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News Releases from Region 07

EPA Region 7 Awards Environmental Education Grants Focusing on Wetlands and Sustainable Food Production

Contact Information: 
Kathleen Fenton (fenton.kathleen@epa.gov)

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Oct. 26, 2016) - EPA Region 7 awarded three Environmental Education grants recently totaling more than $370,000, in conjunction with EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education in Washington, D.C.

The grants were awarded to the Board of Regents, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.; National Audubon Society d/b/a Rowe Sanctuary, Gibbon, Neb.; and Eastern Iowa Community College District, Davenport, Iowa.

The Board of Regents, University of Nebraska - A total of $122,148 will fund its project, "Introducing Environmental Sustainability Principles for Food Production into High School Science." It will focus on creating a curriculum that will provide a framework for students to understand the complex, adaptive systems involved in the food system, and prepare students to make future personal decisions related to environmental sustainability. The work will include implementing, pilot testing, evaluating, and disseminating a curriculum that empowers high school students to assess the sustainability of local farms using the Field to Market Fieldprint® Calculator, which is a tool used to measure several characteristics of a field, including land use efficiency, greenhouse gas contribution, and water quality impact.

The Rowe Sanctuary‘s Iain Nicolson Audubon Center - A total of $134,290 will fund its project, "Wetlands for Schools and Communities," a partnership with Kearney Public Schools. The project is two-fold: 1) Partners will create an outdoor wetland at the newly-built high school. This wetland and adjacent grasslands will include habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds, and grassland birds that migrate through and nest in central Nebraska each year, including several species of special concern. The wetland will also filter runoff water to improve water quality and increase groundwater recharge in an over-appropriated river basin. 2) The EPA grant will create an outdoor classroom and curriculum for students, parents, and the entire community, who will use the wetland as a focal point for their studies. The curriculum will incorporate hands-on, experiential education programs that will help build a culture of environmental stewardship throughout their community.

The Eastern Iowa Community College District (EICC) - A total of $114,126 will fund its project, "YES! Youth and Environmental Sustainability." This work will increase the number of middle and high school students who use critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills to understand the environmental topics of climate change, air pollution, and water pollution. EICC will design science teacher workshops and work with partners from Nahant Marsh and its Education Center. Nahant Marsh is a former lead shot-contaminated Superfund site that was cleaned up in 1999. The now pristine wetland will be a field site used for many of the lessons.

For more information, organizations in the four states of EPA Region 7 (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska) should contact Kathleen Fenton at 913-551-7874 or fenton.kathleen@epa.gov.

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