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December 17, 2012
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Grant helps Grizzly Hill students restore wildlife habitat

Project Learning Tree, an environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation, awarded a $1,000 GreenWorks! grant to Sierra Streams Institute for students to lead a habitat restoration project on the campus of Grizzly Hill Elementary School, a small rural K-8 public school, near Nevada City.

Approximately 60 students will participate in a yearlong environmental education project to leave “A Living Legacy” for their school. The seventh and eighth grade classes will choose a plot on campus, then work as a team to design and implement a service-learning project to restore habitat for wildlife. With assistance and guidance provided by volunteers from California Native Plant Society and University of California Master Gardeners Program, the older students will work with younger students to remove invasive plants, improve the soil, and plant native species.

Sierra Streams Institute will use Project Learning Tree’s curriculum and other age-appropriate, hands-on environmental education activities to teach students in grades 3-8 about ecology and conservation. Students will work in groups to monitor the plot, determine maintenance needs, and conduct field observations of wildlife using this new habitat. They will also create a classroom field guide to educate current and future Grizzly Hill students about the “Living Legacy” left by the class of 2013.

“Many of the school’s students require specialized instruction and creative lesson plans to engage them in academic and social learning,” said Kelly Hickman, education coordinator of Sierra Streams Institute. “Environmental education not only engages students in learning required academic content, but will also provide these students with the tools they need to be lifelong environmental stewards.”

The grant was one of 29 grants awarded to schools and youth organizations in 17 states and the District of Columbia. For a list of all projects awarded, go to Proposals for the next round of grants will be due Sept. 30, 2013. Application forms will be made available in the spring from

Contact Kay Antunez at for more information about Project Learning Tree in California,

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The Union Updated Feb 20, 2013 01:14PM Published Dec 21, 2012 07:32AM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.