CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Ohio EPA Awards Nearly $40,000 Environmental Education Grant to Licking County’s Dawes Arboretum

Ohio EPA has awarded an environmental education grant worth $39,732 to Dawes Arboretum in Licking County for a wetland education program. Nine grants were awarded statewide for $350,000.

Dawes Arboretum staff and project partners will build an outdoor education program emphasizing water quality, ecosystems and environmental impact. Approximately 700 students from Heritage Middle School in Newark will be invited to engage in an inquiry-based science education program in which classroom concepts are brought outdoors to achieve better comprehension. National curricula will be borrowed from programs such as the Wonders of Wetlands (WOW), Project WILD (Wildlife in Learning Design), Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), Project Learning Tree and Healthy Water, Healthy People.

Students will collect data and explore animal habitat. After net fishing for macro-invertebrates, phytoplankton and zooplankton, students will compare their water quality indicators and species sitings with results collected by other organizations such as The Ohio State University Extension’s Certified Volunteer Naturalist program and the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District. These field trip activities will help increase the students’ appreciation of science as a career path. Students also will be provided opportunities to interact with environmental professionals, and their families will be invited to participate in a weekend litter cleanup along the Licking River.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund is administered by Ohio EPA.  Grants up to $50,000 are funded from one-half of the civil penalties collected by the Agency for air and water pollution control violations.

For additional information, contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund on the web or at (614) 644-2873.


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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