Connecting children with nature is a major focus with the National Wildlife Refuges today. The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service recognizes the importance of getting kids out-of-doors, out into the natural environment with all of its wonders. Scientific studies have shown that spending time outside produces smarter, healthier, and happier children.
Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges have lots to offer schools in terms of environmental education, wildlife trails and drives, interpretation, and just plain memorable outdoor experiences. You are invited to bring your classes to experience these national wildlife refuges. Our hope is that they'll come back on their own and bring their families.
The Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society is the non-profit support group for Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges. In an effort to assist area students learn about nature and experience the national wildlife refuges the Society has funded a grants program to pay for transportation and other costs associated with class field trips to Alligator River and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuges. This also includes an open invitation to include refuge staff to coordinate programs in the school as well. The process is simple and has been designed to allow as many classes as possible to benefit from a refuge experience.
Grant proposals may, for example, cover expenses for a class on a field trip to one of the refuges, or to execute a year-long project that involves the refuges. Funds may be used to purchase special equipment, or to produce publications or presentations. We are willing to work with you to develop and fund projects that work for your situation.
The main objective of the program is to encourage students to learn about and appreciate wildlife, habitat, and other natural resources. We believe in experiential learning and support taking children out-of-doors. In several middle schools in Dare and Tyrrell counties, the Society has sponsored "Junior Refuge Friends" clubs. We invite your school to form a group or club that would focus on building a relationship with your local national wildlife refuges.
The application is available at http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver/images/edu-grant-application.pdf. You can also view a copy of the grant announcement at http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver/images/edu-grant-announcement.pdf. Please plan now to be involved in this program during the next school year!
For more information, contact Cindy Heffley at 252-475-4180 (firstname.lastname@example.org).