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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

2006 Environmental Education Grants

Students digging
Water sampling at Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation

The 1990 National Environmental Education Act gives the EPA authority to support and create environmental education programs nationwide. The Environmental Education Grant Program is intended to stimulate environmental education by supporting projects that design, demonstrate, or disseminate practices, methods, or techniques related to environmental education and teacher training.

Region 9 is pleased to fulfill its mission to provide environmental education by helping to support the programs of sixteen non-profits and schools in Fiscal Year 2006, by granting them over $180,000.

The recipients of our grant awards this year offer educational programs that address many national and regional priorities and issues for the EPA. Included among them are native plant stewardship, recycling, biodiversity in desert ecosystems, forest ecology, pesticide use, solar energy, and stream, wetland, and marine restoration.

2006 Grant Program summaries:

American Samoa

American Samoa Resource Conservation & Development Council - $13,197
Pago Pago, AS

“Nu'uuli Polytech High School Conservation Club”
This project will include a combination of classroom presentations, hands-on plant propagation, and public outreach to educate high school students and the public about the issue of non-point source pollution. Field day events, greenhouse instruction, and communication to the public through newspapers and local public access television are also included. Up to 28 high school students will be recruited and trained to educate up to six villages (2400 people) on such topics as stewardship, water quality, non-point source water pollution, and basic conservation bioengineering. An additional 20,000 residents of the Territory will be exposed to the stewardship message through signage and local television coverage.

About the American Samoa Resource Conservation & Development Council Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Arizona

The Arboretum at Flagstaff - $19,555
Flagstaff, AZ

Students digging
Maybelle Little teaches at The Arboretum at Flagstaff

“Navajo Uses of Native Plants”
The goal of “Navajo Uses of Native Plants” is to educate northern Arizona youth about the traditional uses of native plants and to encourage stewardship on their part. By teaching school groups to appreciate the traditional uses of native plants, local children can see that the plants are not only beautiful, but can also be part of their cultural heritage. The plan is to recruit and train twelve contract educators from the Indigenous Studies Program at Northern Arizona University and the Navajo language program at Coconino Community College. By training Navajo educators to lead field trips, the Arboretum will be able to offer curriculum about native plants that will meet the national and state standards for all area schools. The target is to serve 100 classrooms and reach 2,000-3,000 students.

The Arboretum at Flagstaff Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

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California

Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation - $18,542
San Diego, CA

Students digging
Creek restoration at Aquatic Adventures

“SEA Series Initiative”
The Sea Series Initiative, a hands-on science classroom program, is provided to over 3,500 3rd through 6th grade students in the San Diego region. The program at each grade level includes professional development provided to classroom teachers, experiential classroom learning, field trips, thematic units (incorporating language arts, math, and social studies lessons that build off the environmental science theme), lending libraries, and a community service component in which students should translate environmental awareness into action. Through the community service component, students, families and other are engaged in environmental stewardship activities such as urban canyon restoration, street clean-ups, and on-campus recycling campaigns. The program fosters education on environmental issues, demonstrates how students and families can take responsibility for the health of their community’s environment, and builds a lifetime stewardship ethic.

Aquatic Adventures Science Education Foundation's SEA Series Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Catholic Charities CYO - $5,000
San Francisco, CA

“Caritas Creek Environmental Education Program”
This project, “Developing Youth as Environmental Leaders and Stewards,” will address challenges to the riparian corridor of two non-contiguous stretches of Salmon Creek and one of its tributaries that run through 220 acres of coastal redwood forest in Sonoma County. The program will serve over 3,000 students and up to 100 teachers during 24 five-day retreats throughout the year. A new creek and watershed curriculum will be introduced emphasizing on-the-ground restoration activities that are the direct result of student field study, observation, evaluation, decision making, and problem solving. The goal is to develop the environmental leadership and stewardship skills of the students through direct exposure to local environmental challenges.

Caritas Creek Environmental Education Program Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Coyote Point Museum Association - $6,900
San Mateo, CA

“Youth Environmental Stewards Club (Y.E.S.)
The plan of this organization is to launch the Youth Environmental Stewards (Y.E.S.) Club for 30 middle school students and their families, with emphasis on weekend marine clean-up and recycling projects. The purpose of Y.E.S. is to inspire each young person to protect and preserve their local Shoreline Park by involving them in hands-on, place-based environmental works that will assist them in learning about the Park’s coastal and marine ecosystems.

