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News & Happenings

2016 AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grants Announced

18 Grant Awards Support Environmental Education
Across Appalachian Ohio

Nelsonville, OHThe Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is pleased to announce the 2016 AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grant recipients. This year, 18 grants were made, totaling over $18,000 in support for environmental education projects across Appalachian Ohio.

The AEP Access to Environmental Education Fund supports projects encouraging youth participation in learning experiences linked to local natural resources that share the lessons learned with their communities. Educators and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations alike are eligible to apply.

This year’s grant recipients include:

The Brown County Soil and Water Conservation District in Brown County received a $1,500 grant for the Georgetown Waste Education Partnership. The Georgetown Waste Education Partnership will educate members of the Georgetown Exempted Village Junior High School FFA to serve as ambassadors to educate community members about solid waste issues and municipal waste management in the County.

Georgetown Junior/Senior High School in Brown County received a $1,030 grant for the Junior High Agricultural Garden. This grant will be used to construct several permanent raised beds and vertical garden walls, add composting barrels, and install a rain collection system to increase the sustainability of the project, allowing students to gain additional experience growing vegetable crops, a hands-on learning experience which began the previous academic year.

Ohio Therapeutic Horsemanship in Brown County received a $500 grant for its Monarch Butterfly and Bird Sanctuary. Students from the W.E.S.T. program who participate in equine therapy will participate in service learning and nature therapy as they create a new habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinators by seeding milkweed and other nectar bearing flowers and buildings and installing birdhouses and nest boxes.

Malvern High School, part of the Brown Local School District in Carroll County, received a $1,500 grant to study Lake Mohawk. Biology and environmental science students at Malvern High School will work with Lake Mohawk managers and interested parties to combat pollution and algal issues that appear in the lake every year by testing lake chemistry and creating solutions to correct issues they find.

Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum in Carroll County received a nearly $1,200 grant to investigate macroinvertebrates as part of the camp’s Nature’s Classroom program. Funding will be used to purchase supplies to teach students about macroinvertebrates and water quality. Located on Leesville Lake, part of the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, students will investigate aquatic macroinvertebrates as living indicators of water quality. Students from nearly all 32 counties in Appalachian Ohio will be able to participate.

Heartland Christian School in Columbiana County received an over $800 grant award for its Giving Greenhouse project. This grant will support the purchase of a greenhouse along with the supplies necessary to grow plants from seeds. Produce grown will be donated to a local food bank as students learn about the needs of families in their local communities.

Gallipolis in Bloom in Gallia County received a $1,000 grant award to expand its organic community pollinator garden. Grant funding will be used to plant butterfly and pollinator gardens at the current organic community garden.

Cambridge Middle School, part of the Cambridge City School District in Guernsey County, received an over $800 grant award for its Wonders of the Outdoors project. Students will visit the National Whitetail Deer Education Foundation and Deerassic Park Education Center. Using iPads, students will collect data, record notes, and take pictures and video to explore further research topics.

Camp Oty’Okwa of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio in Hocking County received a $1,500 grant for its Youth Climate Action Team. In partnership with Rural Action, the Youth Climate Action Team will convene students and teachers from ten school districts in the region to learn about environmental issues and techniques for educating their fellow students and community members on these issues.

Logan High School, part of the Logan-Hocking Local School District in Hocking County, received a nearly $1,000 grant award for its From Power Plant to Appliance: Visualizing What it Takes to Power our Homes project. Students in Advanced Placement Physics and Environmental Science classes will measure energy consumption by various appliances in their homes and will use this to calculate how much coal is needed to run each appliance for a month. Students will then tour the Gavin Power Plant, meeting engineers to further visualize what it takes to run our household electronics.

The Switzerland of Ohio Local School District in Monroe County received a $1,500 grant for its Project: Life Lab. The grant will support the purchase of a small greenhouse as well as science kits for hands-on learning. The hands-on learning will be supplemented by the purchase of fiction and nonfiction books aligned with classroom lessons. Students in kindergarten through third grade will receive a butterfly kit as well.

The Community Action Committee of Pike County received a $500 grant to purchase gardening equipment to start a community garden. The community garden will provide healthy food to low-income residents while teaching individuals how to garden and preserve fresh produce.

Waverly City Schools in Pike County received a $500 grant for its Butterfly Garden. Grant money will be used to purchase equipment for the garden club to maintain the butterfly garden on the school campus as well as installing compost bins and creating an improved butterfly habitat.

The Pickaway-Ross Career and Technology Center in Ross County received a $1,490 grant award to support the Advanced Earth Techniques course. Students will visit the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to study how dunes form and migrate as well as the kinds of organisms found in dune environments and how wind impacts them. As part of the experience, students will also visit the Field Museum in Chicago, one of the world’s premier natural history museums.

The Zane Trace FFA in Ross County received a $1,000 grant to develop nature trails on the campus of Zane Trace High School, part of the Zane Trace Local School District. FFA members and the Agricultural Department will clear and develop gravel trails on the previously unused land. Students will install identification tags on the various species of trees to develop the trails into a teaching resource.

The Fort Frye Local School District in Washington County received an $880 grant to support Construction Day 2017. Students at Lowell Elementary School will revitalize the Wild School Site by improving plant beds in the existing butterfly garden. Students will also participate in indoor and outdoor STEM learning stations.

The Washington County Career Center in Washington County received a $1,500 grant for a hands-on educational opportunity to remediate a brownfield site in Marietta. Participating students will use bio-remediation techniques to revitalize the site for future use. Students will plant specialty plants in the contaminated soil to remove contaminants in partnership with Alpha Omega and Jubilee Soils. Students will measure contamination levels to determine their progress and share the information with the community.

The Washington County Health Department in Washington County received a $600 grant for its Outdoor Adventures for Kids project. The project will promote physical activity in children through environmental education and outdoor recreation. One Saturday per month, children and their families will receive an environmental lesson and create a takeaway that reinforces the lesson of the day.

The AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grant application opens annually each fall. To learn more about past grant recipients or to sign up for the Foundation’s e-newsletter to receive notifications when grant opportunities are available, please visit

The Foundation’s mission is to create opportunities for Appalachian Ohioans by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. FAO supports communities across five areas essential to community and regional quality of life. Called the Pillars of Prosperity, these areas include arts and culture, community and economic development, education, health and human services, and environmental stewardship. Through funds and grants like the AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grant program, the Foundation encourages environmental stewardship and pride in our region’s natural assets. For more information, please contact FAO at 740.753.1111.

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio

The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit