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Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Five Organizations throughout Ohio
Pickaway, Cuyahoga, Lucas, Ottawa and Butler counties
Five Ohio organizations are receiving Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) grants for projects focused on habitat restoration, environmental careers and environmental education. Five grants are being awarded statewide for a total of $177,824.
The grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are:
- High Schools That Work (HSTW) Ohio Network, headquartered in Pickaway County, is receiving $41,200 to provide opportunities for 250 rural middle school students to explore sustainable solutions to energy needs. Students will design and model alternative energy sources and evaluate options for reducing energy consumption while focusing on clean water and clean air using curriculum aligned with Ohio Learning Standards in Science.
- St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, in Cuyahoga County, is receiving $23,112 to introduce students to environmental sciences and careers in environmental engineering. Students will complete career planning exercises, paired with professional speakers and field trips highlighting environmental engineering career paths. The students will also complete training to convert light into electricity and gain hands-on education assembling a real residential-capacity microgrid (a small network of electricity users with a local source of power able to function independently from a larger power grid).
- The Nature Conservancy, in Lucas County, is receiving $39,278 to train approximately 30 teachers and implement existing Oak Openings lesson plans. These lesson plans teach about the value and uniqueness of the local ecosystem. The lesson plans also explain the importance of habitat restoration efforts and how that can increase biodiversity.
- Black Swamp Bird Observatory, in Ottawa County, is receiving $35,000 to educate and empower youth leaders in research, education and conservation disciplines through the Ohio Young Birders Club. This program coordinates monthly outdoor activities for youth between the ages of 12 and 18, to include field trips and service projects. Some of the projects include studying flora and fauna in specific habitats, habitat restoration and nest box construction and monitoring.
- Hefner Museum, Miami University – Biology, in Butler County, is receiving $39,234 to continue to support the Early Childhood Environmental Educator Certificate and to expand the credentialing program to include a Middle Childhood Environmental Educator Certificate for grades 4-9. Both programs stress effective education and content knowledge. After training is complete, educators will also receive an outdoor kit to use in their teaching.
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 July 9, with applications due no later than July 16, 2019. 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.