Profiles of Environmental Education Grants Awarded in Virginia

- Indicates a Headquarters grant

2011 Grants

Newton Marasco Foundation   $20,240
Jenny Schmidt, 1760Old Meadow Rd, Ste 400, McLean, VA 22102
The Trail to Water Quality: A Youth-Led and Community-Based Water Quality Action Plan
The Newton Marasco Foundation (NMF) project, Trail in Water Quality will teach students the science of water quality through hands on testing and evaluation; this in turn will help them create their own watershed management plan. The project will use a three-prong approach: Science, Schools and Community to effect a changed behavior in Loudoun County, VA. The Trail in Water Quality project will teach students who will in turn teach their community about water quality through acts of stewardship, including hands-on water testing. Students will confront challenges such as nutrient loading, storm water run-off, invasive species and drinking water contaminants. Each issue affecting the quality of our water will be addressed through a local approach with a broader regional impact.

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2010 Grants

Roanoke City Public Schools   $23,539
Tom Fitzpatrick, 40 Douglass Avenue Northwest, Roanoke, VA 24012
Water in the Valley
The Roanoke River Valley is a natural watershed and as such offers opportunities for first-hand understanding of the need for water quality. This project increases academic performance on standardized tests through inquiry and problem-based real-world environmental science experiences. During this project, the lead science teachers work with their middle-school faculty and students in using probeware as a data collection tool. Teachers take teams of students to a watershed area to conduct real-world, scientific tests of water quality using an inquiry and problem-solving approach. This project increases the motivation and understanding of the students regarding environmental stewardship and their role as consumers, residents, citizens, stakeholders, and future employees, and voters.

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2009 Grants

Rivanna Conservation Society, Inc.   $20,000
Jack Tanner, P.O. Box 1501, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Teacher Watershed Summit
The Teacher Watershed Summit connects area teachers with professionals and experts from diverse academic backgrounds for a full day of premier environmental education. The summit also offers roundtable discussions among the teachers to share activities and approaches that do and do not work to help teachers meet Virginia's Meaningful Watershed Environmental Education (MWEE) requirements. The Teacher Watershed Summit accomplishes the MWEE's criteria for environmental education as the Rivanna Conservation Society (RCS) provides a host of opportunities for young people to engage with the watershed through water monitoring, river paddling, and stream bank cleanups. Specifically, this project focuses on youth programs that include the Fourth Annual Teacher Watershed Summit, the Second Annual Youth Watershed Summit on World Water Monitoring Day, and Youth Education Programs. These programs and events are specifically designed to bring young people, of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, to the river's edge. By providing both progressive in-class and field experiences, the project enriches the next generation of water conservationists with the knowledge and concern necessary to protect our waters far into the future.

Sweet Briar College   $15,066
Michael Hayslett, 134 Chapel Road, Sweet Briar, VA 24595
Schools for Pools
The Schools for Pools project promotes community stewardship of vernal pools and related wetland environments and improves the teacher skills of regional educators on the environmental values and conservation issues associated with protecting these fragile ecosystems. The classroom and environment-based activities increase awareness of these wetland environments as undervalued wildlife habitats. The new knowledge and skills gained by students, teachers, and their networks of family, neighbors, and local leaders encourage them to be more responsible in recognizing the value of these environments in the landscape. Specifically, this project focuses on addressing the informational need as a pilot in the Central Virginia region. Students and teachers participating in the project study assess an "adopted" wetland habitat and bring the importance of this sensitive environment to the attention of their local communities and leaders.

The Elizabeth River Project   $28,121
Robin Dunbar, 475 Water Street, Suite 103 A, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Elizabeth River Project
The Elizabeth River Project captures the imagination of school children through story-telling, followed by problem-based lessons on river stewardship. The project reaches schools in four cities. The project also launches what is considered to be the world's first floating wetland classroom. The learning barge offers evocative exploration of its sun and wind power, a live wetland, a seining pool, and a grey water and compost system. The project recruits schools to conduct year-long, problem-solving projects related to river stewardship, including growing wetlands plants in the classroom for placement on restoration sites.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality   $84,376
Ann Regn, 629 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
Improving Delivery of High Quality EE
The goal of this project is to increase education capacity through state-level initiatives that deliver high-quality, science-based education. To accomplish this goal, the Virginia Office of Environmental Education (VOEE) works collaboratively with community educators and education leaders to strengthen local teams through a series of workshop trainings and meetings. In addition, VOEEE works with formal and non-formal environmental educators to create regional action plans and local stewardship projects. These action plans are developed and implemented by each region, advance EE, and contribute to an assessment of environmental literacy. The regional plans include specific goals and objectives to enhance delivery and expand EE in the region. VOEE supports regional teams by facilitating communication and networking, providing professional development workshops and leadership instruction, and providing electronic newsletters and printed materials aimed at increasing partnerships. Professional development is delivered through two leadership training summits and 10 environmental steward institutes focused on enhancing EE initiatives in each specific geographic region. These tasks build on previous work undertaken in Virginia to develop regional teams and a professional development program. Partners for this project include the Foundation for Virginia's Natural Resources and the Virginia Resource Use Education Council.

