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Eight Massachusetts Groups Receive $70,000 of EPA Environmental Education Grants

Release Date: 10/20/2003
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, EPA Press Office (617-918-1060

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has awarded $70,000 of $198, 700 in environmental education grants to eight Massachusetts organizations. The eight organizations are among 20 recipients throughout New England.

Selected from among 89 applicants nationwide, the eight Massachusetts organizations that received grants were the: Boston Harbor Association; Family Service Inc. of Lawrence; Saugus River Watershed Council; the South Shore Natural Science Center of Norwell; Taconic Chapter, Trout Unlimited of Pittsfield; University of Massachusetts, Boston; Worcester Natural History Society; and Fall River Public School District.

The grants are targeted to organizations that tackle community issues, environmental justice, curriculum development and environmental health issues.

"Environmental education is an important building block for ensuring a safe and healthy environment for future generations," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "These grants will support many of the state's most exciting environmental education programs focusing on such issues as river ecology, indoor air pollution and environmental justice issues."

    • The Taconic Chapter of Trout Unlimited, in partnership with the Becket River Restore Program, is receiving $16,634 for the Yokum Brook Environmental Education Collaborative, a program designed to educate elementary school children and the community on local environmental issues. The collaborative includes a "living classroom" at Yokum Brook to educate students on river ecology and ecosystem restoration. The program hopes to produce an educational video and children's book to reach statewide and regional audiences.
    • The environmental studies program at UMASS/Boston in coordination with the Roxbury-based environmental justice group, Alternatives for Community & Environment, is receiving $16,404 to create a program in which student interns will produce videos on environmental justice, including case studies and environmental justice tours that will be incorporated in UMASS/Boston's classes and used as a training tool for ACE.
    • South Shore Natural Science Center is receiving $5,600 for its "Good Things Come in Big Puddles" program. The center serves more than 30 South Shore communities and plans to target young women at Notre Dame Academy, teaching them the importance vernal pools and exposing juniors and seniors to potential career opportunities. The center will also conduct developmental workshops for teachers on environmental education. Eighty students are slated to participate in the program, which will encourage responsible management of natural resources and emphasize the intimate connection between people and the environment.
    • The Saugus River Watershed Council is receiving $5,000 to educate urban youth about their watershed. The program will educate 200 culturally diverse Malden and Revere students on environmental issues and problems affecting their area, using hands-on, interactive methods that will enable students to develop critical thinking techniques to identify watershed protection issues in their area. The program also incorporates environmental justice principles through educating and raising awareness for the ethnically diverse, low-income communities.
    • The Worcester Natural History Society is receiving $10,000 for its environmental justice Teen Action Science Crew (TASC) work program, targeting inner-city teens. The Society's EcoTarium, an environmental science museum, will use funds to train teens and help with museum programs for the public. The TASC training educates students on environmental issues, public health risks and the social impacts of these problems.
    • The Boston Harbor Association is receiving $5,000 for its after school environmental education program. The BHA's after school program implements environmental justice principles by providing local Boys and Girls Clubs environmental education focusing on field exploration of the natural resources in the Boston Harbor.
    • Family Service Incorporated is receiving $9,648 for its "Healthy Kids" program, which teaches parents how to reduce toxins in the home. Family Service will hold bilingual workshops for parents to reduce children's exposure to toxic chemicals in the home, educate parents on environmental health risks and their impact on child development.
    • The Fall River School District is receiving $2,554 for Project Green FEVER (Education, Volunteerism and Environment in Fall River). Project Green FEVER will use hands-on, interactive techniques to educate 6th grade students in an environmental justice area to enhance their knowledge of environmental issues. The final product will be an Eco-Invention Convention which will showcase student "inventions" or solutions to environmental issues.
For more information on the agency's education programs, visit the agency's web site at