Eugene Odum Environmental Grants awarded to 10 school projects

Writer: Will Linto, 404/913-1331, wlinto@uga.edu
Contact: Jennifer Dunlop, 706/542-1301, jdunlop@uga.edu

Athens, Ga. – The Eugene Odum Environmental Grants Program, which is administered by the University of Georgia Office of Sustainability, awarded funding to 10 schools in the Athens area to implement environmental education projects over the upcoming school year.

The grants program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, promotes opportunities for young people to learn about ecological issues and develop a vision for solving environmental problems through hands-on activities.

Schools receiving funding are listed below by school name, teacher who submitted the proposals and name of the project.

• Whit Davis Elementary School, Susie Criswell: “Encouraging Young Artists to Promote Environmental Stewardship”
• J.J. Harris Elementary Charter School, Jenna Starnes: “Greenhouse Launch”
• Hilsman Middle School, Audrey Hughes: “Trash Hunger”
• Clarke Middle School, Nathalie Guerin: “‘Owls’ Eat Worms for Lunch”
• Hilsman Middle School, Audrey Hughes: “Go Green, Save Green!”
• Hilsman Middle School, Audrey Hughes: “Energy Conservation Day”
• Hilsman Middle School, Diarra Mosley: “Happy Environment, Happy Learning!”
• Cedar Shoals High School, Stella Guerrero: “Rain Garden Restoration and Improvement”
• Athens Montessori School, Tita Gatrell: “Solar Wild Flower Pollinator Garden”
• Hilsman Middle School, Audrey Hughes: “Water Conservation with Rain Barrels”

The schools and teachers were recognized at the annual GreenFest Awards Ceremony held at Flinchum’s Phoenix recently. Among those present was Hughes, a middle school science teacher who was instrumental in obtaining five grants for the school. Hughes also is the grand prize recipient of the 2013 Georgia United Credit Union and Star 94 Radio’s Top Five “Teachers Make a Difference” Award for environmental programming in her classroom.

This year, the Odum grants program received a record number of applications, and two sponsors were added, making it possible to fund more projects. The 2013 sponsors are Athens Audubon Society, Kiwanis Club of Athens, ReCommunity Recycling, Koons Environmental Design, Georgia Power, Nutter & Associates Inc., the UGA Odum School of Ecology, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission and the Athens Optimist Club, which, as a club, also judged all proposals received.

Previously overseen by Odum School staff Larry Dendy and Tammy Andros, the UGA Office of Sustainability now manages the grants program.

“It’s a privilege to house this program in our office and to be a liaison for the discovery of environmental education in local classrooms,” said Jennifer Dunlop, a program coordinator in the Office of Sustainability.

For more information on Eugene Odum Environmental Grants Program and other initiatives of the Office of Sustainability, see www.sustainability.uga.edu.

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 Note to editors: The grants program logo is available at http://multimedia.uga.edu/media/images/odum-grants-logo.jpg. An image of Hughes taking a photo of her students at the awards presentation is available at http://multimedia.uga.edu/media/images/Audrey-Hughes-Greenfest-2013.jpg.