Governor Wolf Announces 79 Projects to Receive DEP Environmental Education Grants

April 21, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced today that 79 projects statewide are receiving almost $1.2 million in Environmental Education Grants from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in 2017.

“Through the DEP Environmental Education Grants, Pennsylvanians of all ages gain knowledge of the natural world, appreciation for the importance of a healthy environment, and an understanding of the need for environmental protection and sound resource management,” said Governor Wolf.

Projects addressing water education and climate change were prioritized. In addition, reflecting DEP’s renewed focus on environmental justice, the grants for the first time include funding for activities that educate, empower and enable disadvantaged communities to participate meaningfully in environmental and public health issues.

“A healthy environment isn’t a luxury good. These environmental justice projects reflect the importance of ensuring that all Pennsylvanians, especially those who’ve historically been disenfranchised, are informed about decisions and actions that affect their environment,” said DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell, speaking at an April 21 event hosted by award recipient Capitol Region Water.

Thirty-one environmental justice projects received grants totaling more than $500,000.

This year’s awards reflect other new developments in the grants program: For the first time, general grants of up to $50,000 were awarded to projects with a broad or statewide focus, in addition to traditional mini-grants of up to $3,000. Twenty-six general grants and 53 mini-grants were awarded.

A new online e-grants system helped streamline the application process. The system was developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and deployed by DEP through the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Management and Efficiency (GO-TIME).

Several organizations in the Harrisburg area that received grants attended the event, including Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Dauphin County Cooperative Extension, and Londonderry and Susquehanna Townships. A classroom of 10 students who’ll benefit from the grant to Capitol Region Water’s K2Career Pipeline programming participated, adding plants to the company’s rain garden.

The Environmental Education Grants Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5 percent of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. In its 24-year history, the program has funded more than $11 million in environmental education grants.


2017 Environmental Education Grant Awardees by County:


  • Strawberry Hill Foundation, Inc.:  Environmental Literacy and College & Career Preparedness for Rural Students ($16,500)
  • Upper Adams School District: Fifth Grade Environmental Education Camp ($3,000)


  • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy: Sustainable “Freedom Garden” Teaches All of Us ($50,000)
  • West Virginia University Research Corporation: Three Rivers Quest REACH 4Schools ($49,934)
  • Growth Through Energy and Community Health Strategies: Green Playce Ambassadors ($49,400)
  • Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium: Invasive Species and Ecology Zoo U. Course ($3,000)
  • Allegheny Land Trust: Watering Your Garden of Knowledge—Bringing Project WET to Early Learners ($3,000)
  • Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators: Healthy Water, Healthy People Across PA ($3,000)
  • Pittsburgh Filmmakers, Inc: Urban Eco-Art Camp ($2,996)
  • School District of Pittsburgh: Trout in the Classroom ($2,952)
  • Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse: Creative Environmental Field Trips ($2,863)


  • Church Army USA: Solar-Powered Aquaponic Hoophouse in Aliquippa ($3,000)


  • Albright College: Albright Sustainability Commons: A Center of Intergenerational Learning ($3,000)


  • County of Blair—Historic Fort Roberdeau: Pollinator/Rain Garden Demonstration Model ($1,840)


  • Bucks County Audubon Society: Head Start Science Enrichment ($3,000)
  • Friends of Silver Lake Nature Center: Watershed Education ($3,000)


  • Western Pennsylvania Conservancy: Eye Con: Summer Conservation Education Opportunities in Western Pennsylvania ($48,837)
  • North Hills School District: Environmental and Ecology Mini-Units ($3,000)


  • Schuylkill Headwaters Association: Legacy Anthracite Coal Mining Awareness and Remediation Tour ($3,000)


  • ClearWater Conservancy: Central PA WATER Project ($49,987)
  • Pennsylvania State University: Public Awareness Campaign on Residential Wood Stove Technologies and Wood Smoke Reduction ($47,905)


  • Ridley School District: Test the Waters ($3,111)
  • Green Valleys Association of Southeastern PA, Inc.: Explore Your Watershed Environmental Awareness Club at Two Middle Schools ($2,861)


  • DuBois Area School District: Sandy Lick and Cold Water Conservation for Future Generations ($2,715)


  • Pennsylvania Institute for Conservation Education: Wildlife Leadership Academy ($41,292)


  • Columbia County Conservation District: Columbia County Climate Change Education ($3,000)


  • Allegheny College: Creek Connections 2017–2018 ($3,000)


  • Central Pennsylvania Conservancy: Goddard Leadership Legacy Institute, 2017–2018 ($23,020)


  • Radnor Township: Radnor Citizen Science Water Quality Monitoring Project ($3,000)


