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EPA Awards $24,662 Grant to Support Philadelphia Program Training Seniors as Environmental Health Coaches

Release Date: 3/3/2005
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected a Philadelphia program to receive a $24,662 grant under a new EPA program that encourages senior adults to become environmental stewards in their community.

Temple University’s Center for Intergenerational Learning’s program will mobilize older adults from low income neighborhoods in Philadelphia to teach elementary school children about community environmental health problems and what the children can do to reduce their risk of exposure. Fifteen to 20 seniors will be recruited as environmental health coaches in neighborhoods with high rates of asthma and diabetes. There will be a 12-week training program for the coaches on the public health effects of environmental hazards, how to use to utilize the arts to teach children, and community leadership. Temple plans for the coaches to reach 140 children through workshops at three to five schools.

“Projects like this can help bring the time and talents of older adults to environmental conservation, restoration, and habitat protection,” said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region.

This grant is one of 19 EPA aging initiative grants totaling $492,180 that are being awarded nationwide to support seniors involvement in environmental projects. Recipients, who receive between $18,900 and $25,000, include state and local health and environmental offices, regional councils of governments, universities and community colleges, a community foundation and non-profit organizations that deal with aging.

The aging initiative grants will help educate seniors about environmental health issues, foster intergenerational projects that address environmental risks, and enhance environmental health and quality of life through strategies targeting improved air and water quality.

The EPA’s aging initiative encourages civic engagement to recognize and reduce environmental hazards in their communities. A complete list of the awardees and information about the Aging Initiative is available at: