11/20/15
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Ohio EPA Awards $5,000 Environmental Education Mini Grant to Cuyahoga County Organization

Ohio EPA is awarding a $5,000 Environmental Education Mini Grant to the Cleveland Metroparks for a food forest initiative at the Rocky River Nature Center. Ten projects throughout the state were funded for $39,314.

The Cleveland Metroparks are planning to create a food forest at the Rocky River Nature Center using permaculture techniques. A food forest is similar to an orchard but is not reliant on human intervention for growth and care. It is a sustainable system which includes a wide diversity of plants and animals that support and complement the needs of one another. This forest will include trees and understory plants that produce nuts and fruits for consumption by humans and wildlife, as well as those that attract pollinators and provide habitat for local species. It will serve as the backdrop for school programs and a series of 11 adult education programs on backyard conservation, including topics such as native gardening, edible gardening, sustainable food systems, local habitat conservation, soil and rainwater retention and permaculture. Over 176,000 people visited the Nature Center at Rocky River in 2014, which made it the most visited center in the Cleveland Metroparks.

Each year the Ohio Environmental Education Fund issues grants for education projects for kindergarten through university students, the general public and the regulated community.

The next grant application deadline is January 15, 2016, with an electronic letter of intent to apply due by Jan. 8. For additional information, contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund on the web or 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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