12/5/14
PUBLIC INTEREST CENTER, (614) 644-2160
MEDIA CONTACT: Linda Fee Oros
CITIZEN CONTACT: Mike Settles

Ohio EPA Awards $41,832 Environmental Education Grant to Stark County Organization

Ohio EPA awarded a $41,832 environmental education grant to the Friends of Stark Parks to develop a course titled, “Introduction to Watershed Studies.” Ten grants were awarded statewide for $269,334.

A watershed studies course will be developed to provide high school students with a service learning project focused on evaluating stream habitat, monitoring for aquatic macroinvertebrates and sampling the water chemistry. Part of the project will require students to prepare an Ohio EPA Credible Data Study Plan and assist in a public outreach program focused on storm water impacts in the Sippo Lake watershed.

Students will explore career opportunities as they interact with environmental professionals to learn about sample collection, laboratory analysis, compilation and analysis of data, and how to effectively present the results to the local community. Solar-powered, in-stream water quality monitoring sensors will provide real-time stream conductivity, temperature, pH, algae and stream flow data for an exhibit at the Exploration Gateway at Sippo Lake Park which hosts 134,000 visitors annually.

Students also will create posters and permanent interpretive signs to explain the effort, including habitat, storm water and nutrient reduction benefits that have developed as a result of the stream restoration. These will benefit local residents, the college community and visitors to the campus. Glen Oak High School and the Stark County Educational Service Center are collaborating on this project.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund is administered by Ohio EPA. Eligible grant recipients include nonprofit organizations, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional associations, businesses and state and local governments.

The next grant application deadline is Jan. 15, 2015, with an electronic letter of intent to apply due by Jan. 8. For additional information, contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund at (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. 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.


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