Friends of the Rappahannock awarded $100,000 environmental education grant

Environmental educator Brent Hunsinger leads a program for Middlesex County students.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has selected Friends of the Rappahannock to receive a $100,000 Environmental Education grant to provide training for teachers. FOR was selected through a competitive process and is one of four grantees this year in EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Region.

“EPA is glad to support professional development for teachers to experience ways to build environmental literacy,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “We need more teachers who can help students learn, both inside the classroom and outdoors, about environmental science and environmental issues.”

Training will focus on the importance, and challenges, of local watersheds and how to use a hands-on, region-based approach. Teachers will learn how to share this knowledge with their students and how to engage students in local problem-solving and stewardship activities. In addition, student projects have great potential to bring tangible restoration benefits to the Rappahannock River and Chesapeake Bay.

Friends of the Rappahannock and its many partners are proud to continue to provide quality environmental education programs. This will grant will provide funding for education in tidal counties within the Rappahannock Watershed: King George, Essex, Westmoreland, Richmond, Lancaster and Middlesex counties are all included.

In addition to a unique professional development opportunity for teachers, it will also bring students outside to learn about the river that runs through their backyard. The grant will also fund a mini grant program for schools and partner organizations to submit projects for funding.

“It is exciting to partner with school districts, schools and teachers that are eager to provide meaningful educational opportunities to their students. Through this program and their efforts, these students have a chance to develop a passion for their local waterways which helps create a pathway for future stewardship,” said Nancy Stalik, FOR Education Manager.

“This program is only possible because of all of the amazing partners that participate. We are so lucky to work with a group of professional environmental educators from across the region.” said Daria Christian, FOR Executive Director.

Since 1992, EPA’s Environmental Education program seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques.

Friends of the Rappahannock has served as the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River since 1985 and is excited to continue to promote environmental literacy across the watershed.

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