The 3M Company awarded a $48,320 ECO Grant to the Huron-Clinton Metroparks to enhance nature and environmental learning.
The park system is one of eight national recipients of this grant.
ECO grants, part of 3M’s Community Giving Program, are intended to improve science-based environmental and conservation programs for youth.
“This is one of the largest grants we’ve had the opportunity to present in this area. We hope this will spark young people’s interest in their environment and surroundings,” said Tamera Fenske, plant manager for the 3M Abrasives Systems Division in Detroit.
The Metroparks will use the grant to fund a Technology-Enhanced Nature Study (TENS) program, a student-driven comparative analysis of urban and suburban ecosystems in the Huron and Clinton River watersheds. The TENS Program will give Detroit-area upper-elementary and middle school students the opportunity to experience nature first-hand as scientists in their own local schoolyard and at one of three Huron-Clinton Metroparks.
The program will promote locally relevant, experiential learning, and will incorporate the use of technology and computer applications in environmental science while promoting ecosystem and watershed stewardship through both classroom activities and field experiences.
The Metroparks will use the grant to purchase monitoring and data collection equipment, including data loggers, GPS loggers and weather sensors, and iPod Touches with apps for data collection. It will also provide funding for teacher training, as well as a staffperson to facilitate program development. Included in the grant is $4,800 to transport students to the Metroparks.
“This grant will greatly enhance our opportunities to give students hands-on experience with their surroundings,” said Paul Muelle, Metroparks natural resources manager. “We truly appreciate Detroit 3M Abrasives Systems Division sponsoring the Metroparks for this grant.”
Source: Metroparks press release