, science kits, slide shows and a newsletter.  The grantee will transfer this information to the new website, along with tools such as an interactive lesson planner that will facilitate use of the material in classrooms across the state.  Educators will have first access to the website at a new teacher/training workshop.

KENTUCKY

Jefferson County Public Schools
Jeffersontown Elementary School
District-wide Instruction
P.O. Box 34020
Louisville, KY 40232-4020

This project will support the development of an outdoor classroom to be established at an elementary school within the district.  The goal is to provide students with real world experiences to reinforce the classroom curriculum.  The outdoor classroom will allow students to observe and experiment with processes and life found in nature.  Through hands-on activities, such as planting, logging observations of plants and animals, using data in writing pieces, making predictions, performing experiments and analyzing data, and developing an ecosystem, the outdoor classroom will support the school curriculum as well as the state core curriculum content.

Murray State University
Center for Environmental Education
3201 Alexander Hall
Murray, KY 42071

The objectives of this project are to educate pre-service and higher education teachers about environmental issues and environmental teaching strategies that can be infused in primary, middle, high school and college education programs.  Six two-day residential workshops in an outdoor lab setting will be offered.  These workshops will use established hands-on environmental education experiences and serve a total of 360 participants.

MISSISSIPPI

Clinton Community Nature Center
Environmental Education Program
P.O. Box 93
Clinton, MS 39060

The grantee will develop a working model for community-based teacher support in environmental education, embed the project in Central Mississippi for the next decade and extend the Center’s environmental resources to more schools, teachers and students by using and presenting the model.  The model will be defined by including a handbook, sample buddy kit, brochure, web page, CD and power point presentation.  The handbook will explain the process of Teacher Connectivity and Buddy Kits for those who organize and approve field trips. The Sample Kit will have examples of activities included in the Buddy Kits.  The brochure will detail field trips and nature labs at the Center for distribution to schools and the community; the web page will make this information available online.  The CD and power point presentation will have information and pictures and a narrated presentation, and the information packet will have folders with targeted information for dissemination comprised of other elements in various combinations.

Mississippi Forestry Commission
Information and Education
301 N. Lamar Street, Suite 300
Jackson, MS 39201

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an unbiased, fact-based teaching program based on sound science.  The goal is to teach students “how to think, not what to think” about environmental issues.  The program is taught to pre-service teachers at major universities.  PLT is correlated to the Mississippi educational framework.  The grantee will utilize the program through a series of six-hour workshops, with two facilitators per group of thirty attendees each. Thus far, 233 educators have received the training.  Through the grant, 380 educators will receive the training.  They will also receive the PLT activity guides and high school modules, workshop supplies and other educational resource materials.

NORTH CAROLINA

Hillandale Elementary School PTA
Science Committee
2730 Hillandale Road
Durham, NC 27705

The purpose of this project is to create a sustainable program of environmental science education, involving all teachers and students in regular outdoor investigations on the school grounds at Hillandale Elementary School (HES).  The school grounds include a 10 acre area, harboring both deciduous and coniferous forest, a field undergoing succession and a winding stream that is being developed as an outdoor classroom.  An environmental education guide will be adapted to school grounds and aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.  This cross curriculum guide will be assembled by a selected team of teachers and introduced to the faculty during a teacher workshop.  The reformed curriculum will be piloted by all teachers in the school during the upcoming school year and serve as a prototype for the entire district in the future.

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Division of Water Resources
1611 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, Wake, NC 27699-1611

The project will expand citizen water quality monitoring and stewardship programs into suburban and rural areas of North Carolina and increase water quality monitoring participation statewide.  Seven Regional Stream Watch Coordinators and four Adopt-A-Stream staff will facilitate two Project WET/Water Quality Monitoring training workshops for 20 people in their area to administer a statewide total of 22 workshops.   At these workshops, water quality monitoring kits that evaluate physical, chemical and biological parameters will be distributed to regional coordinators and Adopt-a-Stream staff.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Earth Force, Inc.
Lowcounty Earth Force
P.O. Box 22583
Charleston, SC 29413

This project will focus on increasing the environmental teaching skills of high school educators in four South Carolina counties.  Educators will be trained to deliver the Earth Force program within the existing standards-based curriculum.  Curriculum, educational materials and on-going support will be provided to ensure successful implementation of the program in the schools.  The cross disciplinary nature of the program will enable implementation of environmental education into other areas of the curriculum.  The program creates opportunities for young people to be more involved in environmental conservation in every sense, both through hands-on work as well as vocally.

Clemson University
Youth Learning Institute
Office for Sponsored Programs
Box 345702, 300 Brackett Hall
Clemson, SC 29634-5702

The purpose of the project is to provide an opportunity for at-risk middle school students participating in the Community in Schools.  The program will bring 20 students for weekend sessions at RM Cooper Leadership Center in South Carolina.  Students will engage in a variety of outdoor projects that will include soil horizons, water quality testing, and identification and research of trees and wildlife.  Each component has an indoor lab assignment that will integrate the lesson with computer technology.  The activities will be interactive and fun, while providing students with learning tools that will enable them to be more successful in school. 

TENNESSEE

Discover Life in America, Inc.
Education Committee
1314 Cherokee Orchard Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738

The purpose of this project is to host an environmental education Train-the-Trainer workshop for 10 high school teachers and 10 environmental educators at non-profit organizations.  At the workshop, the educators will learn about threats to biodiversity through a project that will involve them in collecting Eumycetozoa (slime mold) specimens at the participating land conservation units in their area.  These specimens will then be sent to a team of researchers who will identify them and include the information in the global inventory funded by the National Science Foundation.  Specific biodiversity threats to be covered are how air and water pollution, habitat fragmentation and the introduction of exotic species affect an ecosystem.  Teachers will post their slime mold data and photographs on the “Hands on the Land” website.  From there, students involved in the inventory and others will be able to compare the variety of habitats and specimens found, from the coasts of Maine to the deserts in Arizona.