Kentucky Environmental Foundation maintains the objective of helping create positive solutions to environmental health concerns. Kentucky faces many environmental challenges that can have an impact on health and often times, citizens feel they do not have the tools to address those concerns. One of KEF’s current projects is the creation of environmental health curriculum for high school students across Kentucky to gain a better understanding of the relationship between their environment and their health. KEF is currently developing the project through a pilot at Powell County High School in Powell County, Kentucky.
Within the course, students are learning about air, water and soil testing, collecting data and pictures from the field and uploading the information to an online data base, map, and web site. This site will be available for future students at different schools to upload their own sets of information. The mapping project allows students to understand where sources of contamination exist in relationship to schools, homes, and other places of employment. Citizen science plays an important role in helping communities understand the condition of their own environment. When communities have access to information and are provided with the avenues to address those concerns, positive change can happen.
What are the long term goals of the Environmental Health Curriculum?
1. Increase public awareness of environmental health related to public health.
2. Create action plans within communities for remediation.
3. Create an opensource database of environmental health information in a website dedicated to this.
4. To create a baseline environmental health map for counties that includes air, water, and soil data.