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Six Organizations Receive Ohio EPA Education Grants
Six Ohio organizations are receiving Ohio EPA Environmental Education mini grants for projects focused on habitat restoration, storm water management and environmental careers. Six mini grants are being awarded statewide for a total of $27,009.
Three of the grants provide equipment for three additional schools in Clermont and Hamilton counties to join an ongoing research project:
- Milford Junior High School, in Clermont County, is receiving $4,543 for conservation career training through turtle telemetry. The goal of this project is to collaborate with mentoring professionals to engage students in experiences related to careers in science conservation. The project will occur on Valley View Foundation’s 190-acre nature preserve locating wild box turtles, fitting them with telemetry devices, monitoring and recording the turtle movement weekly, analyzing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping data and sharing the results.
- Clermont Northeastern High School, in Clermont County, is receiving $4,580 for conservation career training through turtle telemetry. Students will work as field researchers and analyze data using Eastern Box Turtles as study subjects. Working with professionals, students will gain valuable skills that lead to career opportunities in the fields of GIS, habitat evaluation, conservation and restoration and spatial analysis of land usage. This collaborative will allow students to develop a network of contacts, and an understanding of what it takes to be career ready in these demanding fields. The project will be accomplished with the use of radio telemetry to track the movement of eastern box turtles and the application of GPS and GIS technologies to analyze the turtles' use of their habitat.
- Sycamore High School, in Hamilton County, is receiving $4,607 for conservation career training through turtle telemetry. Students will work with mentoring science professionals in field research and data analysis. The project will use radio telemetry to track Eastern Box Turtles. Students at Sycamore High School will work with students from other area schools to extend research being done at the Cincinnati Nature Center.
Other new mini grant awards include:
- Highland Youth Garden, in Franklin County, is receiving $4,994 to install a cistern to collect rain water for irrigating their garden. Students will learn about innovative storm water management practices. Educators will use lessons from Project Wet and Project Wild to help students learn about storm water, conserving resources and sustainability. Signage will explain the system to visitors and the practice will be shared with other community gardeners. The installation of the cistern will reduce use of city water and make the garden more sustainable.
- Lake Soil and Water Conservation District, in Lake County, is receiving $3,762 to build an augmented reality sandbox, which is a tool that allows for the 3-D visualization of topography, water movement through a landscape, erosion and plate tectonics. The sandbox will be used for outreach at events and schools within the county to educate the public and students about storm water issues, watersheds, point and nonpoint source pollution, engineering and technology.
- Sandusky City Schools, in Erie County, is receiving $4,523 to design a pollinator garden. The project, Serving Senior Soldiers, will bring together students and elderly veterans within the community through the common goal of restoring habitat for local pollinators, and monitoring butterfly populations as part of a citizen science research initiative.
The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provides grants each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the public and the regulated community. Mini grants are available for projects costing between $500 and $5,000.
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 January 8, 2019, and applications are due no later than July 15, 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.