  • Capitol Region Water: K2Career Pipeline ($48,032)
  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Inc.: Polluted Runoff Education in Pennsylvania DEP Environmental Justice Communities ($42,360)
  • Jump Street, Inc.: Storm Drain Water Educational Painting ($3,000)
  • Londonderry Township: Londonderry Township Environmental Education Workshop Series ($2,979)
  • Susquehanna Township: Paxton Creek Watershed and Education Association Workshop Series ($2,250)


  • Elk County Conservation District: 2017 Elk County Rain Barrel Workshop ($3,000)


  • Regional Science Consortium at Tom Ridge Center, Presque Isle: Mobile HAB Lab: Educating Communities in Western Pennsylvania on Harmful Algal Blooms ($50,000)
  • School District of the City of Erie: BELONG—A Game Changer ($3,000)
  • Mercyhurst University/Department of Public Health: “Getting Ahead of Lead” Curriculum ($2,960)


  • IUP Research Institute: Western PA Watershed Collaboration ($44,662)
  • Evergreen Conservancy: Indiana County GeoTrail ($3,000)


  • Jefferson County Conservation District: Water Quality Monitoring Program and Environmental Education Events ($3,000)
  • Brockway School District: Brockway Elementary Worm Composting ($3,000)


  • Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology: WET Rain Garden Demonstration Project ($3,000)
  • Lancaster County Conservancy: Water Quality Volunteer Coalition Program ($3,000)


  • Lawrence-Mercer Recycling/Solid Waste Department: Student Field Trips and Classroom Activity Kits ($3,000)


  • Wildlands Conservancy: Climate Change in Our Watershed ($26,823)
  • PP&L Sustainable Energy Fund: Energypath 2017 ($5,200)
  • Lehigh County Conservation District: Traveling Watershed Program ($3,000)


  • Misericordia University: Environmental Education Program Using Telemetry to Monitor Water Quality ($3,000)
  • Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation: Plains-Solomon Abandoned Mine Drainage Education Project ($3,000)


  • Penn State University Extension, North Central Region: Hands on the Land: Engagement in Citizen Sciences ($2,650)


  • Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV: Hazardous Household Wastes: Handle with Care ($29,620)
  • Mercer County Conservation District: Watershed Adventure Camp ($2,954)


  • Monroe County Conservation District: Environment and Ecology on the Delaware River ($1,208)


  • Let’s Go Outdoors, LLC: Green Steps Institute: A Diversity Pipeline Program for Youth ($50,000)
  • Norristown Area School District: Watershed Outreach to Children/Access to Nature ($3,000)
  • Upper Moreland Free Public Library: Upper Moreland Outdoor Environmental Education Project on Stormwater ($2,991)


  • Kulpmont Borough: Quaker Run Stream Quality Education ($2,841)


  • Greenwood School District: EnviroGo ($2,781)


  • Fund for the Water Works: Teacher Institute-Urban Watershed Curriculum ($50,000)
  • Practical Energy Solutions: School District of Philadelphia Sustainable Energy Education for K-12 Students ($49,996)
  • Friends of the Heinz Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum: Philly Nature Kids ($49,900)
  • JASTECH Development Services, Inc.: Overbrook Youth Environmental Stewardship (O’YES) Program ($42,562)
  • Holy Family University: Using the Local Environment in Urban Environmental Science Classrooms ($2,870)
  • Mastery Charter High School: Philadelphia Water Quality Education ($2,633)
  • Philadelphia City Treasurer, Department of Parks and Recreation: Pleasant Hill Summer Environmental Education Program for Inner City Youth ($2,357)


  • Pike County Conservation District: Solutions to Maintain Healthy Water ($3,000)


  • Potter County Conservation District: Nitrogen Management in Corn ($3,000)


  • Snyder County Conservation District: Snyder County Rain Barrel Workshops ($2,580)
  • Snyder County Conservation District: Selinsgrove Middle School Peer Leadership Habitat Projects ($541)


  • Shanksville-Stonycreek School District: Growing Greener at Shanksville ($3,000)


  • Tioga County Conservation District: Tioga County Pollinator Monarch Habitat Restoration Education Program ($2,990)
  • Mansfield University: Environmental Education Day at Mill Cove Environmental Area ($2,973)


  • SEDA-Council of Governments: Leased Streetlight Conversion to LED ($26,528)
  • Merrill W. Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy: Go Native! Sustainable Gardens for Wildlife and People ($2,775)


  • Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation: Pocono Lake Ecological Observatory Network: Citizen Science ($37,060)
  • Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support of Northeastern PA: SEEDS’ 2017 Free Energy Assessment Program ($3,000)


  • Saint Vincent College: Screen to Stream: Student Citizen Scientists Explore Local Watersheds Online and Outdoors ($50,000)


  • Pennsylvania State University: Connecting Pennsylvania’s Ag Youth to Environmental Stewardship through Manure Management ($49,387)
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