CITIZEN CONTACT: Kristopher Weiss

Ohio EPA Awards Environmental Education Mini Grant to Otterbein University for Summer Institute at Cuyahoga Valley National Park

The Otterbein University Department of Education has received a $1,522 Ohio EPA environmental education mini grant to support a summer institute for teachers in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP). The university was one of 13 Ohio organizations to be awarded Ohio EPA environmental education mini grants totaling $50,000.

Otterbein University will use the money to offer “Reading the Earth: The Language of Nature” – a professional development opportunity for 20-30 Ohio teachers. The K-12 teachers will spend five days at CVNP’s Environmental Education Center where they will explore the park with naturalists specializing in Ohio plant and wildlife communities; study classic and contemporary environmental writers; write about nature in outdoor settings; and develop and compare lesson plans for their students. A website will allow participants to share their writings and teaching activities throughout the following school year.

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 by 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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