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2008 Grants

Boxerwood Education Association   $20,256
Hunter Mohring, 963 Ross Road, Lexington, VA 24450
Project Nurturing Environmental Stewardship Together (NEST)
The goal of Project Nurturing Environmental Stewardship Together (NEST) is to enhance integration of environmental education into the curricula and institutional practices of four elementary schools in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Project NEST enhances teaching skills by: (a) modeling effective outdoor teaching and learning strategies to teachers at Boxerwood Nature Center and in schoolyards; (b) introducing high-quality environmental curricula for adaptation to each teacher’s specific school setting; (c) offering teacher workshops in conjunction with the Washington and Lee University (W&L) Teacher Education Program, with special focus on inquiry and project-based learning; and (d) funding modest classroom-initiated environmental stewardship projects that introduce service-learning methodologies while also improving the instructional potential of the schoolyard. Specifically, this project addresses education reform by helping four schools meet expectations set forth in the Business Plan for Environmental Education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The plan includes goals of creating “outdoor classrooms” at every school to encourage authentic, real-world learning and develop sustained teacher training using an integrated environment-based learning approach.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $25,217
Sharron McElroy, 1880 Pratt Drive, Suite 2006, Blacksburg, VA 24060
Environmental Stewardship and Career Awareness Program for Education
A collaborative relationship among high school student scientists, their teachers, and researchers from Virginia Tech in collecting, interpreting, and sharing environmental data at Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge is the goal of this project. Students collect data on tree rings, soils, and forest composition and enter this information into an online, digital database. Students also participate in Web-based analysis of the data and scenario-based learning directed toward increasing their critical thinking abilities, their sense of environmental stewardship, and their interest in careers in environmental science.

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2007 Grants

Camp Kum-Ba-Yah Inc.   $12,000
Jean Clements, 4415 Boonsbono Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503
Earth Education at Camp Kum-Ba-Yah - Hands-on Field Studies for Area Schools, Roots and Shoots Garden/Healthy Life Choices
This project helps expand the existing school field work study program to grades –3 through 5. It is an outdoor facility available for environmental study and exploration to a segment of the area population as broad as possible and to integrate learning experiences on earth education into all camp-sponsored activities. The priority objective is to provide real-life, close and personal interaction with the environment that will result in greater respect for the natural surroundings.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality   $62,156
Ann M. Regn, 629 East Main Street, P.O. Box 10009, Richmond, VA 23240-0009
Building Statewide Capacity by Supporting Four Regional Alliances in Virginia
Virginia’s master/business plan for environmental education for community-based programs that was adopted in 2004 is implemented through this project. The goal of the project is to build the capacity and sustainability of environmental education in the State of Virginia by implementing the plan and developing leaders to revise the plan in 2010. To achieve this goal, the Virginia Office of Environmental Education is: (1) establishing at least three regional environmental education alliances; (2) increasing membership and collaboration in regional alliances; (3) providing an annual meeting and leadership forum; (4) conducting a strategic planning and needs assessment in each region; (5) providing 3 days of professional development to meet the needs identified by each region; and (6) recognizing community-based initiatives and community environmental education leaders. This project employs a full array of communication and education techniques, including monthly electronic newsletters; Web sites; meetings; professional development workshops; an annual conference; strategic planning exercises; and printed materials aimed at increasing partnerships, identifying funding sources, and facilitating communication and networking. The project helps community-based educators connect their programs to the public, link to other statewide or local programs, and find and leverage support for their programs. The primary partner on this project is the Virginia Resource – Use Education Council.

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2006 Grants

Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship   $15,000
Shawna DeWitt, 11661 Harpers Ferry Road, Purcellville, VA 20132-1944
Birds of a Feather Environmental Education and Awareness Program
Birds of a Feather establishes an ongoing outdoor environmental education program year-round to educate participants and raise awareness about the importance of avian diversity and habitat conservation. Activities include teacher training, development of a self-guided, 1-mile route that traverses three distinct avian habitats, and installation of two chimney swift towers. In addition, activities include docent recruitment and training, development of learning and teaching training aids, community outreach, and hosting groups and independent visitors. The audience includes teachers and school children in kindergarten through grade 5.

Earth Force, Inc.   $80,480
Vince Meldrum, 1908 Mount Vernon Avenue, 2nd Floor, Alexandria, VA 22301
Earth Force Teacher Professional Development Initiative
This initiative incorporates teaching strategies and techniques that are linked to improved student performance into watershed education to assist environmental education professionals and educators. This project brings together leading researchers in teacher effectiveness with the award-winning Global Rivers Environmental Education Network’s (GREEN) watershed curriculum to train a cadre of local environmental educators. The Earth Force Teacher Professional Development Initiative trains environmental education professionals, who are expected to work with educators in six states. The goals are to provide the tools needed to assist students as they perform a watershed assessment, conduct balanced research, discover water quality issues from a variety of perspectives, and take action to implement a long-term solution. Earth Force teachers lead real-world stewardship projects that enhance student understanding of crucial concepts in environmental science, work alongside watershed experts to use advanced water analysis, and empower students to identify and address a water quality problem in each designated watershed. This initiative builds on national and local academic standards for teaching essential skills to elementary-, middle-, and high school-aged youth, including critical thinking, problem solving, and the application of science to real-world problems. Partners on this project are Western Kentucky University’s Center for Mathematics, Science, and Environmental Education; the Rocky Mountain Watersheds Volunteer Monitoring Network; Pickering and Associates; RMC Research; and the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Piedmont Environmental Council   $4,800
Melissa Wiley, P.O. Box 460, Warrenton, VA 20188
Cultivating Watershed Stewardship
The Piedmont Environmental Council’s project educates teachers, students, residents, and local decision-makers about water quality and local watershed issues in Loudoun County, Virginia. Field trips for high school students and teachers are conducted in the fall and spring to carry out a plant survivability protocol in the field and to plant trees based on the results from the fall field work. The program results in long-term increased watershed awareness and stewardship and a reduction in nonpoint source pollution.