Students digging
Example of environmentally-aware building education

Projects will include: soil and water quality monitoring; wildlife population monitoring; and marine/debris recycling. Through these activities, students will be able to develop a deeper connection to the environment and begin to understand how the choices they make in their daily lives affect the natural treasures around them.

Generation Green - $4,900
Moraga, CA

“Traveling Trash Transformations”
Generation Green will provide at least 20 hands-on recycled art workshops at libraries and Farmer’s Markets throughout Contra Costa County. The objective is to inspire people, through creative endeavors, to see the potential value of the raw materials being recycled. The organization hopes to attract up to 1,000 participants, who will take part in eco art activities that generate enthusiasm and fun, while teaching folks to use unused, recycled materials, and to think before you throw it away. Generation Green wants to enable people to create, make, and make do; to inspire people to experiment with junk. They want to help create a generation of recyclers for whom it will be second nature to look at something discarded, and wonder, “What else can this be?” Or, “What can I make with this?”

Generation Green Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Mono Lake Committee - $9,261
Lee Vining, CA

“Mono County Eastern Sierra Watershed Program”
Field trips to local creeks and classroom activities combine to educate 110 sixth grade students in Mammoth Lakes and Lee Vining. A pool of 10 trained Committee staff and volunteer docents from the Stand By Me Mentor Program, along with the teachers, will conduct the instruction. The idea of the program is to educate about the importance of scientific research in land stewardship. Students will be introduced to field monitoring techniques and the specific topics employed in monitoring. They will also learn fish surveying, stream flow measurement, and greenline transect. Their results will form a database in which future classes will be able to study and contribute more information.

Mono Lake Committee's Eastern Sierra Watershed Program Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

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Northern California Society of American Foresters – $10,000
Camptonville, CA

Students digging
Tree boring at Northern Society of American Foresters

“Forestry Institute for Teachers”
The Forestry Institute for Teachers will reach 100 K-12 teachers, using the forest ecosystem as a tool to provide them with the skills and knowledge to teach their students about the intricate relationship between forest ecology and sustainable forestry, and to utilize the ecosystem to teach universal concepts. The plan is to offer 3 workshop sessions per year in forested settings in different Northern California settings. Each session is to be a 6-day, hands-on, field workshop. Participants will be trained and encouraged to use existing materials such as Project Learning Tree, Project Wild, and Project Aquatic Wild. Field trips will include a trip to spotted owl habitat, a visit to a lumber mill, one to an actively managed forest, a trip to a salmon bearing stream, and one to a meadow restoration site.

Forestry Institute for Teachers Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Rising Sun Energy Center - $15,000
Berkeley, CA

Students digging
Solar Energy Exhibition at Rising Sun Energy Center

“Solar Education Workshop”
Rising Sun Energy center will sponsor one-day Solar Education workshops four times a year for the professional development of 30-50 4th to 12th grade teachers, to teach them how to lead conservation and renewable energy projects for their students. The workshops will cover energy efficient home design, home energy conservation, solar electricity, and solar water pumping. The teachers will receive a guidebook with grade specific curriculum and projects. They will also learn how to use solar energy technology and receive background information on the global, national and state energy situation. This effort will result in bringing students a hands-on experience of energy education through projects such as solar-race car building, passive solar home model building, solar electric wiring and circuits, and home energy efficiency retrofitting.

STAR Inc. (Science, Theater, Art, Recreation) - $9,938
Culver City, CA

“STAR KIDS LEAD LA”
This program explores environmental issues pertaining to the Santa Monica Bay Watershed through hands-on watershed classes, field trips to SMB habitats, and real-world stewardship projects, all through daily after school programming. The idea is to develop a model program that educates students about local environmental issues surrounding their watershed. The plan is to enroll 1,000 students, conduct 3 nine-week after school courses centered on lab activities and encounters with rescues wildlife. Field trips are included to various living habitat in the SMBW. The program culminates in a community action project, wherein students test their newly acquired knowledge in the real world by undertaking a service learning action project that manifests their personal concerns and visions for their own health and that of their community. Examples of action projects are local beach, school or neighborhood clean-ups, wetland restorations, recycling projects, and educational murals.

