October 21, 1997

For more information contact:
Mimi Dunne at 908-637-4125

As part of a $130,000 cost-sharing federal program, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in partnership with the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife, will provide partial funding to schools for projects that improve wildlife habitat on school grounds. Continuous sign-up for the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) began October 14.

“The program provides both technical assistance and cost-sharing for those who want to develop or improve wildlife habitat on private lands and school yards with a special emphasis on fostering declining wildlife species and enhancing fish habitat,” said division Director Bob McDowell.

The school yard habitat enhancement portion of the program targets schools throughout the state in an effort to encourage teachers and students to develop and implement projects that benefit wildlife. Teachers who wish to apply for the cost-sharing assistance must attend a division-sponsored WILD School Sites Workshop. A total of $15,000 will be awarded on a competitive, reimbursement basis. Individual projects can receive up to $2,500.

The school must agree to maintain cost-shared practices and allow NRCS to monitor the project. Projects that may be funded include tree, shrub, wildflower, butterfly and/or hummingbird plantings, as well as the construction of water control structures for wetland development. Projects must involve more than one teacher from the school, be supported by custodial and administrative staff and involve students in the planning, design and implementation of the project.

Upcoming WILD School Sites workshops are listed below. There is a $5 fee for each day.

November 19
Ocean County Soil Conservation District
Forked River
Contact Kerry Jennings at 609-971-7002
November 20
Burlington County Library
Mount Holly
Contact Mimi Dunne at 908-637-4125
December 2
Somerset County Park Commission
Basking Ridge
Contact Hazel England at 908-766-2489

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