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Wild Center gets NOAA Environmental Literacy grant

TUPPER LAKE — The Wild Center nature museum in Tupper Lake has received a $449,278 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Environmental Literacy Program to help the center build climate literacy as part of a three-year project.

The grant was one of eight awarded this year from the program, which supports education programs that use NOAA science to improve ecosystem stewardship and increase resilience to environmental hazards.

The three-year project builds upon a collaboration of the Wild Center, the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the Alliance for Climate Education as they support the development of leadership skills for rural young people.

Called Empowering Rural Youth for Community Climate Resilience in New York State, the project serves 700 to 800 high school students, 60 to 80 high school teachers and 60 youth leaders in New York state.

“It’s critical for students to learn about climate change, but studies are clear that education alone isn’t enough to lead to action,” Stephanie Ratcliffe, executive director of the Wild Center, said in a statement.

Since 2008, the Wild Center has worked with thousands of high school and college students as well as educators across the region to build climate action plans students can implement in their own schools and communities.

“We are thrilled to be supporting the Wild Center’s project,” said Louisa Koch, NOAA director of education, in the same statement. “They are a recognized leader in engaging and empowering youth to have a voice in addressing climate impacts now and in the future.”

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