McCormick said the expansion focuses on teaching these students environmental stewardship, using outdoor hands-on learning as a learning tool. The project includes visits to the Conservancy’s 1.3 acre Outdoor Learning Center, as well its 2.5 acre Hawthorne Avenue urban farm.
"It it critical that children are taught respect for their surroundings," said McCormick. "Taking care of the environment is something we cannot afford to ignore."
“This grant gives the Greater Newark Conservancy an opportunity to reach more children in Newark,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “By giving these students knowledge of their relationship with the environment, this project gives Newark elementary school students the tools they need to learn more about environmental protection.”
The primary goal of the Greater Newark Conservancy’s project is to increase environmental literacy among the participating students and encourage behavior that benefits the environment by demonstrating that care of trees, water resources and the natural environment is critical to a sustainable and healthy community.
The project includes a “Sustainable Cities” curriculum of urban sustainable planning, lessons based on the protection of water ecosystems, and composting among other environmental topics.
The Greater Newark Conservancy was one of three recipients to receive the 2015 round of environmental education grants from EPA Region 2, which is responsible for New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight Indian Nations.
A total of $222,000 was awarded in EPA Region 2 for the three grants and funding nationwide for this round of grants totaled more than $3.3 million. Nationally, EPA funded 35 grants from organizations in 26 states for the 2015 Environmental Education Grants.
Since 1992, EPA has distributed approximately $68 million supporting more than 3,600 projects. This competitive grants program supports environmental education projects that increase public awareness about environmental issues and provide participants with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment.