MEDIA CONTACT: Heather Lauer

Ohio EPA Awards $4,893 Environmental Education Mini Grant To Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities

Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities will receive a $4,893 environmental education mini grant to educate more than 18,000 watershed residents about how to protect the urban stream. Thirteen projects throughout the state were funded for $50,000.

The project, Hands Dirty, Feet Wet: Getting to Know the Mill Creek Watershed, helps support the federally-endorsed watershed plan for the Mill Creek watershed. Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities (MCWCC) is carrying out a multi-faceted public education campaign targeting residents in the 166-square mile Mill Creek Watershed.

In partnership with communities and environmental organizations in the watershed, MCWCC will distribute two issues of the Voice of the Mill Creek newsletter, Readers will be asked to complete an enclosed survey to provide information about area-residents’ baseline level of knowledge and areas of interest. This information will be used to guide MCWCC in conducting hands-on activities in the Mill Creek that are targeted at residents' stated interests.

Planned outreach events include a stream cleanup in the city of Reading, a rain garden tour in the city of Springdale, educational walk along Beaver Run creek highlighting stream restoration, a Mill Creek canoe trip and guided tours of a newly restored streamside park in Twin Creek Preserve.

Reading, Springdale, and Wyoming, Green Umbrella, Hamilton Soil and Water Conservation District, OKI Regional Council of Governments, and the University of Cincinnati are all collaborating.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund gives out approximately $1 million each year for environmental education projects targeting kindergarten through university students, the general public, and the regulated community. General grants are given 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 costing between $500 and $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. Ohio EPA's Office of Environmental Education reserves up to $50,000 each grant round to fund projects submitted under this program. Just like the general grant program, there are two mini-grant rounds each year, with the next application deadline on July 16, 2012. An electronic letter of intent to apply is due on July 9.

For more information, contact Ohio EPA's Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873. Staff is available to assist potential grant applicants who contact the office before the submission deadline. Information also is available online.

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