DEP Awards Grants to Promote Environmental Education, Stewardship

HARRISBURG – Ninety-five schools, universities, non-profit groups and conservation districts will receive more than $382,000 in Environmental Education grants for projects that will educate Pennsylvanians about important issues such as renewable energy, water conservation, air quality and climate change, Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said today.

“It’s important that we make environmental education a life-long learning experience,” said Hanger. “These grants will fund innovative projects and workshops aimed at conservation and resource management that provide young adults, families and communities with the tools and resources they need to be successful stewards of our environment.” 

Grants announced today will fund such projects as conducting teacher workshops and developing curricula on alternative energy, installing rain gardens and barrels to demonstrate stormwater management practices, and coordinating native plant workshops for homeowners to promote the use of native plants in residential landscaping.

The grant 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. Since then, DEP has awarded more than $7 million in grants to support the environmental education efforts of schools, county conservation districts and other nonprofit organizations throughout Pennsylvania.

For more information on environmental education, visit, keyword: EE Grants.

Media contact: Susan Rickens, 717-787-1323

Editor’s Note: The following is a list, by county, of the $382,158 awarded in Environmental Education Grants:

Adams County
Gettysburg College, Gettysburg — $5,368 for the college’s Advancing Science program to coordinate workshops for K-12 teachers on alternative energy. The college also will conduct a workshop for teachers and students on the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Allegheny County
Forbes Road Career and Technology Center, Monroeville — $7,500 to develop a renewable energy curriculum and implement a wind and solar energy training system with online monitoring. The center will publish the curriculum online and facilitate renewable energy field trips.
Pittsburgh Regional Center for Science Teachers, Pittsburgh — $7,244 to coordinate a professional development program for K-12 teachers on climate change and its environmental health impacts.
Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School, Pittsburgh — $3,000 for the school to design, use and maintain an outdoor learning area for students with the help of teachers, parents and other volunteers.
Group Against Smog and Pollution Inc., Pittsburgh — $6,903 to coordinate a program to increase awareness about the health hazards of wood smoke, including developing a table display for community events; creating brochures, posters and fact sheets; conducting educational presentations for municipal leaders and police officers; and coordinating Christmas tree recycling events.
Earth Force Inc. (dba Three Rivers Earth Force), Pittsburgh — $6,800 to coordinate a teacher workshop titled “Where Does the Water Go: A Watershed Experience for Teachers and Students.” Three Rivers Earth Force also will conduct classroom visits and field trips related to water quality monitoring and nonpoint source pollution in the Nine Mile Run watershed area.
Chatham University, Pittsburgh — $6,285 to develop a rainwater management education program by installing a rain barrel and rain garden, creating a campus map of stormwater management practices and developing a course.
Zoological Society of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh — $3,750 for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium to develop and coordinate workshops for grade kindergarten through sixth grade teachers to increase the understanding of pollinators as an integral part of ecosystems.
Nine Mile Run Watershed Association Inc., Wilkinsburg — $3,750 for the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association and the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to create a program that provides watershed-related environmental education opportunities with active involvement for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Beaver County
Beaver County Conservation District, Independence Township — $3,886 to install working examples of stormwater management techniques, including a rain garden, small green roof demonstration, rain barrels and accompanying educational signage. The conservation district also will coordinate stormwater management workshops.
Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators, Beaver Falls — $7,500 for a program titled, “No Student Left Indoors.” PAEE will offer three seminars to instruct teachers in best practices for taking students outdoors for environmental education classes.

Berks County
Reading Area Community College, Reading — $2,976 to college to develop and implement six self-directed outdoor activities using GPS technology focused on Berks County’s forest resources for students in environmental science classes along with two half-day faculty workshops.
Maiden Creek Watershed Association, Kutztown — $2,000 for the association to install a demonstration rain garden and rain barrel with accompanying educational programs to educate students, teachers and residents about stormwater management.
Berks Solar LLC, Mertztown — $2,500 to provide home electricity conservation kits for loan in county public libraries, the Governor Mifflin High School library, the Berks County Community Foundation and the Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, along with coordinating training workshops on home electricity auditing, conservation and solar electricity.

Blair County
Blair County Conservation District, Hollidaysburg — $3,000 for the conservation district to work with sixth grade students to plant a riparian buffer area with city officials, monitor the water quality of Mill Run and coordinate a riparian buffer workshop.

Bucks County
Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association, Inc., Solebury Township — $1,794 for the association to implement the “Shad in Schools” program where teachers and students hatch and raise American Shad in classrooms for release into the Delaware River.
Bucks County Conservation District, Hilltown — $3,750 to coordinate an equine environmental stewardship short course for horse operations to identify feasible solutions for water quality and pasture management issues.

Butler County
Cranberry Township, Cranberry Township — $3,750 for the township to partner with the Seneca Valley School District and the Haine Middle School to develop a portable rain barrel demonstration and conduct rain barrel classroom programs.
Stream Restoration Inc., Adams Township — $3,750 to coordinate the Port of Pittsburgh-Ohio River Watershed Celebration: Imagination Cruise, an annual watershed educational event for students, parents and educators.

Cambria County
Saint Francis University, Loretto — $3,000 for the university’s Renewable Energy Center to install energy monitoring software with web-connected meters into campus residence halls; coordinate an energy conservation competition with educational presentations to students; and incorporate program into Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science classes.

Carbon County
Panther Valley School District, Summit Hill — $3,000 for the school to expand its recycling program, develop recycling educational lessons for student peer-teaching, establish a recycling and environmental curriculum for classroom instruction, and increase recycling awareness.

Centre County
St. John Evangelist School, Bellefonte — $3,000 for the school to create an outdoor environmental sustainability center by installing rain barrels and composting bins, along with other activities.
Penn State University, University Park — $3,000 for a summer research experience in green chemistry. In partnership with the Upward Bound Math and Science Center, students will conduct hands-on research and make public presentations related to environmental/green chemistry as part of a six-week residential program.
Young Scholars of Central Pennsylvania Charter School, College Township — $2,570 for the school to develop and implement a hands-on educational unit about watersheds and wetlands for the fourth and eighth grade students.

Chester County
Coatesville Area Public Library, Coatesville — $3,000 for the library to coordinate a carbon-cutting outreach program in the schools along with mini-grants for student-led service learning projects.

Clarion County
Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion — $3,750 for hands-on activities to be incorporated into the university’s Physics of Energy and the Environment course.

Clinton County
Trout Unlimited Inc., Lock Haven — $3,750 to coordinate a series of classroom education programs and field trips for middle and high school students about abandoned mine drainage problems, remediation activities and their economic benefit.

Columbia County
Bloomsburg University, Bloomsburg — $7,100 for the university to expand its biodiesel production facility to showcase alternative energy technologies for students and other businesses and organizations.

Crawford County
Allegheny College, Meadville –$3,000 for the college to install a demonstration aquaponics system in the Meadville Market House with presentations, school field trips and an increased awareness of how local foods and businesses contribute to environmental sustainability.
Crawford County Conservation District, Woodcock Township — $3,501 to coordinate hands-on conservation education programs into classrooms for kindergarten through second grades.

Cumberland County
Carlisle Area School District, Carlisle — $3,000 for students to participate in educational programs and activities on solar and wind energy, alternative transportation fuels and green building practices.
Mechanicsburg Area School District, Upper Allen Township –$7,500 for the district’s Trails and Trees Environmental Center to develop a small batch biodiesel production operation and coordinate accompanying educational programs.
Camp Hill School District, Camp Hill — $3,000 for sixth grade students to participate in a hands-on outdoor education program focused on various environmental science topics, including energy and water conservation, alternative energy, ornithology, ecology, geology and more.

Dauphin County
Lower Dauphin School District, Hummelstown — $3,000 to enhance an on-site rain garden by installing rain barrels and coordinating a composting program.
Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers Inc., Harrisburg  — $3,750 to develop an online resource for watershed associations and the public to learn about water resource topics and organizational development.
Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, Upper Paxton Township — $3,000 to create watershed conservation and aquatic ecosystem teaching kits that will be available on loan with materials, lesson plans and activities for elementary and middle school teachers.

Delaware County
Stratford Friends School, Newtown Township — $3,000 for the school to create a native woodland garden with related educational lessons and field trips for students.
Delaware County Conservation District, Upper Providence — $3,000 to partner with the Pennsylvania Resources Council to offer workshops for homeowners, businesses and municipal officials on water conservation and stormwater management.

