DEP Awards Grants to Promote Environmental Education, Stewardship

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 18 — (PRNewswire) — 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.

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