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2005 Grants

Earth Force, Inc.   $23,200
Vince David Meldrum, 1908 Mt. Vernon Avenue, 2nd Floor, Alexandria, VA 22301
Virginia GREEN: A Watershed Studies Program for Science Educators
Virginia Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN) focuses on training science educators in grades 4 through 8 in Northern Virginia. Educators participate in Virginia GREEN workshops to develop new skills, gain a deeper understanding of watershed and water monitoring issues, diversify teaching strategies, and form lasting relationships with community environmental partners. Each area of development contributes to a teacher’s ability to instill critical thinking and leadership skills, which are necessary for the future care of natural resources. The middle-school students participate in stewardship projects that involve the Lower Potomac watershed by applying their knowledge and understanding of environmental science concepts.

Newton Marasco Foundation   $9,443
Debi McGhee, 9302 Lee Highway, Suite 500, Fairfax, VA 22031
Bringing Environmental Science from the Classroom to the Field
The Newton Marasco Foundation, in Partnership with Central High School, St. Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands, conducts an environmental education program for students in grades 11 and 12. The grant supports projects to educate students about the wetlands of St. Croix and develops their commitment to environmental stewardship. Students conduct field studies and study the impacts of land use decisions. Experts teach students how to study wetlands and act as mentors. The foundation provides guidance, curricular materials, leadership, naturalist experts, and incentives (including course credit) to enable students to complete and continue this study of the environment.

Newton Marasco Foundation   $9,854
Debi McGhee, 9302 Lee Highway, Suite 500, Fairfax, VA 22031
Field It: Bringing Environmental Science from the Classroom to the Field
The Newton Marasco Foundation augments existing environmental curriculum for students in grades 11 and 12 by providing hands-on, real-life workshops, field trips, guest speaker programs, and three college scholarship opportunities. Students of Loudoun Valley High School in Virginia learn about water quality issues, critical ecosystems and wetlands management, forestry, plant studies, land use, and land revitalization. The classroom activities and field studies encourage critical-thinking skills and environmental stewardship practices. The program raises awareness, passion, and interest in environmental issues, which encourages students to pursue environmental studies and careers.

Rockbridge County Public School   $10,000
Alice Moore Waddell, 1972 Big Spring Drive, Lexington, VA 24450
Sustainable Living for All Times
Sixth-graders at Maury River Middle School are trained as student leaders who are grouped in learning teams. Together, the teams develop a model for a sustainable living community, illustrating sustainable living practices. The students share the model with participating students in grades 1 through 6 and the public to raise awareness of the human impact on natural resources. Students investigate and understand their own impact on natural resources to become citizens who practice sustainable living as well as life-long environmental stewardship. Before the project is in the schools, all teachers involved attend a 1-day workshop at Boxerwood Nature Center to acquire the science content they can use in their classrooms to reinforce environmental education.

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2004 Grants

Camp Kum-Ba-Yah, Inc.    $8,300
Jean F. Clements, 4415 Boonsboro Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503
Environmental Education at Camp Kum-Ba-Yah
Camp Kum-Ba-Yah offers a quality environmental education program to local community schools. Students participate in a full day of outdoor field studies, observing nature, participating in group activities, and experiencing firsthand the issues and problems confronting their community with regard to protecting and preserving the rapidly shrinking natural habitat. The program is designed to accommodate up to 60 students per day. Students are divided into small groups and rotate through three 90-minute courses selected from a six-course curriculum. Following the field activities, each class receives follow-up materials that ask the students to identify one of the issues they learned about, study possible solutions, and explain how they could be actively involved in implementing those solutions. Results are shared with all the participating schools to encourage collaborative involvement in activities pertaining to protection and preservation of the environment.

Hoffler Creek Wildlife Foundation, Incorporated    $17,150
Randi Strutton, 505 Washington Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
Watering the Watershed: Interpretation of Low-Impact Development Technologies
The Watering the Watershed program addresses the broad issues of water conservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay by demonstrating specific applications of sustainable development. The full program involves installing pervious pavement in parking areas and constructing rainwater collection facilities at the Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve, a 142-acre riparian forest; producing interpretive signage and literature illustrating how these systems benefit the watershed; promoting the systems by hosting a special open house; and equipping volunteer guides with materials and training so that they can explain how these models of low-impact technology help to protect watershed resources. The preserve hosts many field trips for local school groups, exposing the students to the preserve's low-impact technology solutions for watershed management. The grant funds the interpretive components of the program.

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality   $90,500
Ann Regn, P.O. Box 10009, Richmond, VA 23240-0009
Virginia Naturally: Statewide Environmental Education
This project implements the Virginia Office of Environmental Education’s strategic plan for building EE capacity in Virginia. In focusing on community-based programs, the project builds state capacity for EE by expanding on previous efforts to establish an effective leadership network and funding sources and to develop a programmatic infrastructure that supports community-based initiatives. To reach the target audience of community-based organizations in Virginia, grant funds are used to maintain and expand the network of EE partner organizations; nurture collaboration between partners in the network; and provide information, training, and programmatic assistance to community-based EE organizations. The project involves use of a wide array of education and communication techniques, such as monthly electronic newsletters, a Web site, regional forums, workshops, and a statewide conference. Partners in this project include the Virginia Resource-Use Education Council, an interagency committee with representatives from 26 federal, state, and local education and natural resource agencies; Smithfield Foods; and the Virginia Environmental Endowment.

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2003 Grants

Coalition for Jobs and the Environment    $5,000
Denise Peterson, 102 North Court Street, P.O. Box 645, Abingdon, VA 24212
Greening the Classroom: An Environmental Education Conference
Greening the Classroom is a project within the Learning Landscape Program that is currently offered to several schools in Washington County, Virginia. This pilot program is intended to help develop outdoor classrooms. The program provides workshops for kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, home school teachers, and parents that focus on using wildlife habitats and ecosystem study areas as outdoor classrooms. This program fosters new teaching techniques, accommodates alternative learning styles, and encourages community involvement.

Earth Force, Inc.    $24,769
Scott Richardson, 1908 Mount Vernon Avenue, 2nd Floor, Alexandria, VA 22301
Teacher Training about Watershed Health in the Lower Potomac
Earth Force, Inc., is providing materials and training to teachers in northern Virginia through a watershed stewardship program called the Global Rivers Environmental Education Network (GREEN). The Arlington Public School District provides expertise in academic standards; identifies participating teachers; and works with Earth Force, Inc., to ensure that participating schools support program activities. The goals of the partnership are to (1) create opportunities for middle school teachers to incorporate meaningful watershed experiences into their core curricula and (2) meet recently revised standards of learning (SOLs) that require students to understand watershed concepts, habitats, and health.

Lynchburg College   $74,960
Jeffrey Corney, 1501 Lakeside Drive, Lynchburg, VA 24501
Central Virginia's Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience
In an effort to enhance awareness and knowledge of watershed science, this project sends students and teachers from 26 elementary schools on a "watershed experience" field trip to Lynchburg College's Claytor Nature Study Center. The project provides hands-on environmental education lessons about watershed ecology and human impacts on water resources. This project improves students' standard-based academic achievement in the sciences. Over the course of the 2-year project, hundreds of students and their teachers will attend the watershed field trip. Teachers also will attend summer training workshops and receive curricular materials. This training is intended to help teachers incorporate environmental education themes into lessons on science and natural resources. Community volunteers also are involved in the project as field instructors. Lynchburg College is the primary sponsor of the project in partnership with the Lynchburg City Public Schools and Bedford County Public Schools.

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2002 Grants

The College of William and Mary   $13,256
Britt E. Anderson, P. O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187
Turning Adversity into Opportunity: Linking Environmental Education Programs to Virginia's Standards of Learning
This program strengthens the teaching skills of local primary school teachers by showing them how they can enhance their science curriculum by incorporating environmental education programs into their curriculum. The information gathered by this program is disseminated via teacher training workshops. These workshops introduce federal programs to the teachers, illustrate how these programs help students achieve science standards of learning, and provide teachers with information and materials that will help incorporate the programs into their existing curricula.

University of Virginia   $12,000
Tanya Denckla, 1644 Rugby Road, P. O. Box 400179, Charlottesville, VA 22904
Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute
This program brings together Virginia community leaders from all sectors to learn about major environmental issues and the impact of these issues on Virginia communities, ranging from health impacts to economic sustainability. The study also focuses on individual case studies and a wide range of methods that can be used to engage communities in collaborative problem-solving, productive dialogue, and resolution of environmental issues important to community health and sustainability.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $5,000
Alan Raflo, 100 Sandy Hall (0360), Blacksburg, VA 24061
Career Development Through Virginia's Service Training for Environmental Progress Program (Virginia STEP)
The project places two college students in one Virginia community to work on a water-related issue identified by the community. The students gain experience and skills in water resources, community organization, and public service.

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2001 Grants

City of Hampton   $24,885
Cheryl Copper, 22 Lincoln Street, Hampton, VA 23669
Hampton Watershed Restoration
The project is intended to build environmental awareness by “bringing the home front to the waterfront” and to cultivate individual responsibility for keeping the waterways in the area clean. The objectives of the project are to reduce the amounts of lawn chemical used in the area to promote the planting of vegetative buffers, conservation of water, and composting. Residents of the Hampton area develop the understanding that preservation and improvement of water quality are vital issues in their community.

Eastern Shore Community College   $14,607
Maureen Dooley, 293 Lankford Highway, Melfa, VA 23410
SPARK: Shore People Advancing Readiness for Kindergarten
The objective of the SPARK project is to help families prepare their pre-school age children by developing basic skills through environmental education. The parents, along with their children, learn about the natural history of the Eastern Shore of Virginia through field trips and hands-on nature activities.

The River Foundation, Inc.   $4,500
Jo Nelson, P. O. Box 8508, Roanoke, VA 24014
Environmental Education for All Ages
The project is designed to teach students in kindergarten through grade 9 the importance of environmental stewardship and to increase their knowledge of such environmental issues as clean water, soil, and air. Students have the opportunity to apply techniques for environmental testing and learn to identify environmental issues. The goal of the project is to expose students to environmental science.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $4,875
Pat Hobbs, 100 Sandy Hall, Mail Code 0360, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Developing an Interactive Web-Based Educational Tool for Encouraging and Understanding Ecosystems
The project provides students in kindergarten through grade 12, educators, and volunteers who work with the students easy access to forest inventory and analysis data that are available only to professionals. The goal of the project is to empower students to seek solutions that improve their environment. That goal is accomplished by creating a web site on which students and their teachers can query an interactive map of counties and obtain answers to their various questions.

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2000 Grants

Old Dominion University Research Foundation   $5,000
Terri Mathews, P. O. Box 6369, Norfolk, VA 23508
Environmental Field Investigation Project with Norfolk City Public Schools
The project creates a regional community of science educators who share environmental data from investigations conducted by high school students on high school campuses. EPA funding provides for the purchase of calculator-based laboratories (CBL) and calculators that must be acquired to begin the project. The course is designed to encourage the use of inquiry-based learning by science educators and incorporates the use of CBLs and Global Positioning Satellites (GPS).

