Mini Grant Awards:

COEEA provides educational organizations and community-based groups with $500 to $1,000 in funding for local projects or enhancements to existing projects that educate a broad and diverse audience of youth and/or adult learners.  Projects should, by their nature, benefit the environment and increase environmental literacy among Connecticut residents.  The project period is for the calendar year.

ELIGIBILITY
All current COEEA members (individual members and member organizations) are eligible to apply.  To verify membership status, please contact COEEA Membership Chair at membership@coeea.org

SELECTION PROCESS
The COEEA Grants Committee will review and evaluate each application and announce the awards at its annual meeting/workshop.  More details about this event will be posted via the COEEA listserv and online at www.coeea.org.  Awards will be based on merit, including local relevance, meaningful/experiential learning, environmental stewardship and advancing the goals of Connecticut’s Environmental Literacy Plan (CT ELP).

Please check back soon for details and application form for 2018 Mini Grants.

 

2017 Mini Grant Award Recipients:

Audubon Center Bent of the River/Audubon CT: Bird Conservation Traveling StoryWalks® ($665)

Audubon Center Bent of the River is a 700-acre nature sanctuary and education center located in Southbury, Connecticut. It is part of Audubon Connecticut (a state office of the National Audubon Society). Audubon CT is strengthening our network by devising new solutions based on successful programs that both staff and volunteers can implement. These funds will create a traveling set of 2 or 3 StoryWalk® exhibits using children’s picture books that will be chosen to match Audubon’s focus on Connecticut’s role in the Atlantic Flyway, and actions that help “Build a Better World for Birds”.  Additional panels will be added to recognize partners, and provide examples of bird-friendly actions visitors can complete at home. The exhibits will be lightweight, weatherproof, and organized for easy transport and installation by volunteers. Scavenger hunts, suggested questions for parents, and bird-friendly action handouts will be available for download and print. The exhibits will be available to travel throughout our network of sanctuaries, centers, and Audubon Chapters events starting in April 2018, and materials will be used beyond the grant period.

 

Friends of Boulder KnollAll-Access Environmental Education ($1,120)

The Boulder Knoll Farm has evolved, since its establishment nine years ago, into an organic, community-supported agricultural farm with a vast array of educational programs offered to all ages throughout the garden season. Providing raised garden areas that are handicapped accessible, including building a demonstration potting bench, is our goal for the upcoming year. We firmly believe that creating this kind of valuable teaching tool will allow many more citizens of the community to participate in many of the teaching/learning opportunities held at the farm. We would welcome the participation of school groups and child oriented organizations into our seasonal programs, and we believe that the addition of a demonstration area with a learning grow bench would enable participants of all ages, who require wheelchair/assistive walker support, to access plants in a hands on manner. Funds will be used for building supplies for garden benches, good quality organic soil, stipends for instructors, and planting supplies. Our dedicated board and farm members will provide the tools and manpower. We will publicize in print/non-print/social media. Flyers will be distributed to local environmental groups, farms, libraries, and other related associations.

2016 Mini Grant Award Recipients:

Stamford Museum & Nature Center: Recycled ReCreation Maker Space ($525)

The Stamford Museum & Nature Center (SM&NC) is a 118-acre educational facility focusing on environmental, agricultural, astronomy, and art education.  It serves over 60,000 visitors per year, primarily families with children 12 and under, and over 30,000 school-aged children through its programs. The Recycled ReCreation Maker Space tied to SM&NC’s photography exhibition, Water: A Fragile Resource. The project was designed to be a hands-on, creative Maker Space for the museum, composed of all recycled and recyclable materials.  The project was accompanied by information on local recycling programs and the benefits to the planet of recycling different materials, especially the benefits on local waterways and water sources. The SM&NC also partnered with local businesses to collect items that would normally be thrown out or recycled for material for the Maker Space, as well as collecting from the local community.  Students and families had creative opportunities to build, craft, and engineer sculptures, models, animals, or whatever their imaginations decide while the important message of recycling and stewardship was reinforced.

 

Goodwin Conservation Center/Friends of Goodwin Forest: The Master Naturalist Program ($1,000)

The Master Naturalist program at Goodwin Conservation Center is a unique environmental education program in the State of Connecticut that serves educators, scientists, and the general public. The goal of the Master Naturalist program is to create a group of citizen naturalists who have a passion for and interest in the environment. These naturalists learn the skills of observation, analysis, and presentation to encourage their continued curiosity about the natural world.  In addition to the informational background being provided, a strong emphasis on presentation and education is provided to encourage budding naturalists to spread their message to the Connecticut community. Funding for this program supported 21 naturalists complete Level 1 of the program, at least 400 hours of outreach, and at least 300 hours of research projects and data collection with leaders in the field. Through this program, participants learn about the ecosystems of Connecticut, the animals and plants that inhabit our area, and current conservation issues affecting our wildlife and natural resources. The Master Naturalist program,  with COEEA funds in 2017, helps to develop more naturalists across the state and encourage interest in the environment.