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MEDIA CONTACT: Dina Pierce
CITIZEN CONTACT: Heather Lauer
Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Five Western Ohio Organizations
Five western Ohio organizations have received grants from Ohio EPA’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF): Graham Local Schools, Logan Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Brookville Local School, Public Media Connect and The Ohio State University.
Graham Local Schools received a mini grant; Logan SWCD, Brookville Local School, Public Media Connect and Ohio State received general grants. General grants are awarded for up to $50,000; seven general grants were issued statewide for a total of $207,860. Mini grants are awarded for $500 to $5,000; 10 mini grants were awarded for a total of $34,369.
The grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are:
- Graham Local Schools-Graham Elementary School (Champaign and Logan counties): $5,000 for the “Graham Elementary Trout in the Classroom Aquaponics Adventure” project. The project expands the district’s existing program, adding another tank in the building. School staff is researching aquaponics as a process of filtering tank water and hopes to incorporate the project into another project, the First Lego League, which has a hydrodynamics theme this year.
- Logan SWCD: $21,272 for “Exploring Effects of Water Quality in Western Ohio.” The project will provide curriculum resources, professional development and field experiences for seventh grade teachers in 45 school districts in Auglaize, Darke, Hardin, Logan, Mercer, Miami and Shelby counties. It will provide education on water quality, with a focus on nutrients in many watersheds and related harmful algae bloom concerns.
- Brookville Local Schools-Brookville Intermediate School (Montgomery County): $20,136 for the “Brookville Biodiversity Project” program. Approximately 100 seventh grade students will investigate and solve the question: What is Brookville’s biodiversity and how can it be improved? The goal is to increase student awareness and knowledge of their local environment. Students will create a proposal and final product, then demonstrate their understanding through presentations in the community.
- Public Media Connect: $37,000 for “Let’s Get Wild: Teachers Learn to Teach about Nature.” The project will train 600 preschool and school-age teachers in 28 central and southwestern Ohio counties to use nature as a teaching tool. Curriculum includes hands-on projects, story books and other materials. Workshops will be held in Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Licking, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Pickaway, Preble, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Union and Warren counties.
- The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research: $34,862 for “Fueling Our Future: Introducing Seventh Graders to Careers in Clean Energy.” A 30-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus will be outfitted with a series of hands-on learning experiments that will introduce students to photovoltaics-, wind- and fuel cell-based energy conservation to teach students about the environmental benefits of clean energy technologies. A trailer with a photovoltaic array and wind turbine also will be used. The project will be presented to seventh graders in Champaign, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Madison, Portage, Stark, Summit and Union counties. The program includes classroom lessons and career opportunities.
The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provides grants each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the public and the regulated community. OEEF grants are funded with a portion of the civil penalties Ohio EPA collects for violations of Ohio’s air and water pollution control laws.
Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. Letters of intent for the next grant round are due to Ohio EPA no later than Jan. 9, 2018, and applications are due by Jan. 16, 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund online or at (614) 644-2873 to discuss project ideas.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.