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News & Happenings

2018 AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grants Announced


16 Grant Awards Support Environmental Education
Across Appalachian Ohio

Nelsonville, OHThe Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is pleased to announce the 2018 AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grant recipients. This year, 16 grants were made, totaling over $20,000 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.

Grant recipients include:

After School Discovery in Ashtabula County received a $1,500 grant for its Outdoor Learning Days project. This grant will support approximately 250 6th grade students to participate in hands-on learning activities with local experts in a variety of subjects, including plant families, watersheds, and pollinators. Students will use poetry, photography, art, food science, and more to enrich their understanding of the material to share their newfound knowledge.

Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District in Belmont County received a $750 grant to support its Planting Trees for the Future project. Funding for this project will support the purchase of potted trees and mulch. Planting these trees will allow citizens of all ages to come together to improve the Belmont County Fairgrounds while providing  shade, aesthetics, and wildlife habitat back to an area that needs it most.

Butler Springs Christian Camp of Highland County received a $1,500 grant for the Eagles Nest Pollinator Habitat Garden and Learning Library. Funding will be used to purchase plants, signage, and other materials to create an over 1,500 square foot garden that will provide a habitat for native pollinators. This area will be for all members of the community to use as both an educational space, as well as a place for quiet reflection and relaxation.

Cambridge Primary School in Guernsey County received a $750 grant for its Science in Second Grade project. Grant funding will go towards purchasing Feather and Friends SciTT kits, which are hands-on learning kits that include science activities to provide students with an environmental science experience they may not otherwise have. They will use these kits to examine real feathers and learn to identify different parts of a feather.

Cherry Ridge Therapeutic Learning Programs in Brown County received a $1,500 grant for its Butterfly Greenhouse project. Grant funding will support the purchase of a 16 x 20 greenhouse and supporting materials. Young citizens and other organizations are invited to help build, seed, and plant the butterfly sanctuary, as well as experience the butterflies up close.

Chillicothe City School District of Ross County was awarded $1,055.96 to support the Muddy Boots Curriculum project. Funding will provide equipment to prepare students in kindergarten through third grade for personalized activities linked to the larger curriculum. Students will use these activities to focus on projects that capture their attention in various areas of environmental stewardship, including birding, forms of animal communication, and noise pollution.

The Cincinnati Museum Center in Adams County received a $750 grant to support the Young Ecologists Training Institute (YETI) project. Students will form small groups and conduct field research to investigate the natural world by posing questions, designing protocol, as well as gathering, recording, and analyzing data. Grant dollars will support transportation costs and related expenses providing students the opportunity to present at the Student Wildlife Research Symposium.

Community Food Initiatives in Athens County received a $1,500 grant for its School Garden Curriculum Kit project. The kits will include three lesson plans for six different age groups, including guidelines to meet standards for applicable subjects and a list of materials needed. Grant dollars will support primary research and lesson plan development, as well as the costs associated with testing and implementing the curriculum at local schools.

Destination Shawnee in Perry County received a $750 grant for its Exploring the Buckeye Trail project. The youth of Shawnee will be taken on a hike on the Buckeye Trail and in Wayne National Forest where volunteers will teach them the history of the trail and guide the hike. Funding will support the purchase of necessary supplies, such as compasses, binoculars, and guidebooks.

Harrison North Elementary School in Harrison County received a grant totaling $1,050 for its Oglebay Zoo project. Second and third grade students will travel to Oglebay Zoo in Wheeling West Virginia where they will attend a workshop designed specifically for their age group to learn more about animals and how they interact with the ecosystem.

Malvern High School in Carroll County received a $1,500 grant for its Energy Charge! Project. This project will serve as an introduction to alternative energy options. Grant funding will be used to purchase necessary materials to build two bicycle power stations as well as a solar power station so students will create different sources of energy to charge their cell phones and laptops.

Malvern High School in Carroll County also received a $1,500 grant for its Car Conversion project. This project will bring awareness to fossil fuel usage and how to reduce our usage by converting a gasoline-based vehicle into an electric vehicle. Students will engage in hands-on learning by using a car conversion kit to transition a car from gas to electric power.

Muskingum County Library Systems in Muskingum County received a $1,460.69 grant to support the Muskingum County Library System Pollinator Garden project at its Roseville branch. Funding will be used to create a garden for community members of all ages to enjoy. The garden will feature noninvasive native and perennial plant species that will attract butterflies. This will be used not only to promote education of STEM related topics, but also as a great stress relieving tool for reflection and relaxation.

Pickaway Ross Career Center in Ross County received a $1,500 grant for its Advanced Earth Science Enrichment – Environmental Science and Geology project. Students will benefit from hands-on learning experiences through field studies that will help them understand field methods related to biology and environmental science. Students will explore different water ecosystems, including fossils and sediment specific to each.

Switzerland of Ohio Local School District in Monroe County received a $1,500 grant for the Young Naturalists in the Field project. Fourth grade students will participate in Earth Day where they will conduct experiments, observe plants and wildlife, and record their findings to discuss with others. Students will use equipment purchases with grant dollars to conduct experiments, observe plants and wildlife, and record information for further discussion and evaluation with hopes that students will learn to gather and internalize knowledge about their nature environment.

Zanesville Middle School in Muskingum County received a $1,500 grant for the Zanesville Middle School and Muskingum County Recycling Project. Funding will be used to purchase recycling bins for classrooms and common areas at the school, while educating students and the larger community about recycling. These efforts will divert waste from landfills while encouraging participants to examine the amount of waste they create.

To learn more about grant opportunities at FAO like the AEP Access to Environmental Education Mini-Grants and to sign up for the Foundation’s e-newsletter to receive notifications when grant opportunities are available, please visit

FAO’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 in this case, environmental stewardship.

Through funds and grants like the AEP Access to Environmental Education Endowment Fund, 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