CITIZEN CONTACT: Amber Finkelstein

Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Grant of More Than $23,000 to New Philadelphia City Schools

Ohio EPA has awarded an environmental education general grant worth $23,259 to New Philadelphia High School for a project to benefit students in Stark and Tuscarawas counties. Ten grants were awarded statewide for $330,540.

This project will engage 600 fifth, seventh and tenth grade students and their teachers in authentic investigations of local ecosystems. Teachers will obtain wildlife collecting permits from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and receive nets, waders, buckets and collecting materials to use in local forest, pond and wetland sites.

Teachers will investigate and collect local species that are amenable to classroom study, observing their habitats and interactions and developing questions and experimental designs for their students to investigate these organisms. A field experience will involve the students and teachers in a comparison of salamander diversity in forest ecosystems with different land use histories and serve as a vehicle for connecting classroom-based instruction to real ecosystems. Participating teachers will also use an online discussion board to compare their efforts during the school year.

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. Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. Approximately $1 million is given each year.

The next OEEF application deadline is July 16, 2012. An electronic letter of intent to apply is due on July 9. For additional information, contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund at (614) 644-2873 or visit its website at