WEST CHESTER (October 4, 2021) – State Senator Carolyn Comitta reminded schools, colleges, nonprofit community and environmental organizations, county conservation districts, and businesses that $750,000 in state grant funding is available for eligible environmental education projects.
“As we continue to face the growing impacts of climate change on our environment, public health, economy, and nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s crucial that the next generation of Pennsylvania leaders is environmentally literate, environmentally informed, and prepared to make environmentally conscious decisions,” said Comitta. “These grants help educate students and young people on the positive actions we can all take to help ensure our natural resources are available for the use and enjoyment for decades to come.”
Comitta, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and as a member of the Senate Education Committee, noted that deadline to apply is Friday, December 10, 2021.
Administered through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Environmental Education Grants Program provides funds to support a wide range of environmental education projects including meaningful, hands-on programs for students, teacher training workshops, and community conservation projects for adults.
Projects with a local focus may receive up to $3,000 and regional or statewide initiatives may receive up to $20,000. Projects that engage students and teachers at the local, state, and national levels may be awarded up to $85,000.
“This grant opportunity assists educators in their efforts to inform residents and visitors on ways to maintain the health and beauty of Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
While all education project topics are considered, water quality, climate change, and environmental justice are priority areas. Project examples include tours, demonstrations, and hands-on learning experiences and workshops on stream monitoring, rain gardens, wetlands, green infrastructure, and other watershed stewardship; solar and other renewable energy, alternative transportation, energy conservation, and other approaches to address climate change; and improving air quality and community and municipal partnerships to address local environmental challenges. For more examples, see the grant awardees that received 2021-22 funding.
Applications must be submitted through eGrants (first-time users will need to register.) Instructions are available at Environmental Education Grants.
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.
Since the program began, more than 2,020 organizations across the Commonwealth have received more than $11 million in Environmental Education Grants.