Funds to support 3rd grade students in the Escondido Union School District have been awarded to The Escondido Creek Conservancy.
The Conservancy has been awarded a national grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Planet Stewards Education Project to fund environmental education and stewardship in Escondido. The program will support 3rd grade students in the Escondido Union School District (EUSD) as they work to address the problem of litter in their community, in conjunction with their learning about local habitats and the impacts of humans on the environment.
The Conservancy’s Education Manager, Jennifer Imm told The Times-Advocate, “As a small organization, we are very honored to receive this national grant, and we are grateful to NOAA for supporting the important work we do to educate Escondido’s youth about their local environment.”
The $3,600 grant will be used to encourage community and civic engagement through environmental action. NOAA decided to award more funding than the Conservancy initially proposed due to the strength of the proposal and the importance of the project.
After learning how litter in Escondido ends up in sensitive habitats and why it is a problem, students will pick up litter around their community, preventing it from ending up in the Escondido Creek and the ocean. Students will also record the types of litter they find, using NOAA’s Marine Debris Tracker application, contributing to a citizen science dataset. Students will then engage the local community in their work by creating educational posters and videos, and even discussing possible solutions to the problem of litter in Escondido with local city government representatives.
“This grant enables us to expand our efforts to cultivate stewardship and civic engagement among youth. Empowering children to protect the environment for the benefit of their community, wildlife, and the planet we all share is a key goal for us.” said Simon Breen, education director.
Although many students won’t be able to participate in traditional field trips this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Conservancy is committed to ensuring that students still have access to high-quality environmental education programming. You can find out more about the NOAA Planet Stewards Education Project here: oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/planet-stewards/