2014 Environmental Education Grants Program Application Announcement
[43 Pa.B. 6606]
[Saturday, November 2, 2013]
Applications for the 2014 Environmental Education Grants Program (Program) are now available from the Department of Environmental Protection (Department). The grants provide funding to public and incorporated private schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, incorporated nonprofit organizations, along with incorporated conservation and education organizations and institutions, businesses, municipalities and municipal authorities to create or develop projects that support environmental education in this Commonwealth. Grants will provide environmental education on timely and critically important topics, including the following:
• Chesapeake Bay and Watershed Education—Organizations are encouraged to develop environmental education programs that promote the reduction of non-point source pollution, such as nutrient and sediment loads, along with other water-related education programs.
• Air Quality—Organizations are encouraged to develop air quality education and outreach programs.
• Energy Education—Organizations are encouraged to develop educational programs on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as natural gas, coal, wind, solar and other energy sources and technologies.
• Brownfields—Organizations are encouraged to develop education and outreach programs for students, youth, educators, community members, community groups, developers, property owners and others that are interested in brownfield redevelopment and sustainable communities.
• Environmental Literacy Planning and Programming—Applicants are encouraged to engage educators and stakeholders in content standards and field-based environmental education. Areas of specific focus should include graduation requirements, professional development on environmental education content knowledge and field-based pedagogy, assessment and evaluation, partnering to build capacity, identifying existing resources and sustainability of programs. Additionally, projects may focus on high performing green schools and buildings; providing high quality programming for children, youth or adults, or both (programs to include STEM, outdoor education, service learning, ensuring access for participants with disabilities); professional development for formal and nonformal educators; environmental service learning programs for youth and adults; and environmental careers/green jobs.
• Formal and Non-formal EE Certification—Applicants are encouraged to develop and implement institutionalized and community-based certification programs designed for teachers, naturalists and educators working in schools and environmental education facilities at parks, county conservation districts, nature/EE centers, conservancies and more. It gives educators in these arenas access to a formal credential that standardizes and upgrades professional development, allowing educators to address academic standards in a meaningful and relevant way.
• STEM Education—Applicants are encouraged to develop environmental education programs integrating STEM program instruction (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) into programs.
• Curriculum Integration Projects—Applicants are encouraged to articulate the Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology into the formal K-12 curriculum, including energy education, for the entire school district, private school or charter school.
• Curriculum Revision Projects—Applicants are encouraged to revise current (or write new) lesson plans or units to meet the changes identified in the alignment to the Environment and Ecology Standards, energy education and provide a means for classroom assessment.
• Outdoor Learning Resource Projects—Applicants are encouraged to develop resources such as trails, agricultural demonstration areas, energy demonstration areas, ponds, wetland areas, sheltered learning stations, and the like, as well as similar nearby community resources as a framework within which students can learn about natural systems and the interrelationship among natural and manmade communities.
• Natural Landscaping and Trees—Applicants are encouraged to develop educational programs on landscaping with native plants; the social, economic and environmental benefits of trees; and invasive plant management, along with information on how to sustainably maintain these natural landscapes.
• Connecting Children to Nature—Applicants are encouraged to develop and facilitate educational programs or infrastructure for such programs designed to align science, environment and ecology and resource learning with immersive activities in the out-of-doors. Students within these programs should receive regular time outdoors during instruction or during healthful play.
The Program was established by the Environmental Education Act (35 P. S. §§ 7521—7528), which mandates setting aside 5% of the pollution fines and penalties collected annually by the Department for environmental education in this Commonwealth.
Environmental education grant awards are limited to $3,000. This announcement opens on November 4, 2013, and grant applications submitted to the Department must be postmarked by January 6, 2014.
Applications may be obtained by contacting the Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Education Grants Program, P. O. Box 2063, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063, (717) 772-1828. For additional information and to obtain the electronic copy of the grants manual and application forms, visit the Department's web site at www.dep.state.pa.us (DEP Keyword: EE Grants).
E. CHRISTOPHER ABRUZZO,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 13-2061. Filed for public inspection November 1, 2013, 9:00 a.m.]
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