Years Since the program began
Projects Implemented by teachers
$ ,000 Awarded by local sponsors

Description and History

The Eugene Odum Environmental Grants Program supports local teachers by providing grants of up to $400 for projects that teach sustainability to K-12 students in unique, hands-on, and meaningful ways. Teachers in public and private schools in Athens-Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, Madison, and Jackson counties are eligible.

Established in 1993 by the Athens Optimist Club, the grants program was named after the famed University of Georgia ecologist, Eugene Odum, with the goal of empowering educators to teach students about environmental issues and solutions through small but significant experiential learning opportunities. The program is directed by the Office of Sustainability and proposals are judged by the Athens Optimist Club. Local sponsors provide funds directly to the winning teachers.

2017-2018 Grant Schedule

  • Applications due    - October 1st
  • Award notification - November 1st
  • Funding received   - December 1st
  • Final reports due   - June 30th
Apply for a Eugene Odum Environmental Grant
Proposals are due by October 1 and grants are awarded November 1 of each academic year.

Application Guidelines

The Eugene Odum Environmental Grants Program promotes opportunities for young people to learn about environmental issues and develop a vision for solving environmental problems through hands-on activities.  The grants provide funding for innovative environmental projects to be carried out by students at the elementary, middle and high school levels in Clarke, Oconee, Madison, Jackson and Oglethorpe Counties.

Key Dates:     

Proposal Deadline – October 1st
Award Notification – November 1st
Funding Received – December 1st
Final Reports – Brief report or video due to sustain@uga.edu by June 30th

Eligibility:      

Available to all K-12 teachers in Clarke, Oconee, Madison, Jackson and Oglethorpe Counties.
Previous recipients are encouraged to apply again.
There is no limit to the number of proposals submitted, or awards received, by each school.

Awards:         

Awards are typically $200 for each project, although up to $400 may be requested as needed. 
Projects are to be carried out by K-12 students.
The number of projects awarded is dependent upon total funds available. 

Questions:    

For additional info, contact the UGA Office of Sustainability at 706-542-1301 or sustain@uga.edu.

 

Proposal Instructions

Grant proposals must include a) project description and goals, b) project plan - how it will be conducted, c) budget - how the money will be used, and d) possible benefits or results. Note: This is not meant to be overly time-consuming. Your idea is what is most important!

Criteria

  1. Proposals should address an environmental issue on a local, state, national or global level. Examples of concerns that might be addressed include: land and watershed restoration, water conservation, energy conservation, solid waste management, recycling, composting, pollution control, emissions reduction, or wildlife protection.
  2. Projects can take the form of an activity, an exhibit or demonstration, and/or any other effort that helps students increase their knowledge of environmental issues and develop a sense of responsibility for solving environmental problems.
  3. Appropriate school representatives must be contacted, and teachers identified, to ensure that proposed projects can be implemented.
  4. Projects should be completed within the same calendar year that the project receives funding.

Selection

  1. The purpose of the grants is to help students gain a greater understanding of environmental issues.  Winning proposals will be selected based upon merit and feasibility and the degree of student involvement in planning and implementing projects.
  2. Priority will be given to proposals with creative ideas for sharing knowledge and insights gained through the project with the larger community.
  3. Grant winners are requested to submit upon project completion a) brief written summary of project outcomes with two or more photos taken during project planning and implementation, or b) a short video (three minutes max.) documenting the project.

