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Ohio EPA Awards $7,834 in Environmental Education Mini Grants to  West Liberty-Salem Schools and Graham Local Schools – Graham Elementary School

Two school districts in Champaign and Logan counties will receive Ohio EPA environmental education mini grants to help students learn about their local aquatic ecosystem and focus on brown trout reproduction. Fourteen grants were awarded statewide for a total of $58,345.   

West Liberty-Salem Schools will receive $2,834 for its “Trout in the Classroom Mad River,” program. Students will maintain two 55-gallon brown trout tanks according to guidelines of the national Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program.    

High school environmental science and Future Farmers of America classes and Boy Scout Troop 11 (Urbana) will maintain the tanks and monitor water quality in the Mad River and its tributary Mac-A-Cheek Creek, which flows through the school’s land lab.  Elementary students will study the trout life cycle, Mad River ecology, and agricultural and human impacts on stream habitat.  Students will compare the simulated Mad River cold water ecosystem in these tanks with already established tropical and marine ecosystem tanks.  After a year of study, the students will release the trout to the river in a community event.  Approximately 1,200 students will participate.   

Graham Local Schools – Graham Elementary School, will receive $5,000 for its program “Graham Local Schools Trout in the Classroom (TIC).”  

The grant will provide the national Trout in the Classroom program supplies, water quality monitoring equipment and two 55-gallon tanks to enable 150 students in grades first through 12 to study the trout life cycle and raise brown trout from eggs to fingerlings for eventual release to the Mad River.  Students will be learning about trout habitat requirements and local water quality issues and be responsible for raising the trout and testing water conditions in the aquarium daily. The project will include two field trips to the river for local sampling.  Students will present their findings through a district-wide community night and at other events.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF) awards grants each year for environmental education projects targeting kindergarten through university students, the general public, and the regulated community. General grants are awarded for projects lasting up to 30 months and costing up to $50,000.   

Mini grants are available for projects lasting up to 12 months and range from $500 to $5,000. Proposals for classroom projects, conference speakers, and other activities that are eligible under the general grant program are eligible under the mini-grant program, but the application process is streamlined.

For additional information, visit the Ohio Environmental Education Fund or call (614) 644-2873.

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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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