Sequoia Riverlands Trust receives grant to fund “EARTH”

Announcement board at Kaweah Oaks Preserve(Rigo Moran)

Environmental Protection Agency rewards Tulare County organization $100,000 to teach students awareness of environmental health through its EARTH Academy

TULARE COUNTY – Tulare County will teach students to save the “EARTH” with a $100,000 grant received by the Sequoia Riverlands Trust from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Sequoia Riverland Trust of Tulare County received one of two grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that was given to California organizations. A total of 33 organizations nationwide received over $3.1 million in funding for projects under the Environmental Education Grants Program.

“This year’s grant recipients represent some of the most innovative thinking about advancing environmental protection in California. They demonstrate the power of environmental education, and a true commitment to creating a future with clean air, clean water, and a healthy planet for all,” Mike Alpern, public affairs director for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region said.

With the received $100,000 by Sequoia Riverlands Trust, the grant will support the trust’s EARTH (Ecosystems, Agriculture, Research, Trout in the Classroom, Horticulture) Academy. The academy is a year-long, project-based learning program offered by Sequoia Riverlands Trust to high school students in Tulare County.

For its goals, the EARTH Academy program aims to address these issues by increasing awareness and understanding of ecosystem health and management techniques that can improve water quality, air quality and carbon sequestration.

“We know that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, and it demands bold and innovative solutions, especially in California,” Alpern said.

Tulare County is one of the top agriculturally productive counties in the country and has regularly suffered from severe droughts, extreme temperatures, wildfires and poor air quality. The majority of students in the county come from immigrant or migratory families, live in rural areas and are low-income.

The EPA funding will range from $50,000 to $100,000 to each of the 33 organizations nationwide. The groups all provide environmental education activities and programs. This year’s grantees will conduct project activities in 27 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Among the grant recipients are four Minority Serving Institutions. EPA anticipates providing funding for these projects once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

Since 1992, EPA has distributed between $2 million and $3.5 million in environmental education grant funding each year, for a total of over $91.3 million supporting more than 3,922 projects. The program traditionally provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate or disseminate environmental education practices, methods or techniques. For more information, visit the Environmental Education webpage.

The Orange County Coastkeeper in Orange County also received a $98,492 grant. This grant will enable Orange County Coastkeeper and Inside the Outdoors to develop and implement a solutions-based climate resilience curriculum for middle and high school students in underserved communities in Orange County.

The program will provide students with a combination of in-class lessons and field trips to the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. Participating students will also complete a community action project and attend a symposium where they share their stewardship projects with the members of their community.

To learn more about current and past award winners, or to apply for future environmental education grant competitions, visit the Environmental Education Grants webpage. This page is updated as future competitions are announced and additional grants are awarded.

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