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Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Grant for Creating Bird-Friendly Communities in Franklin County
Backyard bird habitats and education are the focus of Grange Insurance Audubon Center’s Creating Bird Friendly Communities. The project will educate homeowners about the need for backyard conservation and habitat restoration.
The center will offer a series of classes, workshops and lectures that focus on native plants, ecosystem gardening, bird feeding, nest boxes and sustainable lawn care. Class participants are encouraged to participate in bird counts and contribute data to a citizen science project that documents changes in yards. The center also will install avian habitat demonstration gardens. The Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District, Greenspot, the Columbus Zoo, Columbus Audubon Society, Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and the National Audubon Society also will collaborate.
The project is being funded in part with a $22,800 Ohio EPA grant. Seven grants were awarded statewide for $261,183. The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provides funding each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the general public and the regulated community.
Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. Letters of intent for the next grant round are due to Ohio EPA no later than Jan. 8, 2016, and applications are due no later than Jan. 15, 2016. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund on the web or at (614) 644-2873 to discuss project ideas.
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.