Heather Lauer

Ohioans More Environmentally Literate Thanks to Outstanding Projects

Environmental education projects, paid for in part by the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, have helped hundreds of thousands of Ohioans better understand scientific and technical aspects of environmental issues. Ohio EPA periodically convenes a team of independent experts to review the results of completed grant projects, showcasing the best examples of effective, high quality environmental education.  This year, the Agency honors thirteen grant recipients that worked to educate members of the regulated community; 13 that targeted an adult general public audience; and 12 that worked with pre-school through university students and teachers.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund awards general grants up to $50,000 and mini grants up to $5,000, funded from one-half of the civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for air and water pollution control violations.  Ohio EPA has awarded more than $22 million in environmental education grants since 1991.

The booklet Outstanding Grant Projects 2012 includes project descriptions and links to additional information. Ohio EPA encourages these projects to be used as models; materials funded by Ohio EPA may be used by other parties to expand educational benefits.

Regulated Community Audience--

  • Ohio Dental Association, Dental Mercury Collection Program;
  • Ohio EPA Small Business Assistance Office, Best Management Practices Video for the Vehicle Salvage Industry;
  • Lake County Engineer, Storm Water Education Outreach;
  • Five Colleges of Ohio, Pollution Prevention on the College Campus and A Collaborative College Environmental Management System Initiative;
  • American Farmland Trust, Ohio Farmland Conservation & Preservation Education Project;
  • Erie County General Health District, School Environmental Health and Safety Program;
  • Columbus Green Building Forum, Green Building Education Program;
  • Ohio University, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio Businesses and the New Energy Climate: Integrating Energy Efficiency and Environmental Sustainability Into Business Planning;
  • County Commissioners Association of Ohio, Training for the Solid Waste Management District Regulated Decision Makers (Commissioners, Trustees and Policy Committee Members);
  • The Miami Conservancy District, People Prevent Pollution: Good Housekeeping at Municipal Operations in the Great Miami River Watershed;
  • Ohio Hospital Association, Pharmaceutical Waste Management;
  • Geauga County Combined Health District, Package Plant Extended Aeration Workshop; and
  • ShoreBank Enterprise Group/Cleveland Entrepreneurs for Sustainability, Next Generation Energy Workshop Series.

General Public Audience--

  • Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Firelands Chapter, Vermilion River Watershed Educational Book;
  • Butler Soil and Water Conservation District, The Greatest Show in Earth;
  • Cuyahoga River Community Planning Organization, Watershed Stewardship & Management Training for Cuyahoga River Tributaries;
  • The Breathing Association, CLEAR the Air;
  • Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, Central Ohio Rain Gardens;
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Resources, Project SWEETER/Source Water Environmental Education Teams Enhanced Resources;
  • Ohio Interfaith Power and Light, Energy Education and Audits for Ohio Congregations;
  • Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Lessons in Land Use;
  • Five Rivers MetroParks, Get them Outside; and
  • Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, RiverSouth Exhibits.

Preschool Through University Audience--

  • Dublin City Schools, Wyandot Elementary School, P.O.N.D. (People, Water, Nature, Diversity);
  • Action for Children, Nurturing Nature in the Wonder Years;
  • Black Swamp Bird Observatory, Ohio Young Birders Club (OYBC) Field Training Program;
  • Clermont Soil and Water Conservation District, Partnering to Protect Water Resources: A Rain Garden Demonstration and Education Project;
  • Springfield Schools Foundation, Taking a New Look at the Grove, an Endangered Oak Openings Ecosystem;
  • Miami University, Center for Environmental Education, Natural History and Conservation, GREEN Teachers Institute: InteGreat Science;
  • North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Dynamic Watershed Environmental Research Project;
  • Delaware City Schools, David Smith Elementary School Arts Council, Impact of Waste on the Olentangy River Through Arts Learning;
  • Elgin Local Schools, Elgin South Elementary School, All About Energy;
  • Bethany School, Environmental Education and Decision Making Overnight Camp;
  • Indianola Children's Center, Rain Garden for Young Children; and
  • Miami County Park District, The Quest for Science Knowledge through Nature Immersion.


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. In the past 40 years, 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. Ohio EPA….40 years and moving forward.

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