EPA Region 4 Announces Award Recipients of 2007 Environmental Education Grants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4 has awarded 5 grants totaling approximately $94,000. The grants are awarded to support projects that enhance the public’s awareness and knowledge of environmental issues, provide them with skills to make informed decisions, and to take responsible actions to protect the environment.

The 2007 grant recipients are:

Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful, Covington, Ga.

Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful is the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Georgia Beautiful. This non-profit organization coordinates the production of a new puppet show each year to teach environmental concepts to approximately 8, 700 students throughout Newton County, Ga. The group has a volunteer puppeteer team that travels to all elementary schools, as well as clubs, churches and other organizations to perform the puppet show. The primary goal is to inspire everyone in Newton County to take responsibility for a clean and beautiful community by recycling.

Alamance County Health Department, Burlington, N.C.

The Alamance County, N.C. Health Department will hire a part-time environmental health educator who will be responsible for providing workshops and education on indoor air quality to school personnel, daycare staff, elementary students, parents, healthcare providers and business. This educator will also refer facilities to the health department for indoor air quality assessments, and teach asthmatic children in third grade on how to effectively manage their asthma and reduce asthma triggers in their environment.

MountainKeepers, Boone, N.C.

Due to increasing concerns about regional water conditions, the MountainKeepers were prompted to host an environmental summit in 2005. This summit resulted in a project with a purpose to, 1) educate communities about the science behind the region’s water supply and 2) identify water-related efforts within communities to facilitate linkages among various communities that will lead to improved environmental conditions. As university ambassadors, student interns will work with MountainKeepers and subject matter experts to develop science-based materials and use these to increase the knowledge level about water among the region’s residents and begin a dialogue about improving water stewardship.

Rust College, Holly Springs, Miss.

This project proposes to achieve two goals during the funded period. The first goal is to develop an environmentally friendly, informed and responsive public via environmental education. The second goal is to develop a sustainable environmental stewardship. During the public forum with the leaders and citizens and during nonpublic meetings with stakeholders, an action plan will be developed to address water quality restoration needs. Rust College will undertake the responsibility to educate and train its students and citizens by offering service learning environmental courses for the students, summer academies for school teachers and seminars for the general public.

Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville, Tenn.

"Living Clean and Green" is a series of sixteen programs designed to inform the public and improve the environment. These programs are presented by IJAMS Nature Center to civic organizations, church groups, neighborhood associations, and garden clubs. The key concepts embraced in the "Living Clean and Green" are natural cycles, interrelationships, biodiversity, understanding community, environmental stewardship, personal responsibility and living in balance with the natural world.

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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