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EPA Awards $94,000 in Environmental Education Grants


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 office has awarded seven grants totaling $94,000 to develop new environmental education projects. The proposals came from the four Region 7 states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.

“It’s great to recognize the creative ways these communities have sought to deal with environmental challenges,” said John B. Askew, Region 7 administrator. “These projects engage people in addressing problems in their community and reward good environmental stewardship.”

The grant program provides seed money for new projects and to advance existing projects. The projects increase the public’s awareness of environmental issues and provide the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. Projects chosen were:


No-Till on the Plains Inc., Wamego - $13,553: This project will teach young people, teachers, community members, and the agricultural community about the benefits of a no-till cropping system. This environmental stewardship project will teach students how to adopt environmentally friendly farming techniques.

Students will participate in field trips to observe no-till approaches, attend and present sessions on the environmental benefits of no-till farming practices at the annual No-Till on the Plains Conference.


Global and Multicultural Education Center, Kansas City - $4,838: This project will involve teachers from Kansas City participating in weekly seminars on climate change. Workshops will give teachers and presenters an opportunity to examine the complexity of the climate change issue. The professional development activities will focus on teaching skills strategies and effective classroom techniques for teaching students about global environmental issues. Teachers will incorporate climate change information into their lesson plans to teach students how they can become environmental stewards.

Parents as Teachers, St. Louis - $14,533: Parents as Teachers will hold a train-the-trainer workshop and conduct visits to deliver information to parents on how household chemicals, hazardous materials, and exposure to chemical mixtures can affect child development. These workshops and visits will be held in Kansas. Parents will learn about precautions they can take when handling hazardous chemicals and how to prevent a broad array of birth defects and disabilities.


Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville - $15,313: This project will involve college faculty creating a sustainable energy education center. The goal is to deliver sustainable energy education across Iowa. A web-based energy seminar will be held to teach naturalists how to deliver energy education modules to students. College faculty will provide curriculum to incorporate into lesson plans. Naturalists will give middle school students guest lectures about sustainable energy.

Polk County Conservation Board, Granger - $21,355: This project will help develop the next generation of leaders to protect and restore native ecosystems. Students will visit a wetland, a park, prairie or a woodland to plant trees, control erosion or remove invasive species. Students will learn about native ecosystems and how they can affect the quality of life.

Southern Iowa Forage, Corning - $11,784: This project involves field testing a grassland management and land stewardship curriculum. Agriculture teachers and university extension specialists will train high school and college agriculture students in land stewardship practices. Students will learn the best methods of land management on farmlands. They will learn about the value of grasses and legume forages, about soil particles that carry water pollutants, and about croplands and grasslands. Agriculture teachers and university extension specialists will show students and teachers how land use improvements can affect family farms.


Niobrara Council, Valentine - $12,624: This river education and outreach project will cover Brown, Cherry, Keya Paha and Rock counties. It will teach the community about issues affecting the river. Activities will involve the Niobrara Council creating a river education library of educational materials - books, software and equipment to be used by the community. Council staff will work with teachers to incorporate river issues into science and humanities classes. Students will become involved in river preservation, local river cleanup days and river scouting projects. These activities will teach students how to protect natural resources of the Niobrara National Scenic River.


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