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Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Twelve Organizations throughout Ohio
Twelve Ohio organizations are receiving Ohio EPA Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) grants for projects focused on habitat restoration and environmental education. The grants are being awarded statewide for a total of $225,215.
The grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are:
- Kids That Compost, Franklin County, is receiving $50,000 to increase public knowledge about environmental issues. Kids That Compost empowers kids to take ownership of their environmental education through project-based learning opportunities, encouraging them to educate others on the importance of intentional and sustainable environmental food waste diversion.
- Chagrin River Watershed Partners, in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties, is receiving $18,392 to equip residents and landscapers with the knowledge and skills needed to design, install, and maintain residential scale rain gardens by offering two in-person courses and two online courses.
- Great Parks of Hamilton County is receiving $41,600 to provide environmental education programming for youth and adults, including weekend programming for families. Additionally, field trips to county parks are provided for families, including transportation. The goal of this initiative is to engage underserved populations with environmental education and recreational experiences.
- Cincinnati Nature Center, Clermont and Hamilton Counties, is receiving $14,933 to expand the Schoolyard Native Plant Program to two additional schools. The program focuses on using schoolyard garden spaces for learning and will emphasize the importance of native biodiversity on an ecosystem. Key activities include: teacher training; project planning and goal identification; installation of native plant gardens; student programming at each school; creation of annual maintenance plan; and opportunities for community volunteers.
- The Toledo Zoo and Aquarium, Lucas County, is receiving $26,262 to educate students and teachers on the applications of open-source, Do-It-Yourself technology in solving environmental and conservation problems by providing training through workshops.
- Camp Oty’Okwa, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, Inc., Hocking County, is receiving $27,000 to design a series of programs that will enhance existing environmental education programs offered to 4,500 children in the residential camp experience. The programs will include geology, stream ecology, forest ecology, wildlife ecology, climate change, and arthropods.
- Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, Cuyahoga County, is receiving $24,212 to educate students about the importance of restoring functioning floodplain habitat within the Lake Erie watershed by restoring 3.5 acres of floodplain forest and wetland habitat along Doan Brook. The Nature Center will develop new service-learning curriculum based on Project WET and Project WILD to meet Ohio’s New Learning Standards.
- Agricultural Extension Camp, Inc., Licking County, is receiving $4,847 for updated exhibits to educate visitors to Camp Ohio on habitat preservation, wetlands, threatened and endangered species, watersheds, water quality, and environmental health and sustainability.
- Preble Soil and Water Conservation District, Preble County, is receiving $3,000 to promote environmental education and preservation of natural resources through hands-on activities at the Conservation Day Camp.
- Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District, Ashland County, is receiving $4,969 to demonstrate and encourage best management practices for nutrients, with a focus on manure management. The program includes a manure education day where farmers will learn about soil and manure testing, how to develop application rates, calibration of manure application equipment, and use of the OnMrk application for record keeping.
- Cuyahoga Falls City Schools – Cuyahoga Falls High School, Summit County, is receiving $5,000 to demonstrate innovative stormwater management and green infrastructure. Students will install a biodiverse green roof on a section of the high school to serve as an example of green infrastructure to the community.
- Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed, Franklin County, is receiving $5,000 to implement educational signage at the 17-acre Ohio Department of Natural Resources Sawmill Wetlands Natural Area. The project also will provide environmental education, ensuring visitors have an opportunity to experience and care for the natural world.
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 8, 2021, and applications are due no later than July 15, 2021. 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.