EPA Awards Providence Group $91K to Advance Environmental Education in Rhode Island

BOSTON – A Providence, R.I. organization that will involve students in becoming
smarter and better stewards of the environment was awarded $91,000 for environmental
education by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Groundwork Providence in Rhode Island was given the funds f or two-year project
called “Building Capacity for Urban Environmental Education.” The grant for
Groundwork Providence was one of three environmental education grants awarded by EPA
in New England.

“The projects taken on by these organization will help make a brighter future for
New England communities,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New
England office. “Young people, educators and communities taught how to address the
problems and challenges of environmental protection are bound to play a part in a
healthier world tomorrow.”

Groundwork Providence is offering environmental educational programming to school
children and residents of neighborhoods facing an unfair share of the environmental
burden. The three sites chosen are redeveloped brownfield sites, and or former
vacant, abandoned and underutilized lots that have been transformed into community
assets, and all within walking distance to schools and community centers. The
organization is providing guidelines for safe, environmentally-friendly practices in
addressing waste, water quality, trees and climate change, urban agriculture, and
non-chemical pest control. Rhode Island Environmental Education Association members
are sub-grantees. Some 300 students and 50 residents are expected to participate.

“Groundwork Providence is thrilled to be able to offer nature-based field trips and
science enrichment activities for Providence schoolchildren at our Prairie Avenue
Greenhouse in South Providence, community garden in Federal Hill, and Hope Tree
Nursery in the West End,” said Amelia Rose, executive director of Groundwork
Providence. “We are so thankful to the EPA for this opportunity and to our partners
at the RI Environmental Education Association and Providence Public School
District!»

The other New England winners of environmental education grants were Manomet Inc. of
Plymouth, Mass., and the Mystic River Watershed Association.

EPA funds environmental education projects that focus on educating teachers,
students, parents or the general public about human health problems. These issues
range from pollution; improving teaching tools and techniques for educators through
workshops; building state or local capability to develop and deliver environmental
education or public outreach programs; or promoting environmental careers and
stewardship among students through hands-on activities.

EPA’s Environmental Education grants encourage projects that educate members of a
community through community-based organizations, through educational institutions or
through print, film, broadcast, or other media to be more environmentally aware and
make environmentally friendly decisions in their day-to-day lives.