CONTACT:
Marilyn Wyzga: (603) 271-3211
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
October 31, 2003


Wildlife Action Grants Available for Schools
Due dates: November 30 and February 15

CONCORD, N.H. -- Teachers interested in getting their students in on some "wildlife action" can apply to the Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program at New Hampshire Fish and Game for start-up funds. The program provides mini-grants of up to $300 -- or $600 with matching funds -- for projects allowing students and educators to undertake activities that enhance habitat for people and wildlife. The next deadlines for submitting proposals are November 30 and February 15. For a proposal packet, contact: Marilyn Wyzga, Public Affairs Division, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, N.H. 03301, mwyzga@wildlife.state.nh.us or call (603) 271-3211.

The Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program is designed to support student environmental action that can be measured in acres improved or protected for wildlife. Activities can include hands-on schoolyard or community habitat improvement or projects influencing community attitudes about maintaining or protecting wildlife habitat.

The grants program is funded by the Conservation License Plate fund, through the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program at Fish and Game. Each applicant may request up to $300, or up to $600 if a dollar-for-dollar match can be provided by the school or organization over the initial $300.

Grants are available to teachers and other educators working in cooperation with Project HOME or Project WILD. Project HOME, a schoolyard habitat program coordinated by Fish and Game, won the Conservation Education Award from The Wildlife Society in 2002. Project WILD provides teachers with wildlife materials through interactive, interdisciplinary workshops about wildlife and the environment. Project HOME facilitators, teachers and educators trained in Project WILD, or those who have a member of one of these programs on their team, may apply for the grants.

"We're looking for student-driven action projects that will directly benefit wildlife," says Marilyn Wyzga, coordinator of the Project HOME schoolyard habitat program at Fish and Game. "Projects with the best chance of long-term success involve schools assembling a team of staff, students, community members and resource professionals."

Past projects funded by the Homes for Action Wildlife Grant Program include:

*The Swasey Central School of Brentwood is encouraging birds to return to their schoolyard following new building construction. Bird feeders were installed, and trees and shrubs planted to provide food and cover for birds near an interior courtyard/outdoor classroom that was part of the school's new addition.

*The Concord School District's Project SEE (Science Enrichment Encounters) is developing a habitat enhancement area at its White Farm site. This project includes providing wildlife cover, food plantings and feeding stations for birds, an effort that is part of a larger site renovation for habitat and creation of an outdoor classroom.

*The Alton Central School's Project SOAR (Save Our Animal Resources) is developing wildlife habitats around the school by creating interdisciplinary environmental learning centers that include nesting houses, squirrel shelters and butterfly gardens designed by students, community members and parents.

*The New Boston Central School linked first grade students with fourth grade buddies to plant a "bird blind" and to attract birds and butterflies to their outdoor classroom. This project included covering a chain link fence with vining plants and planting perennials to provide nectar and fruit for birds and butterflies.

Applications will be evaluated by staff from Project HOME, UNH Cooperative Extension and Fish and Game's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Program. Grant recipients are required to evaluate the progress of their project at the end of the school year. Recipients may apply for grants in subsequent years if additional funding is necessary or apply for funds for new projects.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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Concord, NH 03301

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