HARRISBURG – The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is inviting schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, nonprofit organizations, municipalities and businesses to apply for Environmental Education Grants to develop programs and projects, according to state Senator John R. Gordner (R-27).
“The grants fund projects that explore many of today’s most important environmental issues,” Senator Gordner said. “Increasing understanding of those issues can lead to important environmental stewardship.”
The grants provide funding to develop programs and projects that support environmental issues, including:
- Watersheds: Abandoned mine drainage, non-point source pollution and water conservation.
- Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education: Reducing non-point source pollution, such as nutrient and sediment loads; and meaningful educational watershed experiences for students.
- Air Quality: Ground level ozone, transportation and electric generation issues.
- Brownfields: Education and outreach programs in brownfield redevelopment and sustainable communities, along with developing green, open spaces.
- Energy: Educational programs on energy efficiency and conservation; as well as, natural gas, coal, wind, solar and other energy sources and technologies.
- Environmental Literacy: Engaging educators and stakeholders in content standards and field-based environmental education.
- Environmental Education Certification: Developing and implementing institutionalized and community-based certification programs designed for teachers, naturalists and educators working in schools and environmental education facilities.
Eligible projects include: teacher professional development; curriculum integration; outdoor learning resources, such as trails, shelters, streamside plantings and educational programming; transportation to field study sites; water chemistry testing equipment; and educational events. Grants are awarded up to $3,000.
The program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993 and mandates that 5 percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by DEP be set aside for environmental education. Since the program’s inception, the department has awarded nearly $8 million in grants.
Applications are available online at www.dep.state.pa.us or by calling DEP’s Environmental Education and Information Center at 717-772-1828. The deadline to apply is Jan. 6, 2014.
Todd B. Roup