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State of Ohio Environmental Education Resources

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The Adopt-A-Waterway program uses a hands-on approach toward keeping Ohio's waterways clean, clear and safe. Adopting a waterway simply means committing yourself or your organization to "adopting" a specific area along a local waterway. Cleaning the area and maintaining it is a small but vital investment in your community's future. Contact the Education Section, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft A-1, 4435 Fountain Square Drive, Columbus, OH 43224-1300, (614) 265-6480.

Discovering Hydrogeology in Ohio

“Discovering Hydrogeology in Ohio” is a CD-ROM that provides a practical view of the study of ground water: basic hydrogeological concepts, the hydrologic cycle, basic Ohio geology and geologic history, water resources of Ohio and issues in ground and surface water resources. The teaching material on the CD is appropriate at the university level, but can be beneficial to high school students and others interested in the study of ground water. Contact The Ohio State University, Department of Geological Sciences, Dr. Garry McKenzie McKenzie.4@osu.edu, 275 Mendenhall Labs, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1398, (614) 292-2721 or visit their website: www.geology.ohio-state.edu.

Fostering a Sense of Wonder During the Early Childhood Years

Fostering a Sense of Wonder During the Early Childhood Years (1993, 208 pages) is a curriculum based on the understanding that creating a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world is important to the development of young children. The curriculum includes ideas on what early childhood environmental education programs should encompass; practical ideas on how to infuse environmental education into all aspects of the early childhood curriculum; special considerations in developing and implementing early childhood environmental education programs; and tools for evaluating such programs. Copies of the curriculum workbook are available at no cost from Ohio EPA's Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873. Now available online as a downloadable Adobe Acrobat pdf file: Fostering a Sense of Wonder During the Early Childhood Years

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Ohio EPA Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) recognizes and encourages energy efficiency and renewables as significant options for reducing air pollution and other waste from energy use. OCAPP is providing financial and technical support for the Ohio Solar Energy Project, which has a goal of installing solar energy systems in at least 100 Ohio schools. OCAPP also is involved in the recent effort to form the Ohio Renewable Energy Organization. Contact (614) 644-3469 or visit their website.

The Ohio Department of Development's Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) promotes the efficient use of energy and renewable energy resources as a means of improving the economy and environment of the state. It serves as a clearinghouse for the most current, technically correct information about energy efficiency practices and their impacts. A primary focus of the OEE is training and education programs. In the commercial sector is sponsors the Ohio Public Facilities Maintenance Association, which works for improved energy efficiency in the operation and maintenance of public and nonprofit facilities. The OEE-funded Ohio Weatherization Training Institute provides hands-on training in weatherization and other technical energy efficiency skills for those doing new construction or retrofits in the residential and commercial markets. The Energy Efficiency Skills for Professionals program provides architects, engineers, code officials, contractors, and vocational and technical education students and instructors with training in building performance. Courses currently offered include the 1995 Model Energy Code, ASHRAE 90.1, and the incorporation of passive solar energy into building design.


Envirothon is an annual outdoor program involving teams of high school students in local, regional and national competitions that address students' knowledge of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatic ecology and current environmental issues. Contact Nelson Strong, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Soil and Water Conservation, 1939 Fountain Square Court E-2, Columbus, OH 43224-1336, (614) 265-6610 or your County Soil and Water Conservation District Office.

ERIC Clearinghouse

The ERIC Clearinghouse for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education is one of 16 clearinghouses which make up the Educational Resources Information Center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. ERIC has developed the world's largest education-related database, with over a million records of journal articles, research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, and books. ERIC/CSMEE collects, abstracts and indexes materials pertaining to science, mathematics and environmental education for the ERIC database. They also respond to requests for information; publish documents on current research, programs and practices in education; offer workshops and training in using ERIC resources, and facilitate improved teaching, learning, research and scholarship. Visit the website, email ericse@osu.edu or call 1-800-276-0462.

Habitats for Learning

Habitats for Learning: A Planning Guide for using and developing school land labs (Second Printing, 1995, 76 pages) is a comprehensive program to encourage the use and development of outdoor classrooms, or school land labs. The program includes a motivational video, a how-to guide for using and developing land labs, and a directory of land labs in Ohio. These materials and workshops are available through Ohio EPA, ODNR, and local collaborators.

Integrating Environmental Education and Science

Integrating Environmental Education and Science: Using and Developing Learning Episodes (Third Printing, 1996, 174 pages) is a statewide, collaborative initiative using environmental education as a vehicle to promote reform in science education. It consists of a 174-page resource book which includes examples of learning episodes from environmental education, strategies to link current reform components to the science curriculum, and connections to the ninth grade proficiency test. Copies of the resource book are available from Ohio EPA's Office of Environmental Education by calling (614) 644-2873.

Mining and Minerals for Elementary through High School Teachers

Ohio's Mineral Industries and the Environment provides elementary through high school teachers a week long opportunity each summer to learn about mining and mineral resources through classroom lectures and extensive field trips. College credit is offered. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, 4383 Fountain Square Drive B-2, Columbus, OH 43224-1362, (614) 265-6576.

