2014-02-20 / Community

UPEC distributes grants

Supports six school programs with $3K

MARQUETTE – The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition recently awarded nine environmental education grants totaling $3,600. These grants will support programs across the U.P., connecting an estimated 1,250 youths with 350 adults to deepen their knowledge, appreciation, and stewardship of the region.

UPEC’s support is part of a diverse environmental education partnership that includes community organizations, foundations, state and federal resource management agencies, universities, k-12 school districts, intermediate school districts, and other nonprofit environmental advocacy groups.

Grant recipients include Michigan Tech’s Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, the MSU Extension Service in Alger County (Munising), LesCheneaux Community School (Cedarville), Grant Township School (Copper Harbor), the Iron County Museum, and four organizations in Marquette: the Moosewood Nature Center, the North Star Academy, EARTH Angels, and the Marquette Alternative High School.

These projects include school gardens and greenhouses, shipboard education about Lake Superior, a study of global radiation exposure, an environmental day camp, drama and education concerning pollinators, and youth education programs focused on Lake Superior. All programs will have strong hands-on and outdoor components. Although science figures prominently in many of the projects, experiences in the arts and theater also will play key roles in fostering awareness, appreciation and stewardship.

UPEC board member Connie Sherry chaired a committee that reviewed proposals and made funding recommendations to the full UPEC board at its January meeting. Other committee members included UPEC board members Nancy Warren and Doug Welker, and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw President Linda Rulison.

In addition to educating and advocating about a wide range of regional environmental issues, UPEC, as the region’s oldest environmental organization, organizes an annual celebration of the region’s natural heritage.

This year’s Celebrate the U.P. event takes place March 21-22 in Hancock at Finlandia University’s Jutila Center.

The event will include recognition of environmental education programs past and present. To learn more about the event as well as how to become involved in supporting regional environmental education and advocacy go to www.upenvironment.org.

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