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Sustainability offers Earth Month programming grants

Ohio University will celebrate Earth Month throughout April with a variety of programs aimed at raising awareness of sustainability issues.

The Office of Sustainability is giving OHIO students, faculty and staff the opportunity to host sustainability programs throughout Earth Month. Interested parties are encouraged to apply for mini-grants of up to $500 to create and run a program dedicated to educating people on this year's theme: Energy.

This is the first year that the Office of Sustainability has offered programming grants for Earth Month.

“We are trying something new and exciting this year,” said Mary Leciejewski, special programs coordinator and a graduate assistant in the Office of Sustainability. “We would like to encourage stewardship of all campuses by providing students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to host what they would like to see. It's a more engaging approach.”

The deadline for all program proposals is Feb. 6. Proposals should include a thorough description of the program, the target audience and details regarding any planned collaboration with other organizations. Potential dates and locations should also be included along with contact information for the lead contact person and a proposed budget. Applications can be completed online by visiting www.ohio.edu/sustainability.

Awardees will be notified a week after the deadline. There will be an informational meeting for those involved on Feb. 22. All awardees must meet with a representative from the Office of Sustainability prior to March 10 to receive funding. Programs must be scheduled to run anytime during the month of April.

In the past, students have created many informative and exciting programs. An Earth Month program that ran last year, allowed students to taste food from places that they may not have otherwise tried. Another program featured Rob Caughlan, a surfer activist who worked in the Carter administration, who spoke on the importance of healthy beaches.

Ohio University has committed to sustainability through the recent adoption of the Sustainability Plan. In fact, preference will be given to program proposals that support the benchmarks identified in the Sustainability Plan, which can be found online at www.ohio.edu/pacsp.

“We believe that learning about sustainability should be a part of every student’s education,” said Leciejewski. “It is important to remember that education does not end when class is over. We are working to engage the campus community in unique ways.”