Ohio Energy Project (OEP)

Ohio Energy Project, a non profit organization since 1984, has a mission to promote an energy-educated society and to facilitate youth leadership through effective partnerships with schools, businesses, government and communities. OEP teaches about all aspects of energy including scientific, environmental, economic, etc. They emphasize the ten major sources of energy, energy transformations and how energy impacts our environment, economy, and lives. All programs and materials are correlated to Ohio's Proficiency Test and New Content Teaching Standards. OEP's EnergySmart Schools Program, funded through an OEEF grant, offers many opportunities for teachers to learn ways to involve students in reducing energy consumption and costs and make sustainable energy choices in their schools and homes, while improving their learning environment and the earth. To learn about this program and OEP's exciting Energy Bike and a wide variety of other programs and materials for students of all ages and materials, visit their website, call (614) 785-1717 or email oep@ohioenergy.org

Ohio Historical Society

The Ohio Historical Society (OHS) exists to interpret, preserve, collect, and make available evidence of the past, and to provide leadership on furthering knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the prehistory and history of Ohio and of the broader cultural and natural environments of which Ohio is a part. OHS is a nonprofit organization that serves as the state's agent in historical matters, operating a network of more than 60 historical sites and museums, including such areas as the Cedar Bog and Wahkeena Nature Preserves, the Serpent Mound, and the Glacial Grooves on Kelley's Island. The OHS offers a number of educational programs, including "The Nature of Ohio." Contact the OHS, 1982 Velma Ave., Columbus, OH 43211-2497, (614) 297-2300 or visit their website.

Ohio’s Natural Heritage

The Ohio Academy of Science recently reissued Ohio’s Natural Heritage, the 336 page Ohioana Award-winning book on a CD-ROM for $19.95. Many Ohio naturalists and science teachers will remember this wonderful resource, with a striking cover by Cincinnati wildlife artist Charles Harper. The new educator’s edition of the CD ROM includes correlations to the state’s Academic Content Standards for both science and social studies. The Educator’s Edition, available for $29.95, was developed with a grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund.
Twenty-eight specialists invite the reader to survey the geologic forces that shaped the state, the colorful plant and animal life of its forests, prairies, hills, lakes and streams, the first people in what is now Ohio, and many maps, drawings and photographs. It offers a gateway to anthropology, geology, climatology, and the whole study of living things. The Editor-in-Chief of Ohio’s Natural Heritage is Michael B. Lafferty, currently the science editor for The Columbus Dispatch. The Educator’s Edition, that also includes inquiry-based lesson plans for most of the chapters, with may be ordered online at The Ohio Academy of Science. Specify the Educator’s Edition to receive the academic content standards correlations.

Ohio Sea Grant College Program

The Sea Grant Program is dedicated to the goal of promoting the understanding and management (development, utilization and conservation) of the ocean and coastal resources, specifically Lake Erie, through research, education, extension and communications. The program is administered by the Ohio State University. Stone Laboratory is Ohio's biological field station located on Gibralter Island at Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Contact Ohio Sea Grant, 1314 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212, (614) 292-8949 or https://stonelab.osu.edu

Ohio State University Extension

Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University. Its goal is to interpret knowledge developed at Ohio State and other land-grant universities. Programming areas include: (1) agriculture and natural resources (farming, gardening, and environmental resource management and protection); (2) community development (including recycling and composting, public policy and land use); (3) family and consumer sciences; and (4) 4-H youth development. Examples of programs include environmental consumerism, ag in the classroom, invisible environment, environmental health for travel, and school enrichment. Examples of 4-H programs include project manuals in the areas of forestry, ornithology, entomology, waste disposal, water use and conservation, pond management, aquatic biology, and sport fishing; annual state 4-H Conservation and Sea Camps; use of 4-H camp facilities as outdoor learning laboratories for county and school programs; and training opportunities for extension professionals and 4-H volunteers in the area of natural resources and environmental education. Extension resources including project books, curricular guides, fact sheets and bulletins are available from each county extension office for no or low cost. Contact The Ohio State University Extension, 2120 Fyffe Road, Room 3, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-6181 or visit the website https://extension.osu.edu/.

Ohio Water Education Program (OWEP)

Ohio Water Education Program is a statewide collaborative effort in Ohio to promote and coordinate water education. In addition to sponsoring Project WET, it supports a Communication and Information Services System that maintains a database of resource people, programs and materials related to water. Contact OWEP Program Manager, c/o Water Management Association of Ohio, 262 Agricultural Engineering Bldg., 590 Woody Hayes Drive, Columbus, OH 43210-6108.

Organizational Assessment Tool

The ‘Organizational Assessment Tool’ (OAT) is a self-assessment tool that can be used by the leaders of EE organizations to increase the effectiveness of their organizations. It was written to promote learning and growth within environmental education organizations.

Pollution Prevention

Ohio EPA's Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP) focuses on avoiding the generation of waste, and on using lower toxicity materials, as the preferred approach to environmental improvement. OCAPP's efforts include: technical assistance to businesses, other governments, educators and consumers; multi-media integration of pollution prevention (P2) into other environmental programs throughout Ohio EPA; implementation and development of voluntary P2 programs; information development and management; and geographic and industry-specific state and federal partnership initiatives. OCAPP services are available free of charge by contacting (614) 644-3469 or visiting their website.