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The Watershed Project - $6,000
Richmond, CA

“Healthy Schools Inside and Out”
The Watershed Project proposes to offer its “Healthy Schools Inside and Out” program in a new location: Contra Costa County. “Healthy Schools Inside and Out” is a program that builds on California’s Healthy Schools Act of 2000, which established requirements for notification regarding pesticide use in school buildings and on school grounds. Its one day workshop for 25 teachers offers activities that will dramatically and effectively illustrate the impact of toxics on the environment and human health in ways that excite participants and stimulate them to learn and think critically. It also gives them both the tools and support to implement what they have learned with their students and communities.

The Watershed Project Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Yolo Basin Foundation - $10,000
Davis, CA

“Discover the Flyway Educators' Workshops”
The Yolo Basin Foundation’s “Discover the Flyway” educational program is to make wetlands and their stewardship, in the context of the Yolo Basin, a consistent educational component of the schools of Sacramento. This project’s goal is to provide training for teachers, volunteers, and interns so they become skilled educators for the program. Seven workshops will be delivered throughout the year, reaching 80-100 teachers and 30-40 volunteers and docents. Theworkshops will focus on many of the ecosystem processes and beneficial aspects of the Yolo Wildlife Area and nearby City of Davis Wetlands. The program seeks to expand educators’ awareness of local conservation efforts, the compatibility of urban life and agriculture, flood control, effective wildlife management, and how all these factors contribute to a healthy Delta ecosystem.

Yolo Basin Foundation's Discover the Flyway Educators' Workshops Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Youth Employment Partnership - $13,550
Oakland, CA

“Team Oakland Environmental Stewardship Program”
This project will engage youth in hands-on, non-traditional environmental education, as well as introducing them to careers in the environmental field. It will provide a comprehensive environmental and science educational program to 100 youth enrolled in YEP’s Team Oakland program and 30 students in the YEP Charter School. These youth will take part in 25 hours of classroom-based education on the local marine and coastal environment, 25 hours of in-field education on coast and marine resources and ecology, 50 hours of clean-up at Lake Merritt and sites along the Oakland Estuary, and a public awareness campaign to educate local merchants and business about how they can help prevent drainage of toxics to the Bay. Educational programming will be delivered by graduate students from UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources and from a credentialed science teacher from the YEP Charter School.

Youth Employment Partnership Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

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Hawaii

Students digging
Example of a restoration project

Hanalei Watershed Hui - $17,357
Hanalei, HI

“Sediment Pollution and Erosion Control in the Watershed”
This environmental education program will reach 200 5th and 6th graders on the North Shore of Kauai. Its focus is on sediment pollution in the Hawaiian watershed, how it is caused, what effects it has on fresh water and coral reef ecosystems, and how the pollution can be controlled. The program provides a hands-on stewardship experience that combines classroom learning with outdoor experiences. The plan is for students to work together in cooperative groups to conduct field research on a local trail in order to assess the sediment/erosion problem. They will then design and implement a community based traditional restoration project that will reduce erosion on the trail. In a final reflective phase, the students will analyze and synthesize their findings into reports and presentations that they will share locally and on their Web site.

Hanalei Watershed Hui Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

Nevada

Winnemucca Recycling Center - $10,000
Winnemucca, NV

“Winnemucca Recycling Center”
The Winnemucca Recycling Center’s mission is to establish a sustainable recycling program in their community in Nevada, a state with a goal of havinga 25% recycling rate, but which remains at 10% or less. The Center’s Recycling Education Team develops and presents environmental education programs/materials to local schools and residents. These programs include: landfill/recycling center tours, slide presentations, composting, and existing cross curricula lesson plans on recycling. Their goals and plans are to utilize 5 existing integrated thematic units in preparing and teaching ten lessons throughout the community and in the schools, arranging three community meetings on recycling, and to teach ten classes based in artistic crafts that can be constructed with recycled materials. Their audience is basically all of Humboldt County, but in particular 35 local businesses, seven schools, and the local surrounding rural community.

Nevada Recycles Web site Exiting EPA (disclaimer)

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