Three southern Ohio organizations have received grants from Ohio EPA's Ohio Environmental Education Fund (OEEF): Athens City Schools, Public Media Connect and Imago.

Athens City Schools and Imago received mini grants. Public Media Connect received a general grant. General grants are awarded for up to $50,000; seven general grants were issued statewide for a total of $207,860. Mini grants are awarded for $500 to $5,000; 10 mini grants were awarded for a total of $34,369.

The grant recipients, grant amounts and project descriptions are:

• Athens City Schools-Athens Middle School: $4,153 for the Inquiring Minds: Soil and Water project. The project will focus on activities and experiments for approximately 200 seventh-grade students using activities from Project WET, Healthy Water Healthy People, Wonders of Wetlands and teacher-created content to engage students in water- and soil-related topics.

• Imago (Hamilton County): $4,236 for the School Yard Environmental Learning Stations project. Imago will work with Pleasant Ridge Montessori school to design and implement environmental learning stations at the school's existing garden and naturescape. For three years, Imago has led weekly outdoor education programs at the school. The learning stations will give teachers the ability to lead their own outdoor lessons. Station examples include pollinator gardens, bird watching areas and an arboretum.

• Public Media Connect: $37,000 for Let’s Get Wild: Teachers Learn to Teach about Nature. The project will train 600 teachers of preschool and school-age students in 28 central and southwestern Ohio counties to use nature as a tool to teach multidisciplinary and STEM topics. Curriculum includes hands-on projects, story books and other materials. Workshops will be held in Brown, Butler, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Licking, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Pickaway, Preble, Richland, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Union and Warren counties.

The Ohio Environmental Education Fund provides grants each year for environmental education projects serving kindergarten through university students, the public and the regulated community. OEEF grants are funded with a portion of the civil penalties Ohio EPA collects for violations of Ohio’s air and water pollution control laws.

Eligible grant recipients include environmental groups, public and private schools, colleges and universities, trade or professional organizations, businesses and state and local governments. Letters of intent for the next grant round are due to Ohio EPA no later than Jan. 9, 2018, and applications are due by Jan. 16, 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Ohio Environmental Education Fund online or at (614) 644-2873 to discuss project ideas.