EPA Grants Bring Environmental Stewardship To New York Educators and Students
(New York, N.Y.) The rivers, watersheds and gardens of New York have a new crop of environmental stewards thanks to three environmental education projects. The Bronx River’s ecology and water quality, a Bronx community and its nearby watershed and a schoolyard garden in Yonkers will all be the focus of students and teachers benefiting from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency environmental education grants totaling about $52,700.
“Bringing teachers and students out to the rivers, gardens and watersheds that shape their environment engages them in experiences that both educate and inspire them,” said EPA Regional Administrator, Alan J. Steinberg. “These programs give educators and young people the knowledge and skills they need to understand their environment and take action to improve it. Taking care of the environment, being an environmental steward, is the challenge these grant programs help them meet now and in the future.”
EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and supports excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded over $41 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including the National Environmental Education Foundation and the Environmental Education Training Partnership, have given thousands of formal and non-formal educators the skills and knowledge needed to teach students of all ages about safeguarding the environment.
The New York grant recipients are:
Bronx River Alliance Bronx, New York $19,875
718-430- 4665 http://www.bronxriver.org/
The Bronx River Alliance will host a Bronx River Classroom Workshop and two Bronx River Stewards Volunteer Water Quality Training Workshops to train teachers to use water monitoring equipment and protocols, teach river ecology and use the Bronx River as an educational field site. The group will also host two teacher workshops focused on using Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), and Project WILD (Wildlife in Learning Design) in classrooms/as educational tools. The Alliance will also sponsor a pilot project on bacteria testing of river water for students from a nearby high school and community garden, host a student symposium, outfit and support the efforts of water testing volunteers and host bimonthly meetings to enable participating teachers to share ideas and resources.
Clearpool, Inc. Carmel, NY $15,000
The Clearpool Education Center is partnering with three Bronx schools to teach 4th, 5th and 10th grade students about the connections between their community and their watershed. Through hands-on, outdoor, inquiry-based lessons in the Bronx and at the Clearpool campus, students learn geology and water chemistry, and develop an understanding of watershed ecology and how humans affect the health of a watershed. They will learn the connection between watersheds and the urban ecosystems to which they provide drinking water. By initiating the program locally, and bringing students into the Croton watershed, students will gain the knowledge, methods and skills necessary to integrate environmental stewardship into their daily lives.
Groundwork Yonkers Yonkers, New York $17,878
Groundwork Yonkers will use the Enrico Fermi elementary school’s garden in Yonkers, New York as a resource for hands-on learning. Groundwork will help teachers use the schoolyard garden as a tool for instructing students about the environment. The garden, planted and maintained by volunteer assistance from students and neighborhood seniors, will be the first such educational resource in Yonkers, the state’s fourth largest city. The schoolyard garden is well tended, absorbs rainwater, and promotes pollution prevention. By engaging students in their local environment and introducing them to the garden’s educational riches, students will become environmental stewards.
For more information on EPA’s environmental education programs, go to http://www.epa.gov/enviroed. Find out more about the grants program at http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/grants.html. EPA’s environmental education web sites are: http://www.epa.gov/kids for Pre-K through Grade 4; http://www.epa.gov/students for middle grade students; http://www.epa.gov/highschool for high school students and http://www.epa.gov/teachers for educators.
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