DEP Awards $357,000 in Annual Environmental Education Grants

August 17, 2009

Programs Provide Training, Hands-On Activities for Students, Others

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Pennsylvania’s students, teachers and community groups will be able to take field trips, study alternative energy, restore ponds and wetlands, and use worms to create compost with the help of 60 environmental education grants by the commonwealth to schools, colleges, county conservation districts and local non-profit organizations.

Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said the $356,723 in Environmental Education grants will be used to develop hands-on environmental education programs and conduct workshops for teachers and local communities.

“These grants will fund a range of environmental education initiatives from local energy workshops to developing environmental curriculum and educational projects for elementary students,” Hanger said. “We are seeing a renewed and growing movement to care for our environment and to help our children and neighbors understand the importance of conserving energy and protecting Pennsylvania’s air and water. These grants will support efforts that will benefit all areas of the state.”

Projects funded under the grants announced today include outdoor environmental education facilities for school districts, field trips and hands-on activities at wetlands and mine drainage sites, and energy and conservation workshops for teachers and local community groups.

The grant program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5 percent of the pollution fines and penalties collected annually by DEP for environmental education in Pennsylvania.

Since then, DEP has awarded nearly $7 million in grants to support the environmental education efforts of schools, county conservation districts and other nonprofit organizations throughout Pennsylvania.

For more information on environmental education, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: EE Grants.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are the 60 environmental education grants, totaling $356,723 that were awarded by DEP.

Allegheny County

Riverview School District — $1,433 — Students will use the Audubon’s Outdoor Discovery Program entitled ‘Community’ and study a field, forest and pond to learn about healthy ecosystems.

North Hills School District — $15,000 — An environmental education center will be developed on school grounds to include a pavilion, amphitheater, nature trail, composting sites and an organic garden.

Beaver County

Hopewell Area School District — $3,000 — Equipment will be purchased to use in water quality field studies, as well as a field day at Hopewell Community Park.

Blackhawk School District — $2,100 — The Agriculture Program will be expanded to include alternative and renewable energy lessons.

Bedford County

Bedford Area School District — $15,000 — An environmental center on school grounds will receive additional hands-on activities and lessons that will be incorporated into the curriculum.

Berks County

Boyertown Area School District — $15,000 — Current lesson plans will be revised and new plans created to meet the Pennsylvania academic standards.

Blair County

Blair County Conservation District — $3,000 — Sixth grade students will visit a wetland site for field studies.

Bradford County

Bradford County Conservation District — $13,350 — The ‘Bradford County Volunteer Energy Corp’ program involves recruiting volunteers, educating them on energy usage and conservation, equipping them with exhibits and lessons and sending them to various events to present.

Bucks County

Bensalem Township School District — $1,500 — Through classroom presentations and field trips to the Silver Lake Nature Center, fourth grade students will learn about watersheds and wetlands management.

Cambria County

Mount Aloysius College — $3,000 — Ten high school science teachers will attend a summer camp with a focus on abandoned mine drainage.

Penn Cambria School District — $15,000 — The district will integrate the Pennsylvania academic standards into the K-12 curriculum.

Forest Hills School District — $3,000 — Eighth and ninth grade students will take field trips to monitor local streams to observe water quality degradation due to abandoned mine drainage and agricultural run-off.

Centre County

Bald Eagle Area School District — $7,500 — Restoration of a pond and the addition of an outdoor classroom on the high school grounds will benefit all district students.

State College Area School District — $15,000 — District curriculum will be revised through professional development.

Chester County

Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection — $2,000 — Seven public workshops focusing on alternative energy will be conducted.

West Chester Area School District — $1,481 — A neglected drainage basin will be transformed into a healthy wetland with the purchase of plants and garden equipment.

Montgomery School — $15,000 — A nature trail, wetland, rain barrel containment system and tree and shrub nursery will make up the new outdoor learning area to be integrated into the school’s curriculum.

Crawford County

Conneaut School District — $3,000 — Field trips to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and local waterways will enhance the in-class water studies.

Cumberland County

Grace B. Luhrs University Elementary School — $10,003 — A system for capturing and using rainwater will be developed and will expand current gardening and composting projects and improve the instruction of the school curriculum.

Dauphin County

Dauphin County Commissioners, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation — $3,000 — Two educator workshops will be developed and presented; one titled Pennsylvania Biodiversity and the other Raptors of the Sky.

Delaware County

Delaware County Conservation District — $10,738 — The ‘Bringing Green Energy Home’ series of 90 minute workshops will be available to all county residents and will focus on energy conservation and renewable energy technologies.

Natural Lands Trust, Inc. — $14,000 — Ten stewardship assessments will be offered to selected municipalities to enhance awareness about the importance of land stewardship and to provide guidance about stewardship practices that can enhance land and water resources.

Haverford Township School District — $2,980 — Students will assess an apple orchard through the inspection of pheromone traps to learn about integrated pest management.

Wallingford Swarthmore School District — $2,961 — Grant funds will be used to purchase nine Vernier Labquest Interfaces that ninth grade students will use to conduct water quality studies.

Erie County

Erie County Conservation District — $10,000 — Agriculture related programming at the district and countywide will be developed and targeted towards local residents, educators and students.

Iroquois School District — $15,000 — The district will update and align the K-12 curriculum to meet the state academic standards for Environment and Ecology and Science and Technology.

Millcreek Township School District — $3,000 — Equipment purchased and a field trip to Asbury Woods Nature Center will give eighth grade students hands on sustainable building and alternative energy learning.

