‘Ding’ Awards $9K In School Conservation Education Grants

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Education Committee Chair Wendy Kindig (far right) observes a 2018-2019 grant-funded project at Royal Palm Exceptional School Center in Fort Myers.

“Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge recently awarded $9,106 in grants to conservation education-related projects at 11 different schools and educational resources in Lee, Charlotte, and Collier counties for the 2019-2020 school year.

Teachers submitted grant applications to the DDWS Environmental Education Committee by Oct. 31. The committee chose awards based on need and relevance to conservation.

Educational resources to which DDWS awarded grants this year include East Lee County High in Lehigh Acres for two separate projects titled “Growing Our Future” and “Bringing Thoreau & Emerson To Life,” Edison Park Creative & Expressive Art School in Fort Myers for “Grow Up for Environmental Stewardship,” Lee Adolescent Mother’s Program in Fort Myers for “Green Space – A Garden for Us All,” Lee County Schools for “Project Wonder of Water,” Lehigh Senior High for “Retention Pond Study,” Immokalee Middle School for “Water Is a Valuable Resource,” James Stephens International Academy in Fort Myers for “Escape Drill and Practice,” Orange River Elementary in Fort Myers for “Let’s Get Wet,” Peace River Elementary in Port Charlotte for “Hydrophonics,” Quality of Life Center of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers for “Quality Conservation Project,” and Villas Elementary in Fort Myers for “Microscopes to Inspire & Enhance Scientific Inquiry.”

“This is the 14th year the society has awarded these conservation teacher grants,” said Wendy Kindig, education committee chair. “To date, we have awarded more than $95,000 in teacher grants. The Education Committee appreciates the creativity that teachers demonstrate when developing age-appropriate projects to teach conservation and environmental science. We are pleased to help the future of conservation stewards in this important way.”

Grant recipients report back on their projects to the society and refuge, sending pictures and often thank-you notes from the students, upon project completion in June 2020.

For information on next year’s grants, contact Sierra Hoisington at 239-472-1100 ext. 4 or Kindig at wendykindig@aol.com, or visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/teacher-grants.

Anyone interested in supporting conservation education at “Ding” Darling can visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller at director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

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