EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

December 11, 2012

N.H. offers wildlife mini-grants


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — CONCORD — Teachers and community members interested in involving youth to make a difference for wildlife through habitat projects on schoolyards, public areas or community lands can apply to the Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program for start-up funds.

This New Hampshire Fish and Game Department program provides mini-grants of $300 to $600. Habitat projects create spaces for outdoor learning, and can range from a butterfly garden to shrubs for birds to a pond for amphibians.

The deadline for submitting proposals is Feb. 1, 2013. For a proposal packet, visit wildnh.com/Education/project_HOME.html and download the packet, or write to Marilyn Wyzga, Public Affairs Division, N.H. Fish and Game Department, 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, 03301; email marilyn.wyzga@wildlife.nh.gov; or call 271-3211.

The Homes for Wildlife Action Grant Program is designed to support students, educators and community members in projects that create or enhance habitat for wildlife, and to provide inquiry-based, hands-on learning opportunities.

The grant program is funded by the Conservation License Plate fund (moose plates), 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 for any amount over the initial $300. A match is not required for the first $300.

Grants are available to teachers, educators, school staff and community members, especially those trained in Project WILD or Project HOME or who have a member of one of these programs on their project team. Project HOME is an award-winning schoolyard habitat program coordinated by Fish and Game.

Project WILD is a K-12, interdisciplinary program about wildlife and the environment. For more resources for teachers from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, visit wildnh.com/Education/education.htm. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources. Visit online at wildnh.com.

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

Examples of past projects funded by Wildlife Action Grants include:

The Whipple Free Library in New Boston received $300 to work with students to establish shrubs that benefit pollinators and other wildlife, enhancing an existing habitat.

Stark Village School was awarded $300 to establish a wildlife habitat on its school grounds as a riparian buffer, providing food and cover for migratory and resident wildlife.

Timberlane Regional Middle School in Plaistow was given $135 to install a bird bath and bird feeders as part of their courtyard renovation.

The Dover Children’s Center received $300 to add trees, shrubs, and perennials to their site to benefit butterflies, moths, birds, and small mammals, and will build and install bat boxes.

The Grapevine Family and Community Resource Center in Antrim was awarded $600 to add trees, shrubs, and perennials to their site to benefit butterflies and other insects, birds and small mammals.

Grant applications will be evaluated by Project HOME staff and biologists and educators from the N.H. Fish and Game Department. Grant recipients are required to evaluate the progress of their project within 6 months of the award. Recipients may apply for grants in subsequent years if additional funding is necessary, and also may apply for funds for new projects.

For more resources for teachers from the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, visit wildnh.com/Education/education.htm.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources. Visit online at wildnh.com.