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Environmental Education Grants Awarded to Four Northeast Ohio Organizations
Four northeast Ohio organizations have received grants from Ohio EPA’s Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF): Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Holmes Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Western Reserve Land Conservancy and The Ohio State University.
Cleveland Schools and Holmes SWCD received mini grants. Western Reserve Land Conservancy and Ohio State received general grants. General grants are awarded for up to $50,000; seven general grants were issued statewide for a total of $207,860. Mini grants are awarded for $500 to $5,000; 10 mini grants were awarded statewide for a total of $34,369.
The grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are:
- Cleveland Metropolitan School District-Campus International High School: $2,035 for the “Stream and Water Quality Analysis” project. Biology students at Campus International High School will participate in stream and water quality analysis activities on the Cuyahoga River and another body of water. They will do a thorough biological, physical and chemical analysis to determine overall health of the waterways including a determination of nutrient loads for further analysis in the classroom.
- Holmes SWCD: $1,300 for the “Learning about My Watershed” project. The district plans to purchase a new Enviroscape model to use in classroom presentations in the East Holmes and West Holmes school districts to teach about the sources and effects of water pollution and conservation practices that can be adopted to minimize them.
- Western Reserve Land Conservancy: Cuyahoga County, $46,374 for the “Cleveland Neighborhood Tree Steward” program. The organization plans to bring the tree steward program to four new neighborhoods in the city and build on partnerships with local schools. Community members will learn about the benefits of trees, share input on tree planting sites within their neighborhoods, participate in tree planting and learn how to provide ongoing care for the trees. Additionally, local schools will participate in educational and tree planting workshops at or near their schools.
- The Ohio State University Center for Automotive Research: $34,862 for the “Fueling Our Future: Introducing Seventh Graders to Careers in Clean Energy” project. A 30-foot hydrogen fuel cell bus will be outfitted with a series of hands-on learning experiments that will introduce students to photovoltaics-, wind- and fuel cell-based energy conservation to teach students about the environmental benefits of clean energy technologies. A trailer with a photovoltaic array and wind turbine also will be used. The project will be presented to seventh graders in Champaign, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Madison, Portage, Stark, Summit and Union counties. The program includes classroom lessons and career opportunities.
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 Jan. 9, 2018, and applications are due by Jan. 16, 2018. 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.