Portsmouth Public Schools   $4,980
Catherine Roberts, P. O. Box 998, Portsmouth, VA 23705
Shad Restoration
Seventh-grade students participate in a watershed-wide shad restoration effort. The primary educational priority is education reform. The objectives of the project include teaching students importance of human interaction with the Chesapeake Bay environment, using real-world problem-solving skills to enhance critical thinking, supplementing existing efforts to increase Virginia's shad population, and providing an educational tool that encourages environmental reform to share with other professionals through the Web and conferences.

Radford University   $4,999
Fred Singer, P. O. Box 6931, Radford, VA 24142
Ecological Communities as Indicators of Environmental Health of an Urban Park
High school and college students and members of the community collect data on the abundance and diversity of species in an urban park. All participants learn about the life cycles of various plants and animals and how different species interact to become a community. Members of the public participate in their own education by using scientific methodology to collect the actual data that are analyzed and disseminated to the community. Members of the community that use the park are encouraged to participate in the project by reclaiming meadows and collecting data on insect and plant communities. Project results are updated regularly and posted in Wildwood Park.

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1999 Grants

Buchanan County Public Schools   $5,000
Franklin Jones, P. O. Box 833, Grundy, VA 24614
Save Our Streams Teacher Training
The purpose of this project is to improve environmental education and awareness of stream and water quality in Buchanan County by providing workshops based on the Save Our Streams curriculum developed by the Izaak Walton League of America. The goals and objectives of the project encourage participating faculty to become competent in using and implementing the curriculum, increase environmental knowledge, enhance critical-thinking skills, and promote awareness of water quality. The program is being implemented in classrooms and science seminar groups, and a network of stream monitoring teams are being established throughout the county. The project serves 20 teachers of students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Buchanan County, who incorporate into their lesson plans the ideas they have developed through their participation in the project.

Charlotte County Public Schools, Randolph-Henry High School   $5,000
Carolyn M. Baker, P. O. Box 668, Charlotte Court House, VA 23923
A High School Land Laboratory
The Land Laboratory at Randolph Henry High School is a demonstration site for good practices in farming, whether for pleasure or for profit, that also offers alternatives to tobacco farming. Students in the high school agriculture class become mentors to preschool students, enhancing and improving student achievement by establishing an innovative learning environment that incorporates curriculum objectives and an awareness of the environment. The most exciting component of the project is the merging of the Agricultural Department with the prekindergarten program. The agriculture students work with the preschool students to plant fall and spring crops and watch them grow in their natural environment and help them learn the names of farm animals and their offspring. Each preschooler adopts a calf to feed and care for and studies the growth of the catfish that are raised at the facility.

Essex County Public Schools   $14,600
Elissa F. Brown, P. O. Box 756, Tappahannock, VA 22560
R.E.A.C.H. (Recognizing Environmental Activities Creating Health Hazards)
The Chesapeake Bay Governor's School for Marine and Environmental Science is a public secondary program that serves 11th and 12th grade students through a half-day learning experience. The participants are 81 students from 12 school systems in the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck regions of Virginia. Through a rigorous and enriching curriculum that consists of college-level mathematics and science courses, students have the opportunity to foster an appreciation and respect for the environment by integrating science, technology, community service, and research. The 12 school districts participating in the program share a common concern for the well-being and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.

Montgomery County Public Schools   $4,800
Catherine R. Ney, 200 Junkin Street, Christiansburg, VA 24073
Designing and Implementing a Wildlife Program
The goal of this project is to design and implement a community-based project at Christiansburg Elementary School (CES), in cooperation with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Institute for Connecting Science Research to the Classroom (Virginia Tech-ICSRC). The project is a model for efforts to educate the public about the importance of the preservation of wildlife habitat in their communities. Students at CES use on-line media resources at the school to design, build, and link CES Wildlife Web sites to the Internet. They also use the Teaching Inquiry with the Latest Technology (TILT) Conference to build public awareness and concern for wildlife in their communities. The target audience is two-fold: the partners and the public. The partners -- 80 students at CES and their teachers and parents and Virginia Tech's ICSRC and its student volunteers -- are reached through direct interaction with the project. The public is informed about the project through the media, the CES Wildlife Web sites, the TILT Conference, and workshops.

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1998 Grants

Alleghany Highlands YMCA   $4,330
Debbie Farmer, P. O. Box 905, Covington, VA 24426
Earth Services
Earth Services, a community service program, focuses on training teens in environmental education and community service. The funds are used to empower teens to make their own positive decisions and become involved in the community; promote global environmental understanding and action through development of education projects and leadership training; and organize a long-term partnership among teenagers, teachers, community leaders, business people, and representatives of government agencies and nonprofit organizations. The program, which is open to all middle and high school students, serves 200 teens and involves eight teachers and five businesses. Participants will complete more than 500 hours of community service work.

American Lung Association of Richmond   $25,000
Deana Hagerty, 311 South Boulevard, P. O. Box 7065, Richmond, VA 23221
Teaching Elementary Schools Today
Under the Teaching Elementary Schools Today (TEST) program, 240 high school students teach elementary students about various lung diseases, including asthma and allergies, and about the hazards of smoking, second-hand smoke, and indoor and outdoor air pollution. The high school students adopt schools and act as mentors to students in third and fourth grades in the Richmond tri-city area (the cities of Richmond and Petersburg and the counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico.) The program reaches 1,200 students (100 per school) and their teachers. TEST can be sustained after the initial implementation year by the school coordinators who will continue to recruit and train students mentors.

Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries   $6,498
Raymond E. Davis, 4010 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230-1104
Wildlife Mapping in Virginia
This program provides an opportunity for citizens, community groups, school children, and others to contribute their observations of wildlife to the state's biological databases. Through two workshops, each accommodating 20 people, participants learn to inventory and monitor wildlife, identify habitat, and read maps. One of the workshops trains 20 facilitators, who have the potential to reach 400 other people. The other workshop trains participants to become wildlife mappers. Wildlife experts and wildlife mapping mentors provide assistance in identifying wildlife. Educators can integrate the program into existing curricula and subject areas.

Norfolk Public Schools   $71,880
Syble B. Stone, 800 East City Hall Avenue, Norfolk, VA 23510
Maritime Pathways: Oyster Restoration
This public school project educates members of the Ocean View community about their roles as caretakers of the environment and develops in them a stewardship ethic that protects the Chesapeake Bay. The project focuses on the restoration of habitat for the declining oyster population in the bay and addresses water quality, bay-friendly gardening and lawn maintenance practices, community outreach, and aquaculture studies. Tasks for students, which are identified by grade level, include: collect and test water samples, maintain databases, identify problems, hypothesize solutions, and make decisions based on scientific research. Students distribute the information they gather to the community through newsletters, workshops, presentations to community organizations, public service booths at area festivals. and a World Wide Web site. A high percentage of the students involved in the project are residents of a culturally diverse low-income community. Partners with the city schools in the Maritime Pathways project are the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Elizabeth River Project, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Rockbridge Conservation Council   $4,800
Mollie J. Messimer, P. O. Box 564, Lexington, VA 24450
Roots and Shoots at Central Elementary School
In an informal, real-world setting, this program teaches elementary students about environmental issues and encourages them to consider the pursuit of environmental careers. The project involves 340 children in kindergarten through grade 5 at Central Elementary School in western Virginia. Students attend 90-minute sessions in the classroom and participate in field trips planned for each grade. Activities are geared to the academic level of each grade and conform to the state's standards of learning.

Stafford County Public Schools   $14,882
Russel L. Watson, 1729-A Jefferson Davis Highway, Stafford, VA 22554
Environmental Action Through a Service-Learning Class
This pilot project establishes a service-learning class, called Environmental Action, at North Stafford High School. The class combines community service with a formal education curriculum. The curriculum goes beyond the academic study of the environment, exposing the students to new ideas, people, and expertise. For example, students examine the vulnerability of two local rivers, the Rappahannock to the south and the Potomac to the north, and of wildlife habitats in the rapidly developing county.

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1997 Grants

Newport News Public Schools   $4,777
Larry Vought, 12465 Warwick Boulevard, Newport News, VA 23606
Family Center Environmental Research and Action Projects
The goal of this project is to encourage students and their families not only to become informed about environmental issues, but also to become involved in efforts to resolve those issues. The project emphasizes hands-on learning that promotes exploration and understanding and includes river cleanups, design and installation of a wetland or backyard habitat, study of household water quality issues and measures to improve air quality, and study of the effects of pollution on human health. Directly participating in the project are 550 kindergarten through fifth-grade students in Newport News. Families who are involved in the project through their children prepare reports on their activities that are aired on the school's cable television channel.

Portsmouth Public Schools   $19,042
Catherine Roberts, P. O. Box 998, Portsmouth, VA 23705
Oyster Restoration
This program for seventh-grade students helps replenish the oyster population in a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Activities provided under the program focus on educating students from at-risk, low-income backgrounds about environmental issues and improving teachers' skills in environmental education. In addition to mathematics and science skills, activities encompass the disciplines of English and history, along with language arts and communication skills. The project is a partnership effort of the Portsmouth public school system, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.

Project Underground   $5,000
Carol Zokaites, 620 McDaniel Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073
Project Underground
Project Underground introduces teachers of kindergarten through grade 12 to karst environments, with their sinkholes and systems of interconnected caves. Teachers learn about those fragile environments and the need to protect them as human populations in karst areas increase and draw on their underground water resources.

Rockbridge Area Conservation Council   $4,310
Michael Van Ness, P. O. Box 564, Lexington, VA 24450
Waste Watchers at Central
This project teaches kindergarten through third-grade children how to solve the problem of excessive waste at home and at school. The experimental education program features an interactive puppet show, activities to be carried out at home, investigative field trips, and a litter cleanup project. Beginning with the puppet show Save the Trashasaurus, the program provides a series of lessons on decision-making and critical-thinking skills. Children learn how to make and manage a compost pile; evaluate their families' waste management habits; and prepare suggestions for their parents about ways to reduce, recycle, and reuse waste materials at home.

Tazewell SWCD   $5,000
Patricia Neel, 552 East Riverside Drive, North Tazewell, VA 24630-9573
Tazewell Education Program
The goal of this project is to increase the level of awareness and understanding of conservation among young people and farm communities in Tazewell County. The project examines issues associated with conservation, management of solid waste, and litter prevention. It exposes participants to adopt-a-watershed programs and teaches best management practices for agriculture, targeting primarily small-scale, part-time farmers through workshops. The key partners in the conservation education program are the Tennessee Valley Authority; Tazewell County; the Tazewell County Schools; the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and the New River Highlands Resource, Conservation, and Development Council.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science   $5,000
Jane Lopez, P. O. Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062
Development of Internet-Deliverable Environmental Education Units
This project trains teachers to develop educational activity units that are offered over the Internet. Availability of the units is publicized through local and national newsletters and conferences. The project is conducted by the staff of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuary Research Reserve, which is managed by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and the College of William and Mary.