Montessori in the Woods — $7,000 — This project involves an outdoor classroom construction, nature trail development, community development and education and science curriculum enhancement.

Fayette County

Uniontown Area School District — $7,500 — The school’s courtyard will be transformed into an outdoor classroom by adding a weather station, native gardens and seating areas.

Fulton County

Central Fulton School District — $1,221 — Field trips to the Green and Growing Event at the Pennsylvania renaissance faire grounds and the Penn Waste Recycling Facility will be provided for gifted students in grades four through eight.

Southern Fulton School District — $10,462 — An existing nature trail on school grounds will be improved and equipped with proper trail tread, amphitheater, learning stations and an alternative energy system and will be used as an outdoor learning area for the use of the elementary school.

Greene County

Carmichaels Area School District — $3,000 — Several field trips and in class studies will allow for students to understand ecosystem composition and properties.

Huntingdon County

Huntingdon County Conservation District — $5,065 — The development of wetlands discovery packs, observation worksheets and assessments and transportation will allow county schools to explore local wetlands.

Juniata College — $3,000 — Hands-on learning activities linked to the state’s academic standards for Environment and Ecology will be designed and installed in geo-caches placed around the Raystown Lake visitor center. School groups and other visitors will use GPS units to locate the caches and perform the learning activities.

Jefferson County

Jefferson County DuBois Area Vocational Technical School — $3,000 — Equipment, educational materials and field trips will enhance the alternative energy sources curriculum.

Lackawanna County

Keystone College — $7,500 — Funds will be used to develop and purchase educational resources and enhance a course titled ‘Climate Change and the Energy Challenge,’ which is offered to teachers of grades seven through 12.

Lancaster County

Lancaster County Conservation District — $5,000 — Funds will be used to provide 100 county residents with rain barrels and pertinent information at the district’s rain barrel workshops.

County of Lancaster — $1,255 — The purchase of materials to build a model table top ‘green’ house and National Energy Education Development solar energy kits and supporting materials will provide new programming for the center.

Lancaster County Career & Technology Center — $3,000 — A trail guide and boxes will be located in Cove Park and will highlight green building principles and technologies.

Lancaster Investment in a Vibrant Economy — $15,000 — The ‘Energy Solutions for City Homes’ workshop series will be targeted towards Lancaster city homeowners and residents and will focus on energy conservation and efficiency.

Lebanon County

Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick — $2,039 — Workshops on aquatic and forest ecosystems will be developed and presented to elementary and middle school teachers.

Lehigh County

Lehigh County Conservation District — $2,500 — Bus transportation will be provided to the eighth grade students in the East Penn School District to attend the district’s Watershed Awareness Day.

Luzerne County

Luzerne County Cooperative Extension Association — $5,000 — Workshops on stormwater management will be developed and presented to educators, municipalities and engineers.

Wyoming Valley West School District — $15,000 – Pennsylvania’s academic standards for environment and ecology will be integrated into the ninth, tenth and eleventh grade curriculum.

MMI Preparatory School — $3,000 — An elective course for tenth through twelfth grade students will be provided and will focus on biodiversity, watersheds and energy resources.

Mercer County

Grove City Area School District — $689 — Funds will be used to transport the seventh grade students to the Lutherlyn Environmental Education Program.

Monroe County

Monroe County Conservation District — $3,000 — A two-day watershed workshop for teachers will include using the EnviroScape drinking and wastewater treatment model and a trip to perform stream surveys and sampling.

Montgomery County

Cheltenham Township School District — $15,000 — Constructing the school’s empty courtyard into an outdoor classroom will give fifth and sixth grade students hands-on learning opportunities that they otherwise would not receive.

Northampton County

Northampton County Conservation District — $2,000 — A workshop on soil conservation will be developed and presented to high school teachers.

Lehigh University — $3,000 — Equipment purchased will allow the eighth grade students in the Broughal and Nitschmann Middle Schools to learn hands on about sustainable energy sources and technologies.

Northumberland County Conservation District — $1,975 — The conservation district will provide watershed programming to fifth and tenth grade students of Line Mountain School District by using an EnviroScape model and taking them on a field trip to a local stream for water quality testing.

Schuylkill County

Schuylkill Technology Center — $3,000 — A school courtyard will be turned into a discovery garden with raised beds and native plants.

Blue Mountain High School Green Club — $900 — Blue Mountain High School’s Green Club will take field trips to tour Penn State’s sustainable facilities and the Locust Ridge Wind Farm.

Snyder County

Snyder County Conservation District — $3,000 — Elementary students will be given a vermicomposter for the classroom with instructions on how to maintain and use the castings to grow flowers.

Somerset County

Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, Inc. — $3,000 — A day long field trip for elementary students to a youth camp will include hands on activities and peer to peer teaching.

Tioga County

Mansfield University — $6,890 — A workshop on water quality and watershed assessment will be developed and presented to educators.

Warren County

Warren County School District — $1,481 — Seventh grade students throughout the county will take part in a presentation on watersheds and non-point source pollution and prevention using the EnviroScape model and taking to the field for water quality testing.

Washington County

Avella Area School District — $3,000 — Funds will be used to develop six hands-on lessons that will be used at the annual Stewardship Day.

Westmoreland County

Saint Vincent College — $3,000 — A one day composting workshop will be developed and presented to elementary teachers.

Wyoming County

Wyoming County Conservation District — $1,200 — An Enviroscape model and educational hand outs will enhance the annual Field Day which targets every fifth grade student in the county.

    Teresa Candori
    (717) 787-1323

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Source: newswire

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