Erie County
Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5, Erie — $7,500 to partner with Gannon University to coordinate a two-week program on environmental health issues and career opportunities for 50 high school students.
Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5, Mill Creek — $3,650 to offer scholarships to cover transportation for environmental field trips for school districts in Erie, Crawford and Warren counties.
Erie City School District, Erie — $3,000 to coordinate field trips and purchase light and watt meters to conduct energy audits in Erie City School District buildings.
Earth Force Inc. (dba Lake Erie-Allegheny Earth Force), Millcreek Township — $6,773 to conduct educator workshops and classroom presentations on sustainable energy sources and technologies.

Fayette County
Fayette County Conservation District, North Union Township — $3,750 to coordinate “Exploring the Wonders of Water,” where students in kindergarten through eighth grades participate in water-related classroom and field trip programs.

Franklin County
Chambersburg Area School District, Chambersburg — $4,500 to design and install a rain garden on school grounds to manage stormwater and integrate it into the curriculum.

Greene County
Carmichaels Area School District, Cumberland Township — $3,000 to coordinate field trips where students will assess biodiversity at various nature centers, including forest composition, soil properties, wildlife signs and water quality.

Lackawanna County
Marywood University, Scranton — $3,000 to coordinate a multi-day watershed workshop for middle and high school teachers in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, Scranton — $3,750 to host a workshop, “Land and Water Choices in the Lackawanna Heritage Valley — A Workshop for Educators,” and develop and circulate an accompanying “Watershed and Land Choice Traveling Trunk” with educational resources.
Lackawanna County Conservation District, Mayfield — $2,025 to work with regional partners to coordinate a watershed bus tour for county, municipal officials and the general public.
Keystone College, La Plume — $3,750 to update the Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Atlas website and classroom maps, distribute watershed stewardship education materials to schools and update the Watershed Explorers Course.

Lancaster County
Ephrata Area School District, Ephrata — $3,000 to purchase air quality monitoring equipment and education resources to conduct ozone level studies for the chemistry and environmental science classes.
Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster — $7,500 to develop a portable laboratory to demonstrate solar electric technologies and train technicians.
Lancaster Investment in a Vibrant Economy, Lancaster — $7,500 to coordinate a series of four workshops and distribute 200 trees to promote native tree plantings in Lancaster.
Brubaker Farms, East Donegal Township — $3,750 to conduct educational sessions for Lancaster County students and businesses, including farmers and municipal leaders, focusing on farm conservation practices and renewable energy solutions.

Lawrence County
Lawrence County Conservation District, New Castle — $5,800 to coordinate a pharmaceutical collection and outreach program to educate and ensure proper handling and disposal of unwanted medicines.
Westminster College, New Wilmington — $6,990 to enhance sustainability education for students in kindergarten through sixth grade with its “Sustainability in Motion” program that includes resources such as curriculum materials and solar energy activity kits, which are available to instructors and students at all levels.

Lebanon County
Jonestown Borough, Jonestown — $3,000 to partner with Jonestown Elementary School on a service learning project focused on air quality and watersheds.
Palmyra Area School District, Palmyra — $3,000 to coordinate Watershed Awareness Day for fourth grade students with hands-on water-related activities.

Lehigh County
Wildlife Information Center Inc., Washington Township — $2,901 to coordinate native plant workshops for homeowners to promote the use of native plants in residential landscaping.

Luzerne County
King’s College, Wilkes-Barre — $6,502 to educate approximately 100 low-income children, in grades one through nine, about environmental topics and future careers through a series of workshops and field trips.
Center for Landscape Design & Stewardship, Butler Township — $3,000 to develop and maintain a pollinator demonstration garden at Butler Township along with conducting a related workshop for educators.

Lycoming County
East Lycoming School District, Hughesville — $6,426 to implement an environmental education course with a focus on sustainable energy sources and technologies.
Lycoming County Conservation District, Loyalsock Township — $2,800 to coordinate wetland workshops for elementary and secondary level teachers.

McKean County
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, Bradford — $2,523 to develop a Renewable Energy Unit and lab; coordinate an accompanying teacher workshop; and conduct student programs to enhance student learning about renewable energy.
Penn State University, McKean County Cooperative Extension, Keating — $3,747 to coordinate after school clubs with hands-on activities, nature-themed games and local ecosystem explorations for youth.
McKean County Conservation District, Keating — $7,500 to develop and implement a volunteer water quality monitoring program by recruiting volunteers and coordinating educational training sessions.

Mercer County
Mercer County Conservation District, Coolspring Township — $2,605 to coordinate stormwater management workshops for homeowners.
McKeever Environmental Learning Center, Lake Township — $2,895 to establish a web-based monitoring system to educate students, teachers and the general public about solar and wind energy applications.
Thiel College, Greenville — $7,500 to coordinate a sustainability campaign to increase recycling and decrease energy use.

