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DDWS awards $5,000 in school conservation education grants

By Staff | Dec 1, 2009

Recently, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society (DDWS) awarded $5,000 in grants to eight conservation education-related projects at six Lee County Schools.

Teachers submitted 28 grant applications to the DDWS Environmental Education Committee last fall. The committee chose eight awards based on need and relevance to conservation.

Schools to which DDWS awarded grants include Colonial Elementary School of Fort Myers for its “The Cycles of Life” and “Down Under the Sea” projects, Lexington Middle School of Fort Myers for its “Face It! Animals Need Our Protection” and “LXMS Native Shade Tree and Plant Restoration” projects, Spring Creek Elementary School of Bonita Springs for its “Florida’s Most Precious Gifts” project, Sunshine Elementary School of Lehigh Acres for its “They Walk, They Crawl; We’re Friends to All” project, The Sanibel School for its “A Digital Guidebook to ‘Ding’ Darling” project, and Trafalgar Middle School of Cape Coral for its “Special Needs Students Saving Sanibel’s Beaches” project.

“This is the fourth year the Society has awarded these conservation teacher grants,” said Doris Hardy, education committee chair. “The student projects get more interesting and exciting each year, it seems. We are happy to be able to fulfill our education mission in such a meaningful, well-appreciated manner.”

Grant recipients report back on their projects to the Society and refuge, often sending pictures and thank-yous from the students, upon completion in May 2010.

The teacher grants are funded by DDWS funds received from the “Ding” Darling Foundation specifically for education. DDWS is a non-profit friends organization that supports J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

For more information on next year’s grants, contact Toni Westland at 472-1100 ext. 237 or Hardy at hardydd@comcast.net, or visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org.

To join DDWS and become a friend of the refuge, stop in at the Refuge Education Center or visit www.dingdarlingsociety.org.