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Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Grant to Mahoning County Neighborhood Development Organization

A group working to revitalize Youngstown neighborhoods now has an opportunity to showcase vacant land reuse strategies thanks to a $15,550 grant from Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund (OEEF). The grant was awarded to the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC) – one of 10 Ohio communities and organizations to receive a total of $330,540 to support environmental education programs.

YNDC will use the money to promote programs and site enhancements at the Mineral Springs Demonstration Block. Once the site of abandoned homes, the block is now teeming with a community garden and fruit orchard, rain garden, soil research garden, permaculture food forest and native wildflower plantings. YNDC will conduct a series of workshops for local 4-H students and block groups, so they may apply these and other reuse strategies in their own neighborhoods.

This is the second Ohio EPA environmental education grant awarded to YNDC since 2010. The first grant was used to educate Idora neighborhood residents in the environmental and business aspects of sustainable market gardening.

The OEEF 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 grant application deadline is July 16, 2012. An electronic letter of intent to apply is due by July 9. Additional information is available online or by calling (614) 644-2873.

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