3M has selected nine organizations to receive nearly $400,000 in grants for projects aimed at improving science-based environmental and conservation education for youth. Since 2001, 3M has invested more than $20 million in sustainability initiatives as part of the company’s commitment to encouraging environmental stewardship. This year’s 3Mgives Eco Grant recipients provide programs that help students connect science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with the world around them.
The grant recipients are nature and environmental learning centers located in communities near a 3M facility. Recipients were selected based on criteria including: goals to connect STEM education and nature with outdoor learning opportunities; education that encourages environmental stewardship; and the ability to increase student visits and teacher preparedness — thereby extending the learning beyond a single visit.
“3M is committed to improving every life through innovative giving in education, community and the environment. These organizations are helping to connect the future workforce to nature and science,” said Kim Price, vice president, 3Mgives. “We are delighted to support educational programs that generate enthusiasm for nature and encourage environmental stewardship.”
3Mgives' Eco Grant recipients for 2013 include a $41,000 grant to New Canaan Nature Center in Meriden, Conn. for an environmental education center and sanctuary dedicated to helping students and visitors better understand, appreciate, and care for the world of nature. The sanctuary encompasses the third-largest tract of public open space in New Canaan. This 40-acre site is crisscrossed by two miles of trails meandering through wet and dry meadows, woodlands, ponds, dense thickets, an old orchard, and a cattail marsh. The outdoor classroom will host nearly 10,000 visitors and more than 450 environmental education programs each year.“We are extremely grateful to 3Mgives,” said Laura Heckman, executive director of the New Canaan Nature Center. “This grant will allow students, who would not otherwise have the opportunity, to learn real-world science and leadership. It’s a great investment into our future.”