NC Beautiful Board Member Lena Gallitano Contributes Windows of Opportunity Grant to Gates County

From: NC Beautiful
Published: Thu Nov 05 2009

NC Beautiful, a provider of environmental education and beautification opportunities that elevate the quality of life of North Carolinians, is accepting applications from K-12 teachers in Gates County, North Carolina for a $1,000 Windows of Opportunity (WOO) Grant contributed by organization board member Lena Gallitano. Windows of Opportunity Grants reward NC educators for their creativity in fostering environmental stewardship, leadership, and awareness and initiating a sense of community service.

The Windows of Opportunity Grants were created to cultivate an appreciation of natural environments by helping children get out of school and into natural settings. The grants also build leadership awareness, develop environmental educational mentors and ambassadors, create materials and resources that can be used by other K-12 students, and develop a sustainable, outdoor program, which will continue well after the grant period ends. NC Beautiful Executive Director, Steve Vacendak, is grateful for the generosity of individuals like Gallitano and hopes that teachers throughout Gates County apply for this grant.

"The mission of NC Beautiful is to foster environmental stewardship through education and outreach, and one of the main ways we accomplish this is through our teachers," says Vacendak. "Through the kind support of people like Lena, we’re able to broaden our reach to empower more of our citizens to help keep North Carolina beautiful."

Gallitano is a native North Carolinian and holds degrees from both UNCG and NC State University. She is an avid birder and her love of birds is the common theme in her volunteer projects since retiring from NC State University. As a long-time member of Wake Audubon Society and Audubon NC, Gallitano has been active in both environmental and educational projects. For her work in opposing a Navy outlying landing field adjacent to Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, she was awarded Audubon North Carolina’s 2004 Volunteer of the Year.

She began volunteering for the North Carolina Birding Trail in its infancy in 2004. With both the Coastal and the Piedmont sections of the Trail complete, Lena has continued to support this effort by co-teaching the "Birder Friendly Business and Community" program which focuses attention on the educational and conservation opportunities the Trail offers North Carolina citizens while bringing tourism dollars into the state for economic development. She was awarded the Governor’s Award as Wildlife Volunteer of the Year in 2004 by the NC Wildlife Federation for her work on the Trail.

In addition to NC Beautiful, she also serves on the boards of Audubon NC and the Carolina Bird Club. She believes the environmental education opportunities offered by NC Beautiful to students of all ages is a critical component to sustain and preserve North Carolina’s beauty and heritage for future generations.

Eligible applicants must be K-12 full-time certified teachers in an accredited Gates County school. Applications are available online at For more information, contact Louise Carey at (919) 828-3190 or

About NC Beautiful
NC Beautiful has been part of the state’s environmental preservation community for 40 years, supporting awareness, education and beautification efforts that affect our quality of life. Today, we concentrate on hands-on and merit-based programs designed to empower our citizens to preserve the natural beauty of the state of North Carolina. Whether it’s school children building outdoor classrooms, graduate students developing cutting edge research, or a Boy Scout troop planting azaleas at an elder care facility, we make it possible for North Carolinians to keep NC Beautiful. For more information, visit

Media Contacts
Steve Vacendak, Executive Director, NC Beautiful
(919) 828-3190

Louise Carey, Programs Manager, NC Beautiful
(919) 828-3190

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Company: NC Beautiful
Contact Name: Louise Carey
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 919-828-3190

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