Empire Elementary School’s Green Biz Kids club celebrates its posters being printed, laminated and distributed in February 2023.
Photo by Jessica Garcia.
Reno-based nonprofit Envirolution is one of 33 organizations nationwide to be selected for $3.1 million available in funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education Grants Program for its Project ReCharge curriculum.
EPA’s grants program encourages applicants to demonstrate innovation in climate change, creating safe drinking water, revitalizing the land and reducing contamination, according to Eileen Shanahan, regional environmental education coordinator with the EPA in San Francisco. The process is competitive with a two-step review and typically requires strict standards.
“These grants (are) an opportunity for the EPA to partner with these communities and promote environmental education,” Shanahan said.
Envirolution’s grant of $90,000 will be applied to its Project ReCharge, a hands-on, project-based program that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and steam opportunities for students and training for teachers. It will equip 50 new Nevada teachers with the materials and resources, and students will have an opportunity to explore career paths in STEAM disciplines.
Envirolution’s efforts as of the end of the 2023 school year had helped to support at least 24 student projects, with Project ReCharge saving more than $1.2 million in energy costs and reducing enough energy to operate more than 930 homes and decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 4,500 metric tons.
Educators will be able to revise and add three lessons in their classrooms with interactive displays focusing on geothermal needs, offer Career Quest class visits at the Moana Aquatic Center, transportation and electric vehicles and climate change.
“Envirolution stood out through their work with supporting the community with teachers and students,” Shanahan said. “They’ve done some outstanding projects. We’re excited about what they’re doing with Project ReCharge.”
Since 1992, the EPA has distributed between $2 million and $3.5 million in Environmental Education grant funding each year, totaling more than $91.3 million and supporting more than 3,922 projects.
Other recipients from neighboring states include Sequoia Riverlands Trust of Tulare County, Calif., which received $100,000 to support EARTH Academy, a year-long, project-based learning program offered to high school students to learn about ecosystem health and management techniques in agricultural counties experiencing severe droughts, temperatures, wildfires or poor air quality.
The University of Arizona received $96,000 for a roving, interactive exhibit on the groundwater system for underserved communities across Arizona and will include professional development opportunities for educators to learn about it.
“Envirolution is honored to receive this recognition and we look forward to collaborating with the EPA in demonstrating what it means to couple the power of environmental education with a commitment to creating a future with clean air, clean water and a healthy planet for all," Envirolution Executive Director Vanessa Robertson said.