Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
2007 Environmental Education Grants
Region 9 is pleased to fulfill its mission to provide environmental education by helping to support the programs of non-profits in Fiscal Year 2007, by granting them $94,000.
2007 Grant Program Recipients
Our City Forest - $21,100
Rhonda Berry, 595 Park Avenue, Number 100, San Jose, CA 95110
The urban forest is central to the urban ecosystem, so understanding it, as well as how to care for it, is paramount. Education - teaching not only the importance of trees, but the importance of citizen involvement - is the key to a healthy urban forest and, in turn, a healthy ecosystem. Planet Tree is an environmental education and action program for students in kindergarten through grade 12. It is designed to teach and inspire students to be stewards in the community by providing interactive education in urban forestry in the classroom, through Planet Tree curriculum tailored for each grade level in kindergarten through grade 12, and by experiential learning through tree planting at their schools. The first phase of the project recruits and trains volunteers to be Planet Tree teachers. In the second phase, these teachers will offer training at schools.
Train-the-Trainer workshops will be used to train the program teachers. In turn, they conduct interactive Planet Tree classes in schools throughout the county. On-site tree plantings, including tree care and stewardship teachings, are provided. The program provides students the opportunity to design their own tree planting projects and offers the schools free shade trees and technical assistance to implement the projects. A key outcome of Planet Tree is increasing the students' awareness of the need for environmental stewardship. Planting a tree is important, but it is the easy part. Caring for it takes commitment. The slogan, "It takes 5 years to plant a tree," makes the point. By becoming involved and taking responsibility for our environment, we can build healthy, sustainable communities.
Our City Forest's Planet Tree Web site
Tuolumne River Preservation Trust - $42,900
Patrick Koepele, 914 Thirteenth Street, Modesto, CA 95354
“Tuolumne River Education Project”
The Tuolumne River is an invaluable natural resource to Stanislaus County. It is a source of drinking water, irrigation water, and hydroelectricity. It also supports an important ecosystem that is a habitat for several listed species. The objective of this project is a community that is well-informed about the river's importance and is able to make educated choices about its stewardship and management. To help achieve this goal, the Tuolumne River Preservation Trust offers students, teachers, and parents a series of field trips, classroom lessons, tours of the watershed itself, and a service learning project related to stewardship of the river.
Additionally, teachers undergo a separate training program that will include "Trekking the Tuolumne River" curriculum activities, use of "science suitcases" on water-related topics, and a service learning training. The audience includes students in grade 4, teachers, and parents trained as field trip chaperones. This project has at its foundation an existing California Science Standards-based curriculum ("Trekking the Tuolumne River") designed to educate people about the river's ecosystem and encourage its stewardship through hands-on experiences at the river and participation in restoration projects at local sites. The project is designed to encourage students to draw conclusions and evaluate their impact by monitoring and evaluating their own field work based on basic scientific constructs taught in pre- and post-field classroom lessons.
Tuolumne River Preservation Trust Web site
Moanalua Gardens Foundation - $30,000
Pauline Worsham, 1352 Pineapple Place, Honolulu, HI 96819-1754
“Native and Invasive Species - Their Impact on Hawaii”
The natural environment of Hawaii is in crisis. Of the 150 natural communities on the islands, 85 are considered critically endangered. Furthermore, Hawaii has the highest rate of bird extinctions in the world. The loss of native ecosystems, particularly forested watershed cover, has affected not only native species, but soil resources, ground and surface water, and the marine environment as well. This project produces a Native and Invasive Species instructional module that meets the Hawaii Department of Education's (HDOE) standards for teachers and students. The eight-lesson plans and resource materials, tailored to Hawaii's special environmental issues, are developed by a credentialed science educator. The content and practical exercises for students are designed to help students understand the concept of responsible stewardship and motivate them to become effective future workers, problem solvers, and thoughtful community leaders and participants. As a result of this project, HDOE teachers in grades 1 through 7 have a state-of-the-art Native and Invasive Species curriculum and updated resources materials. Through this teaching module, and its classroom instruction and meaningful practical exercises, students in Hawaii's public and private schools learn the importance of respecting, caring for, and maintaining the islands' complex, diverse, and unique ecosystems.
Moanalua Gardens Foundation Web site
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