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This is one in a series of posts presenting sample elements of a possible proposal. In their illustrative details, its contents are both fictional and factual; however, its overall approach has won grants for similar purposes.


Organization. York County Educational Service Center (YCESC) is Maine Special School District ES-01. As an educational service center, YCESC specializes in providing educational services and programs to its member school districts. YCESC will partner with 11 other school districts as well as with the Maine Department of Wildlife Conservation, the Maine Conservation Commission, Region 1 Professional Development Center, the US Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Geological Survey, the York County Extension Center, the Maine Association for Environmental Education, the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Saco River Corridor Commission to implement the Saco River Watershed Environmental Education Project. The bi-state project will benefit 20 rural, suburban, and urban communities and 12 school districts in the Saco River Watershed. It will form part of a larger regional effort to provide watershed education to students and adults to protect and improve the health of the Saco River Watershed. More partners and funding resources will be sought as the project develops.


Summary Statement. The Saco River Watershed Environmental Education Project will feature the use of the model curricula of and/or obtain training resources from the Maine Blue Waters Program, the Council for Environmental Education, and the US Environmental Protection Agency; training in field-based and lab-based water quality monitoring; and a balanced series of expert presentations on environmental careers and local environmental issues impacting the watershed. It will encourage reflection, analysis, and action concerning the impacts of the watershed’s natural resources in regional economic development. Through its progressive integration of watershed education into secondary school science curricula, the project also will serve as a catalyst for education reform in rural and suburban southern Maine.


Educational Priority. The bi-state partnership’s project will address three priorities: (1) it will use Watershed Education as an organizing theme to advance educational reform; (2) it will use several established model curricula and expert presentations to develop the skills of classroom teachers in Environmental Education; and (3) it will use a workshop series to teach students in formal and non-formal settings about environmental issues to encourage consideration of environmental careers. The project’s long-term goal will be to contribute to improving local capacity to apply decision-making, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills to using sustained and effective watershed resources management practices in the Saco River Watershed.


Audience. The 22-partner project will serve students, teachers, and community members in 12 school districts having 3,145 students in grades 6-12 in 20 rural, suburban, and urban communities of 31,435 residents in three counties of 279,342 residents in a five-county watershed area of 430,871 residents.


Delivery Method. The project will address its three priorities in Environmental Education by: (1) training 60 participants in using and integrating several already existing, high-quality, supplemental Watershed Education curricula from multiple agencies; (2) introducing audiences to working models, static displays, and studies of the local watershed, some issues that impact it, and possible ways to address them; and (3) offering a well-publicized series of expert guest speakers from partner organizations to make non-technical presentations on  local environmental issues affecting the Saco River Watershed and/or on environmental careers in Maine. It will use district partners’ facilities for training and presentations and will use its partners’ available print and electronic media to reach its target audiences throughout its geographic service area.


Costs. Requested EPA funds for a one-year project period will assist in supporting training in model Watershed Education curricula; lab and field monitoring experiences; and a few of the guest speakers. Local funds will represent 26.47 % non-federal, in-kind match to the EPA funds.



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