Portapark increases awareness of Ohio State Parks and other natural settings through workshops and activities that focus on plant life, animal life, park environment and litter awareness. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Parks and Recreation, 1952 Belcher Drive C-3, Columbus, OH 43224-1386, (614) 265-6561.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree uses the forest as a "window" into the natural world to help pre-school and K-12 learners gain awareness and knowledge of the world around them, as well as their place in it. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, 1855 Fountain Square Court H-1, Columbus, OH 43224-1327, (614) 265-6657.

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)

Project WET is a K-12 interdisciplinary program designed to help young people gain the knowledge, skills and commitment needed to make informed decisions about water resources, uses and conservation. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Water, 1939 Fountain Square Court, E-3, Columbus, OH 43224-1336, (614) 265-6717.

Project WILD and Aquatic Project WILD

Project WILD and Aquatic Project WILD develop problem-solving and decision making skills in determining responsible human activities toward wildlife and the environment, and teach K-12 learners HOW to think, not what to think. Wild School Sites is a program designed to create wildlife habitat on school grounds to be used wit the curriculum. Certification of sites can be done through the education office. Educator workshops are provided throughout the state, and facilitator training is available at least once a year. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, 1840 Belcher Drive G-1, Columbus, OH 43224-1329, (614) 265-6316.

School Days and Green Tree Expo

School Days and Green Tree Expo programs attract elementary (grades 3-6) and secondary students to state parks throughout Ohio to participate in a variety of hands-on environmental education activities. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation, 1952 Belcher Drive C-3, Columbus, OH 43224-1386, (614) 265-6561.

Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP)

Ohio EPA's Small Business Assistance (SBA) helps small businesses understand environmental regulations and pollution prevention alternatives. Services offered are free and confidential, and include easy to understand fact sheets on environmental regulations, assistance in obtaining permits or licenses, on-site evaluations of compliance status, and training seminars. SBAO services are available to businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Contact Ohio EPA at 1-800-329-7518 or visit their website.

Super Saver Investigators and Investigating Solid Waste Issues

Super Saver Investigators (K-8) and Investigating Solid Waste Issues (7-12) are two comprehensive programs focusing on solid waste issues, recycling, natural resources and environmental protection through interdisciplinary activities. Each emphasizes hands-on experiences and skills development. Contact Ohio EPA's Division of Materials and Waste Management at (614) 644-2621.

Water Pollution Education

Water Pollution Education addresses water quality issues and encompasses a variety of programs and services aimed at concerned citizens and educators. Offerings include workshops, program development and resource materials. Contact the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, 1939 Fountain Square Court E-2, Columbus, OH 43224-1336, (614) 265-6610.

Ohio Department of Education, State Education and Environmental Roundtable (SEER)

The Ohio Department of Education is a member of the State Education and Environmental Roundtable (SEER), an organization dedicated to encourage schools in 12 pilot states to use the environment as an integrating concept for curricula. Ohio has an elementary, middle and high school participating in SEER research. Contact the Ohio Department of Education, 65 South Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215-4183, (614) 466-9272 or visit the SEER website.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Volunteer Programs and Resource People

Individuals and groups can volunteer to do many things to improve environmental quality. Ohioans can "adopt" a stream or trail; monitor water quality; volunteer at a state park, wildlife area or natural area; plant trees; and restore stream banks and other eroded areas. The list of volunteer opportunities is endless! In addition, ODNR Resource People from various divisions can provide technical data and other information to assist in program development and sound environmental decision making. They are also available as speakers for meetings, programs, workshops and classrooms. For more information, contact the appropriate ODNR Divisions, all in the 614 area code.

Civilian Conservation, 265-6423
Mining and Reclamation, 265-6633
Forestry, 265-6694
Geological Survey 265-6576
Soil and Water Conservation, 265-6610
Natural Areas and Preserves, 265-6453
Water, 265-6717
Oil and Gas, 265-6922
Watercraft, 265-6480
Parks and Recreation, 265-6561
Wildlife, 265-6300

Ohio EPA Technical Resources

Resource people from various Ohio EPA divisions provide technical data and other information to assist in program development and sound environmental decision making. They are also available as speakers for meetings, workshops, programs and classrooms. For more information, contact Ohio EPA's Public Interest Center at (614) 644-2160, or the Ohio EPA district offices: Northeast District Office in Twinsburg, (216) 963-1200, Northwest District Office in Bowling Green, (419) 352-8461, Southwest District Office in Dayton, (937) 285-6357, Southeast District Office in Logan, (740) 385-8501, and Central District Office in Columbus, (614) 728-3778.

Local Government Environmental Education Resources

A number of local government entities in Ohio also offer EE programs and information. Most of the following can be located in the blue (government) pages of the phone book under city and county government.

City and County Health Departments
County Extension Offices
Litter Prevention and Recycling Offices
Metroparks and other local park districts
Solid Waste Management Districts
Soil and Water Conservation Districts