Ohio Project WILD Grants Available

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Ohio teachers who have successfully used Project WILD in their classrooms can now provide students additional hands-on learning about wildlife and habitat through grants available from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

Grants totaling $500 each will be awarded on a competitive basis to 20 schools currently participating in Project WILD, a supplemental environmental education curriculum for grades K-12. Project WILD uses wildlife and wildlife management techniques to teach traditional school subjects such as math, science and language arts. Teachers can use the new grant money for materials, equipment and activities to develop "WILD School Sites" on their campuses.

"A 'WILD School Site' project allows teachers to take lesson plans outdoors, bringing environmental education concepts to life in a real way for students," said Jen Dennison, wildlife education coordinator for the Division of Wildlife. "An added benefit is the improvement of schoolyard habitat for wildlife and people, making for better outdoor learning experiences."

The grants are awarded to applicants that best meet the WILD School Site criteria. That criteria includes feasibility of the project, benefit to students in understanding the needs of wildlife in Ohio, and participation of students, teachers, staff and the community at large in the development and upkeep of the site.

Funding for the "WILD School Site" grant program comes from state income tax check-off donations to the Wildlife Diversity Fund and fees generated from the sale of cardinal license plates.

Interested educators should submit an application between January 1 and May 31 to the ODNR Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Road, Bldg. G, Columbus, OH 43229. Complete details of the grant program and an application packet can be found at wildohio.com . To find out more information on Project WILD or to find an area workshop, please call 1-800-WILDLIFE.