Proposals for Audubon environmental education grants due Oct. 30

ADDISON COUNTY — Applications for the Otter Creek Audubon Society (OCAS) annual grants are now available. This Environmental Education Grant program awards Addison County teachers with grants of up to $800 to support the OCAS mission of encouraging a culture of conservation.
Traditionally these applications are due in December. To better serve teachers’ planning needs, this year the deadline has been moved forward to Oct. 30. Funds will become available Jan. 1 for use during 2018.
Last year, Environmental Education Grants supported outdoor learning for students in seven schools. Bristol Elementary first-graders topped off their bird studies by traveling to Huntington to participate in outdoor programs through Audubon Vermont and the Birds of Vermont Museum. In Starksboro, Robinson Elementary used grant funds and community participation to add a kiosk to its outdoor classroom.
At Ferrisburgh Central, a school-wide celebration of local birds involved building birdhouses and enjoying a live-raptor visit from Outreach for Earth Stewardship.
AT FERRISBURGH CENTRAL, live raptors from Outreach for Earth Stewardship helped to kick off a school-wide unit about local birds. Photo by Carol Ramsayer
Two 7th-grade classes from Mount Abraham Union Middle School culminated their spring science studies with field trips. One traveled to the New England Aquarium in Boston to experience ocean life and conservation issues (see photo on right). The other group participated in hands-on outdoor learning at the Ferry Beach Ecology School in Maine.
Amy Clapp, the science teacher at Salisbury Community School, used her grant funds to print copies of “Naturally Literate,” a student checklist booklet for local flora and fauna. Also at Salisbury Community, the second-grade teacher purchased a classroom set of bird-themed books to supplement a Cornell Lab of Ornithology curriculum.
AMY CLAPP FROM Salisbury Community School used her grant funds to print copies of her Naturally Literate booklet — a checklist of locally common flora and fauna. Photo by Carol Ramsayer
Otter Valley Union High School and Salisbury Community are partnering in a joint biome exploration where students both teach and learn about each other’s outdoor classrooms. Several of these teacher-designed programs were supported with classroom and field participation of OCAS volunteers.
All interested elementary, middle and high school teachers are encouraged to develop proposals and apply for the OCAS Environmental Education Grants. Funds may be used to help defer the cost of transportation, equipment, admission fees or outside presentations. Proposals that get students out into the natural world will be favored.
For more information and an application visit the OCAS website at wp.me/pt0Pq-1Mf. Or, contact Carol at 713-818-7033. Applications are due on Monday, Oct. 30. 

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