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1996 Grants

Black Diamond Resource Conservation and Development Council   $5,000
Blaine Delaney, Route 4, Box 49, Lebanon, VA 24266
Southwest Virginia Environmental Education Conference
This project involves training to improve the environmental education skills of kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers within the Black Diamond Resource Conservation, and Development Area. A conference will be held for the six counties in the southwestern tip of Virginia. The conference will raise educator's awareness of the unique area of Appalachia and will build a network of knowledgeable educators on environmental issues.

Close-Up Foundation   $8,300
Shannon McLeod, 44 Canal Center Plaza, Alexandria, VA 22314
Citizens and the Government: Partnership for Environment Change
This project will prepare young people for effective and constructive participation in the government by analyzing the need for government control of environmental issues in each community.

Project Underground Incorporated   $5,000
Diane Barnes, P. O. Box 13079, Richmond, VA 23225
Project Underground
This is a multi-disciplinary environmental education program designed for use by educators of kindergarten through twelfth grade. The activities are designed to increase critical thinking, problem solving, and other process skills within the understanding of underground systems. Teaching about caves and underground resources of local karst areas is important in Appalachia due to the limited groundwater resources vulnerable to contamination.

Reston Environmental Education Foundation   $5,000
Susan Russell-Robinson, P. O. Box 3421, Reston, VA 20190
H.O.S.E. - Hands on Solar Energy - Phase II
The funds from this grant will support a training workshop to equip three to four staff members of the Reston Association to present energy conservation and solar energy programs to school and summer camp participants through Hands on Solar Energy Phase II.

The Environmental Education Center (formerly The Miller School of Albermarle)   $5,000
John Hermsmeier, P. O. Box 2377, Charlottesville, VA 22903-9328
Building a School-Based Habitat Network
The Environmental Education Center will use grant funds to host teacher workshops focused on school yard habitats, building partnerships to establish habitat areas, and maintain the person-to-person network created by the partnerships through computer networks.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $5,000
Dr. William Conger, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, 133 Randolph Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0249
Green Engineering
This "green engineering" course will introduce students to careers in environmental fields and promote a greater understanding of the role of technology and its impact on society. Approximately 60 university students of diverse backgrounds will take part. Graduates of this course will become future engineers, scientists, business professionals, and teachers.

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1995 Grants

Hollymead Elementary School   $5,000
Deborah P. Newman, 2775 Powell Creek Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901
Outdoor Classroom: An Experimental Science Lab and Presentation Area in a Natural Setting
This project is designed to improve the teaching of elementary science to students through a hands-on approach in habitat renewal, ecology, and organic gardening in a rapidly developing suburban environment. The development of this outdoor classroom will provide an experiential science lab and presentation area in a natural setting which allows for a better method of presenting and applying life and earth science concepts. The project is designed to reach an audience of approximately 700 students in kindergarten through 5th grade.

Mathematics & Science Center Foundation   $24,750
Julia H. Cothron, 2401 Harmon Street, Richmond, VA 23223
Environmental Studies: The Chesapeake Bay and Its Tributaries
This project will provide environmental education activities for teachers and students to better understand the Chesapeake Bay, provide a marine ecology class for 15 teachers who will reach approximately 2,000 students, and provide educational resources for participating schools.

Maymont Foundation   $3,000
Mary Buckwalter, 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, VA 23220
Environmental Education Activity Kits
Using these grant funds, Maymont Foundation will upgrade and duplicate a series of environmental activity kits and provide teacher recertification workshops that demonstrate how to use the kits and present environmental education in general.

Northern Virginia Community College   $115,730
James A. Mustachio/Rosemary Craft, 15200 Neabsco Mills Road, Woodbridge, VA 22191
Northern Virginia Community College
This project will improve the environmental education teaching skills of public school teachers in Northern Virginia by focusing on local environment and development issues. Through teacher training workshops, seminars, and college courses, teachers will gain the knowledge and skills needed to teach environmental science, awareness and understanding of local environmental issues, and the ability to make informed decisions about development in their communities. The project will target teachers of kindergarten through 12th grade in Prince William, Fairfax, Stafford, and Fauquier Counties and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. The project will serve as a vehicle for ensuring that the Commonwealth of Virginia's newly adopted science "Standards of Learning" are integrated throughout local schools. The project will reach 500 teachers who will, in turn, be required to design and conduct environmental studies activities for students, other teachers, or members of their communities.

Radford University   $5,000
Roy Ramthun, Box 6963, Radford, VA 24142
Environmental Education Training Workshop
The purpose of this project is to provide participants training in curriculum materials from Project Wild, Project Adventure, and the Institute for Earth Education. The teachers will develop their outdoor teaching skills while organizers create a pool of resources that teachers can subsequently use to conduct environmental education programs at their schools or facilities in a rural area of Virginia. The project will be offered to 10 to 12 individuals who will then gain hands-on experience with environmental education skills by offering a program for 25 to 30 elementary school students.

Reston Environmental Education Foundation   $5,000
Nancy Herwig, P. O. Box 3421, Reston, VA 20190
Hose-Hands-On Solar Energy
This project is designed to disseminate knowledge about solar energy to youngsters attending the summer camps operated by the Reston Association, and at a later time, to the public at large. The program will be tailored to meet the needs and learning styles of children ages 3 through 15.

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1994 Grants

Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.   $5,000
Harvey Olem, 1020 Elden St. Suite 205, Herndon, VA 20170
Watershed Puzzle
For this project, the Center for Watershed Protection, Inc. will develop a watershed puzzle and a companion teacher's guide to be used for teacher training. The environmental goal of this project is to teach non-point source pollution prevention.

