EPA awards funding to Syracuse University to support environmental education

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck announced Sept. 13 that EPA has provided more than $130,000 to Syracuse University to fund educational projects in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the eight federally recognized Tribal Nations within New York State.

The Syracuse Center of Excellence (SyracuseCoE) Center for Sustainable Community Solutions will use the funding to award approximately 30 grants of $5,000 or less to schools and community organizations to support projects to reduce the run-off of polluted rainwater and promote municipal waste reduction, recycling and composting. The SyracuseCoE Center for Sustainable Community Solutions is seeking proposals for projects that promote partnerships between community groups and school districts serving students from kindergarten to grade 12 in urban and rural communities. Information is available here.

“Educating students about the importance of environmental protection is one of the most important things we can do to create a generation of students with the tools to improve the health of their communities,” says Enck.

The SyracuseCoE Center for Sustainable Community Solutions will be collaborating on the grant project with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Materials Management, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University, the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, Reuse Alliance and the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board. The SyracuseCoE Center for Sustainable Community Solutions will provide expertise and technical assistance to the grant recipients and monitor the projects. Webinars and/or podcasts will bring the grantees together to share lessons learned when their projects are completed.

The Syracuse program is designed to improve connections between organizations and school districts, encourage development of community-based projects and provide career development for students. The grants program will support EPA priorities related to strengthening communities and improving water quality.

EPA’s local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded more than $55 million in environmental education grants to support more than three thousand projects across the country. Agency partnerships, including those with the National Environmental Education Foundation, the Environmental Education Training Partnership and the current EPA supported EECapacity Program, have given thousands of formal and non-formal educators the skills and knowledge needed to teach students of all ages about safeguarding the environment.

More information about EPA’s environmental education programs and a link to sign up for future environmental educationgrant announcements can be found here.

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