2016 Grant Recipients

(8 projects, $1649, 9 teachers, 6 schools)

  • Rain Collection
    • Barbara Saunders & Becky Glennie - Burney Harris Lyons Middle
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
  • Self Powered Solar Furnace
    • Marius Sava - Clarke Central High
    • Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Athens
  • Clarke Middle Sail Shelter
    • Debbie Mitchell - Clarke Middle
    • Sponsor: Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
  • Conservation of Species Diversity
    • Dr. James Maudsley - Classic City High
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Audubon Society
  • Conserve Energy, Save $!
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Georgia Power
  • HilFarm Garden Drip Irrigation System
    • Renee Smith & Erin Seymour - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
  • Solar Cars
    • Stephen B. King - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
  • Whit Davis Pollinator Garden
    • Stephen B. King - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission

2015 Grant Recipients

(8 projects, $2000, 6 teachers, 6 schools)

  • OCHS Recycling and Composting Program
    • Darryl Brese - Oglethorpe County High
    • Sponsor: Odum School of Ecology
  • Go Green, Save Green!
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Georgia Power
  • Trash Hunger Thursday Rewards
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Oconee River Audubon Society
  • Yes, We Can Compost at School
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
  • Power Savers
    • Steven B. King - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
  • Composting Crusaders
    • Jan Mullins - Barrow Elementary
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
  • Scientific Illustration Workshop with Parents and Students
    • Leonard Piha - Barnett Shoals Elementary
    • Sponsor: Koons Environmental Design, Inc.
  • Pollinator Garden
    • Cora Tench - Athens Montessori
    • Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Athens

2014 Grant Recipients

(9 projects, $2400, 8 teachers, 8 schools)

  • Community Garden Service Learning Project
    • Aaron Cavin & Steve Hinson - Clarke Central High
    • Sponsor: Nutter & Associates, Inc.
  • Teaching Garden
    • Sandy Cederbaum - Oglethorpe Middle
    • Sponsor: Odum School of Ecology
  • Go Green, Save Green!
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Georgia Power
  • Trash Hunger at Your Tailgate Party
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: ReCommunity
  • Healthy Habitats
    • Steven B. King - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
  • Garden Harvest Sink
    • Debbie Mitchell - Clarke Middle
    • Sponsor: Koons Environmental Design, Inc.
  • Garden Greenhouse
    • Heather Mosby - Athens Montessori
    • Sponsor: Kiwanis Club of Athens
  • Barrow Go Green: Beautification, Composting and Gardens
    • Jan Mullins & Heather Carlson - Barrow Elementary
    • Sponsor: Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
  • Moveable Mural Celebrating G.R.O.W. and Outdoor Education
    • Leonard Piha - Barnett Shoals Elementary
    • Sponsors: Oconee Rivers Audubon Society & Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission

2013 Grant Recipients

(9 projects, $2000, 6 teachers, 5 schools)

  • Encouraging Young Artists to Promote Environmental Stewardship
    • Susie Criswell - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Sponsor: Athens Audubon Society
  • Energy Conservation Day
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Georgia Power
    • Final report: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Vr5QRzDEPZTVo3Y0dLdGZoLWc
  • Go Green, Save Green!
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Athens Optimist Club
  • Trash Hunger
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: ReCommunity
  • Water Conservation with Rain Barrels
    • Audrey Hughes - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Oconee Rivers Greenway Commission
    • Final report: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Vr5QRzDEPZZnA5ZkxSLUlSUFk
  • Solar Wild Flower Pollinator Garden
    • Tita Gatrell - Athens Montessori
    • Sponsor: Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful
    • Final report: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3Vr5QRzDEPZbm5BUTUwWkVoaUU
  • Clarke Middle ‘Owls’ Eat Worms for Lunch
    • Nathalie Guerin - Clarke Middle
    • Sponsor: Koons Environmental Design, Inc.
    • Final report: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3Vr5QRzDEPZVUJueWpwX1NSM1k/view?usp=sharing
  • Rain Garden Restoration and Improvement
    • Stella Guerrero - Cedar Shoals High
    • Sponsor: Odum School of Ecology
  • Happy Environment, Happy Learning!
    • Diarra Mosley - Hilsman Middle
    • Sponsor: Nutter & Associates, Inc.