Mifflin County
Community Partnerships Resource Conservation & Development Council, Lewistown — $2,125 to coordinate an environmental education area as part of an annual Pennsylvania Canal celebration.

Montgomery County
Pottstown School District, Pottstown — $4,675 to participate in environmental science workshops, field trips and activities.
Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Perkiomen Township — $2,952 to coordinate programs for Girl Scouts on water quality as part of World Water Monitoring Day.
Montgomery County Commissioners, Norristown — $7,500 to create a climate change “wiki” as part of an ongoing effort to implement and educate about the county’s Climate Change Action Plan.
Riverbend Environmental Education Center, Lower Merion Township — $6,250 to coordinate summer enrichment programs, “Exploring Our Watershed,” for at-risk urban children from the Norristown Area School District and ACHIEVEability program.
Upper Moreland Township School District, Upper Moreland Township — $3,000 to develop model field lessons and experiments, purchase educational supplies and coordinate student service learning projects.
Friends’ Central School, Lower Merion — $3,750 to coordinate a watershed education program, including workshops for community residents and student service learning projects and water quality monitoring.

Northampton County
Lehigh University, Bethlehem — $2,984 to promote alternative electricity generation, energy efficiency and conservation and alternative transportation fuels with eighth grade students and teachers at selected middle schools in the Bethlehem Area School District.

Northumberland County
Northumberland County Conservation District, Coal Township — $3,000 to coordinate a digital nature photography workshop for teachers along with developing the Center for Outdoor Area Learning Site by installing signage, rain barrels, and other activities.

Philadelphia County
Susquehanna Clean Up/Pick Up Inc., Philadelphia — $3,000 to create an open space classroom where youth and adults can learn about stormwater management, composting, gardening and native plants.
Sustainable Business of Greater Philadelphia, Philadelphia — $3,750 to educate business professionals about practices to reduce the amount of energy and waste.

Pike County
The Pocono Environmental Education Center, Lehman Township — $3,000 to coordinate an air quality education program with a hands-on student component.

Schuylkill County
Schuylkill Technology Center, Norwegian Township — $5,437 to integrate a hands-on solar electric program into its residential and industrial electricity course.
St. Ambrose School, North Manheim Township — $1,031 to coordinate a student educational program on climate change with classroom activities, presentations and a field trip.

Snyder County
Snyder County Conservation District, Franklin Township — $3,650 to coordinate workshops on home composting and conservation.
Lower Penns Creek Watershed Association, Franklin Township — $2,615 to conduct rain barrel workshops for homeowners to reduce nonpoint source pollution.
Selinsgrove Area School District, Selinsgrove — $3,400 for the intermediate school’s fifth graders to participate in an outdoor education camp program.

Somerset County
Southern Alleghenies Conservancy Inc., Windber — $3,000 to coordinate a pilot service learning program in one school district integrating year-round environmental education programming through service learning projects.
Southern Alleghenies Conservancy Inc., Windber — $3,750 to conduct the Allegheny Mountains Sustainability Fair during Outdoor Heritage Month 2011. The conservancy will provide education on current environmental issues and promote sustainable practices in the region.

Tioga County
Tioga County Conservation District, Wellsboro — $3,250 to coordinate a comprehensive watershed tour for teachers and watershed association members.

Union County
SEDA-Council of Governments, East Buffalo Township — $3,750 to coordinate educational seminars as part of its “Building Green and Energizing Our Region Seminar” series.

Warren County
Warren County Conservation District, Conewango Township — $3,750 to organize and coordinate an Agricultural and Natural Resources Awareness Week for Warren County fourth grade students.

Westmoreland County
Westmoreland Cleanways, Hempfield — $3,000 to develop and coordinate a county-wide comprehensive composting education program for middle and high schools.
Saint Vincent College, Unity Township — $3,000 to coordinate a hands-on nature workshop for elementary and early childhood education teachers.
University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, Hempfield Township — $5,779 to develop GIS-based watershed maps and related activities for sixth grade students.

York County
West Shore School District, Fairview Township — $2,996 to purchase water quality testing kits that fifth grade students will use as part of a stream study program.
Southern York County School District, Glen Rock — $700 to coordinate a Watershed Day Exploration program for fourth grade students.

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