EPA awards $400,000 environmental education grants to empower students, teachers and communities in Oregon and Washington

SEATTLE (August 18, 2022) —The United States Environmental Protection Agency has selected four schools and organizations in Oregon and Washington State to receive a total of $400,000 in environmental education grants. Nationally, the EPA has selected 34 organizations to receive more than $3.2 million in funding.

“When we equip communities with the right tools to raise awareness and advance environmental education, it benefits everyone,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “This funding will allow school students and teachers to empower and support community members in underserved and overstretched areas as we work together to address the climate crisis, advance environmental justice and fulfill our mission. protection of human health and the environment for all.

“Access to environmental education programs is crucial to training the next generation of environmental stewards,” said Casey Sixkiller, EPA Region 10 Administrator. “Inclusive access is even more important, and I’m glad to see funds being allocated to projects that will instill in young people a passion for our environment and a commitment to protect it.”

This year’s Pacific Northwest recipients are:

$100,000 to Growing Gardens – Portland, OR
This grant will provide gardening training to K-12 students and allotment gardeners. Students will learn about soil fertility, water cycles, plant growth and climate sustainability through agriculture. Adults will learn environmentally friendly gardening methods. Two after-school teen clubs will be offered on gardening and environmental justice, designed to engage teens from low-income and underserved communities in leadership development and environmental justice efforts. The project will reach up to 2,500 K-12 students and 300 adult home gardeners in low-income and underserved neighborhoods in the Portland metro area.

$100,000 to Port Townsend School District – Port Townsend, WA
This funding will enable the Port Townsend School District to deliver two two-day professional development trainings to 50 K-12 public school teachers from different school districts in the area. The training focuses on managing the health of aquatic ecosystems and will prepare teachers to deliver place-based environmental education to more than 3,000 K-12 students through the public school curriculum in collaboration with the project partners. The public will be invited to attend the culminating student event to view student-generated projects.

$100,000 to Corporation of Gonzaga University – Spokane, WA
Gonzaga University will provide professional development for 50 middle school teachers on teaching climate-related topics and will reach over 5,000 students. The focus will be on student voice, eco-anxiety, and the power of student agency. This project will also create a climate literacy scholarship program comprised of Gonzaga undergraduate students. These Climate Literacy Fellows will deliver hands-on climate literacy activities to at least 15 elementary and upper middle school classrooms in the Spokane Public Schools District, with the goal of reaching more than 400 students.

$100,000 to the Nisqually River Foundation – Olympia, WA
The Nisqually River Foundation aims to increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental protection on the Nisqually Indian Tribe Reservation and the Nisqually watershed. This pilot program will promote environmental stewardship of the Nisqually watershed by linking traditional ecological knowledge, community science and behavior change. The program will serve up to 30 Nisqually Tribe youth with five teachers and eight environmental educators involved in the development of the project.

This year’s grantees will carry out project activities in 24 states. Funding will range from $50,000 to $100,000 to organizations that offer environmental education programs and activities.

Since 1992, the EPA has distributed between $2 million and $3.5 million in environmental education grants each year, totaling more than $88.3 million supporting more than 3,890 projects nationwide. The program traditionally provides financial support to projects that design, demonstrate or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques. For more information, visit: https://www.epa.gov/education.

To learn more about current and past winners, or to apply for future EPA Environmental Education Grant competitions, visit: https://www.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants. This website will be updated as additional grants are awarded.