Ozark Society Foundation Youth Engagement Grant

The Ozark Society Foundation has selected the recipients of the 2022 Youth Environmental Grants Program. Eight grants totaling $14,869 were awarded to organizations and schools in Arkansas, Missouri, and Louisiana that engage students in environmentalism and conservation projects. The diverse projects educate and involve K-12 students in projects such as river clean up, habitat restoration, and trail building for persons with disabilities.

In response to a large number of high quality and creative programs submissions, OSF increased the program budget from 2021 when $10,000 in grants were awarded to seven organizations.

“The 2022 projects are inspirational and give me hope for the future,” Roslyn Imrie, OSF board member and student grants committee chair, said. “The projects and the young people involved in them will benefit from hands-on learning, service learning, and social activism. They actively engage youth in conservation efforts that have tangible outcomes and direct impact on our community.”

Ozark Society Foundation Youth Grants support environmental projects in the Ozark or Ouachita areas in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, as well as the parishes in north Louisiana. The selected projects actively involve youth in environmental awareness and conservation activities, are community-based, and involve elementary or secondary school-aged youth.

The OSF grantees for 2022 include:

1. Organization: Arkansas 4-H, statewide.

Project Name: Leave No Trace Education Trail

Area of Focus: Solid Waste

Scope: over 500 K-12 students

Amount Awarded: $2,582

Project Description: A trail will be constructed at the 4-H Center Campus that includes seven learning stations that correspond to the principles of “Leave No Trace.”

2. Organization: Caddo Outdoor Ed Program, Shreveport, LA.

 Project Name: Louisiana Watershed Protectors

Area of Focus: Water Quality

Scope: 12 students regularly from the 3rd-12th grade

Amount Awarded: $1,100

Project Description: Student teams are educated and empowered to preserve    water quality. The youth are put in kayaks to clean up river litter.

3. Organization: Clarksville High School, Clarksville, AR.

Project Name: Clarksville FFA Stream Team

Area of Focus: Water Quality

Scope: 100 students in 9-12th grade in Clarksville

Amount Awarded: $2,000

Project Description: Clarksville students will preserve the water quality of Spadra Creek by reporting on a Water Quality Index and removing litter from the creek and surrounding areas.

4. Organization: Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville, AR.

Project Name: Invasive Removal and Native Restoration Project Toolkit

Area of Focus: Native and Invasive Plants

Scope: 30 students in the 9th-12th grade

Amount Awarded: $1,508

Project Description: An Environmental Science teacher will instruct students on species removal and native plant propagation. The students will remove invasive plants and re-introduce native species in three public areas.

5. Organization: NWA Forest School, Fayetteville, AR.

Project Name: Beneficial Bird and Pollinator Habitat Creation

Area of Focus: Gardens, Habitat Restoration, and Native Plants

Scope: 23 students – K-5th grade

Amount Awarded: $1,169

Project Description: The school will provide lessons on habitat and gardening; students will transform a meadow full of invasive species into a habitat that is beneficial for pollinators and birds.

6. Organization: Ozark Natural Science Center, Huntsville, AR.

Project Name: Making Nature More Accessible

Area of Focus: Trails and Accessibility for people with limited mobility

Scope: 800 students in K-12th grade

Amount Awarded: $3,000

Project Description: Students will construct a trail accessible to those with limited mobility, connect multiple ecosystems to maximize the educational opportunities along the trail.

7. Organization: Earth’s Classroom, Rosebud, MO.

Project Name: Natural Resource Career Experience

Area of Focus: Environmental Education and Career Experience

Scope: 420 students 9th-12th grade and K-5th grade i

Amount Awarded: $2,000

Project Description: High school students learn about natural resources career experience through after-school courses; students take an ecology canoe trip and lead a hands-on course for elementary students.

8. Organization: Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative, Benton, AR.

Project Name: E-STEM Bio Blitz

Area of Focus: Native and Invasive Plants and Animal Species Survey

Scope: 2,000 students in the 3rd-8th grade

Amount Awarded: $1,500

Project Description: Guy Fenter Education Service Cooperative staff will provide hands-on learning to middle school students and teachers in a variety of science topics relating to nearby native flora and fauna.