Beyond Visions, a St. Croix nonprofit agency with environmental programs, will receive a $50,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to help fund its environmental education projects, the EPA announced Tuesday. Beyond Visions also won an EPA Environmental Quality Award in April.
“EPA is proud to provide $50,000 to Beyond Visions Inc. to support the education projects about the importance of the marine environment that local community organizations will conduct in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA regional administrator, in a press release.
Beyond Visions Director Yvonne Petersen said that the money will be used to replicate its Nature Explorers Club at other nonprofit agencies. She said those agencies will receive sub-grants and technical assistance for the program.
Petersen sees the Nature Explorers Club as a program that helps the environment but also deals with issues such as teen pregnancy.
She said that Beyond Visions has received applications for the Nature Explorers Club from some groups on St. Croix and St. Thomas.
According to the EPA, the goal of the projects will be to increase the public’s understanding of how actions impact the marine environment. Club members participate in classes and work with community leaders to conduct beach cleanups, to promote reusable shopping bags and to monitor sea turtle nests.
Each Nature Explorers Club member will produce a marine or sea turtle conservation public service announcement that will be showcased at an Environmental Stewardship Conference.
The EPA said its local and nationwide educational programs promote environmental stewardship and support excellence in environmental education. Since 1992, EPA has funded over $55 million in environmental education grants to support more than 3,000 projects across the country.
Agency partnerships, including with the National Environmental Education Foundation and the Environmental Education Training Partnership, have given thousands of formal and nonformal educators the skills and knowledge needed to teach students of all ages about safeguarding the environment.
Reach Beyond Visions at 718-0284.