Charlotte County School Board   $4,998
George Jones, Randolph Henry HS Agriculture Dept., P. O. Box 790, Charlotte, VA 23923
Impacts of Traditional Irrigation Systems
The Charlotte County School Board's Randolph-Henry High School Agriculture Department will teach vocational students and area farmers about the environmental impacts of traditional irrigation systems, comparing them to new irrigation systems. The natural resource objective of this project is water conservation.

Chesapeake Volunteers In Youth Services, Inc.   $5,000
Donald Marx, Jr., 301 Albermarle Dr., Chesapeake, VA 23220
Habitats for Wildlife
The Chesapeake Volunteers In Youth Services, Inc. project will result in a visible benefit to the public. Using native plants, at-risk youth will develop and maintain a habitat project that will provide a sanctuary for wildlife. This sanctuary is planned as an outdoor classroom for local residents and visitors.

Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River   $5,000
Patricia Maier, 122 South Commerce St., Woodstock, VA 22664
Water Quaility and Monitoring Training
Under this grant, the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River will train 4th grade students, in all four Shenandoah County elementary schools, about water quality and water monitoring. This program will reach 16 4th grade classes and approximately 400 students.

Keep Fauquier Clean   $4,999
Patricia Katzen, 78 West Lee St., Suite 100, Warrenton, VA 20186
A Garden with a Message
This grant funds the creation of a project titled "A Garden with a Message" by the nonprofit organization, Keep Fauquier Clean. The environmental garden will include a constructed wetlands demonstration site. The anticipated environmental benefits include better use of water, less expensive waste water treatment, and a reduction of non-point source pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

Virginia Commonwealth University   $4,997
Elske Smith, Box 568 MCV Station, Richmond, VA 23298
Renewable Energy
For this project, the Virginia Commonwealth University will hold a workshop on renewable energy for Richmond-Petersburg area teachers of 5th through 12th grades.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science of the College of William and Mary   $33,175
Ginger Smith, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, VA 23062
Estuarine Monitoring
This project will train Virginia middle and high school science educators to incorporate real environmental monitoring data on estuarine debris into their instructional materials. The goal of the project is to disseminate educational materials through a computer network and through various existing marine science programs.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $4,991
James Parkhurst, 301 Burruss Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0249
Workshop on Wetlands
Under this grant the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife will train county-based cooperative extension educators. The university will develop a workshop where these educators will learn about wetlands and wetland-related issues.

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1993 Grants

Center for Watershed Protection, Inc.   $5,000
Harvey Olem, 1020 Elden Street, Suite 205, Herndon, VA 20170
Water Monitoring Program
This grant funds the development of a water monitoring program for middle and high school students to stimulate involvement in protection of water resources. Through this program, students will decide what streams to monitor.

Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District   $3,540
Patricia J. McIlvain, 30H Catoctin Circle, S.E., Leesburg, VA 20175
Living Aquatic Exhibit
This grant will fund the construction of a living aquatic exhibit for elementary students and the public to increase understanding of water quality issues and encourage protection of natural resources.

Shenandoah Natural History Association   $4,900
Greta Miller, Route 4 - Box 348, Luray, VA 22835
Workshop Addressing Key Environmental Issues
This project includes workshops for teachers in eleven school districts near the Shenandoah National Park. The workshops will stress a hands-on approach to six key environmental issues, which will then be incorporated into classroom instructions.

The River Foundation   $4,950
Virginia P. Webb, Environmental Education Center of Virginia, 101 S. Jefferson Street, Roanoke, VA 24011
Student Environmental Network
The "Student Environmental Network" will result in communication by students using computers concerning how to start an environmental club at the high school level, what projects have been tried by existing schools, and determining what works best. Training sessions and a conference will be held.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science of the College of William & Mary   $5,000
Frances Lee Lawrence, Gloucester Point, VA 23062
Virginia's Public Education Network (VAPEN)
For this project, small group assistance will be provided to all teachers for grades kindergarten through 12 in Virginia schools, enabling them to access environmental education teaching materials and news items by computer on Virginia's Public Education Network (VAPEN).

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $5,000
Mike Ellerbrock and Sandra Batie, Center for Economic Education, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0249
Environmental and Resource Economics: Contents and Strategies
During a two-week summer institute, teachers will field test curriculum materials for the grade school level, which will be published and disseminated to Virginia schools. The goal of the project, entitled "Environmental and Resource Economics: Contents and Strategies," is to enhance understanding of the inter-relationship of economics and environmental protection.

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1992 Grants

Alliance for Environmental Education   $250,000
The Plains, VA 20198
Public-Private Partnership Among The Alliance, EPA, and Warner Brothers
The "Public-Private Partnership Among The Alliance, EPA, and Warner Brothers" project involves developing an environmental education campaign capable of reaching 50,000 educators, hundreds of thousands of students, and most of the households in the United States during its first year. "Tweety's Global Patrol," a national media program aimed at all households, is one of the featured school-based programs. The project's first campaign will highlight the importance of controlling solid waste and will emphasize the project's theme "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle."

Flint Hill Elementary School   $5,000
Vienna, VA 22180
Community Environmental Concerns
This grant funds a project that will help elementary students, parents, and siblings develop a better understanding of local environmental concerns and how they can influence day-to-day community service activities.

Friends of the North Folk Shenandoah River   $4,902
Woodstock, VA 22664
River Rangers Project
The "River Rangers Project" will promote an ongoing awareness of the resources of the North Folk Shenandoah river. The project will initially target 4th grade students.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University   $5,000
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Water Conservation Training
This grant will fund a project to train educators in water resources and conservation issues in an attempt to increase environmental education awareness in rural Giles County, Virginia.

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