2012 Grant Recipients

(5 projects, 5 teachers, 5 schools)

  • Classroom Terrariums
    • Steven King - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Stephen King’s students constructed glass terrariums for the windows of their classrooms. The terrariums contained plants, mosses, rocks, and earthworms purchased with grant funds. By creating and observing the microcosms, students learned that the earth is a closed system and the important role humans play in affecting and maintaining the sustainability of ecosystems.
  • Garden and Nature Reserve Project
    • Melody Mosby - Athens Montessori
    • Melody Mosby used grant funds to purchase supplies needed to install plants and seeds in an organic garden and a nature reserve for the middle-grade students at Athens Montessori School. Produce from the garden was used by the school, and the new plants at the nature reserve attract pollinators and other beneficial wildlife. Students were given vital roles in the management of the natural spaces, with the goal of instilling a deep appreciation for the land.
  • Outdoor Classroom Compost Bins
    • Hailey Page - Fowler Drive Elementary
    • With grant funding for materials, Hailey Page and her students built and installed two compost bins for the school’s two outdoor classrooms. The compost bins divert waste from the landfill and beautify the grounds by supplementing the soils in the school’s recently-installed raised planting beds with rich organic matter. Students maintain the bins and gain firsthand experience in the art of composting.
  • Waste Reduction Stations
    • David Ragsdale - Clarke Central High
    • David Ragsdale implemented a waste reduction program at Clarke Central High School. Waste reduction stations were placed throughout the school, and a film contest was held for students to create educational short films on waste reduction which were shared with the school community.
  • Classic City Crusaders
    • Michelle Vecchio-Weinmeister - Clarke Middle
    • Michelle Vecchio-Weinmeister established a student group called the Classic City Crusaders. The group performed community clean ups, created PSAs, and created signage to promote environmental education across the school. They recruited fellow students and engaged their families in their club activities.

2011 Grant Recipients

(6 projects, 6 teachers, 6 schools)

  • Gaines Elementary Bog
    • Susan Criswell - Gaines Elementary
    • Susan Criswell improved a wetland bog at Gaines Elementary by using grant funds to purchase pitcher plants, wetland grasses, and other plants that thrive in bogs, and by channeling water from a water barrel to the bog. Students were able to observe and research birds, insects, and other wildlife in and around the bog.
  • Cafeteria Composting Initiative
    • Judith Gault - Benton Elementary
    • At Benton Elementary, Judith Gault’s fifth grade class started a composting project using red wiggler worms to turn food scraps from the school cafeteria into nutrient-rich soil for the school’s vegetable gardens. Students monitored the amounts of scraps used, recorded the volume of compost produced, and created a flowchart to use to teach lower-grade students about composting. They developed a composting demonstration for the school’s annual Spring Fling.
  • Courtyard Garden
    • Christina Hylton - Rutland Academy
    • Christina Hylton used her grant to beautify school grounds by buying and planting wildflowers and herbs, creating a butterfly garden and installing birdhouses. Students used some of the herbs to support a 4-H project that provides organic vegetables for a local soup kitchen, and they also made herbal kitchen pots to sell at the Bishop Park Farmer’s Market.
  • Courtyard Garden
    • Stephen King - Whit Davis Elementary
    • Stephen King was able to buy and install a variety of plants for four large planter beds in the school courtyard. The plants, including butterfly-attracting flowers, native wildflowers, bog plants and a succulent garden, created an outdoor laboratory for King’s students to observe plant growth, adaptation and reproduction and learn about maintenance of a garden.
  • Butterfly Garden
    • James Maudsley - Classic City High
    • Dr. Maudsley’s students created a butterfly garden for the school’s new campus on Dearing Extension. Students surveyed the garden site for soil types, soil moisture and sunlight to determine the best native species to plant to attract butterflies. Entomology students use the garden as a study area and for insect collecting.
  • Organic Produce Garden
    • Melody Mosby - Athens Montessori
    • Mosby and her middle-grade students were able to purchase and install plants and seeds in an organic garden and in a newly opened section of a nature reserve. Produce from the garden was to be sold at the school’s Harvest Market.