HARRISBURG, Pa., April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/—The Department of Environmental Protection today announced that it has awarded more than $538,000 in Environmental Education Grants to 102 non-profits, schools, universities and conservation districts across Pennsylvania.

Grant recipients will use the funding to develop projects such as hosting sustainability workshops, holding nature programs for children, and implementing environmental education programs in their communities.

“Knowledge is power and we want to give communities the power to become more active in protecting the environment,” DEP acting Secretary Michael Krancer said. “These programs will help Pennsylvanians of all ages to learn more about what we can do to promote sustainability and to help keep Pennsylvania a beautiful place.”

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.

For more information on environmental education, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click “Environmental Education.”

Media contact: Kevin Sunday, 717-787-1323

Editor’s Note: Grant recipients and award amounts are listed below.

Adams County

Strawberry Hill Foundation Inc.


Strawberry Hill Nature Center and Preserve will work with the Fairfield Area High School’s environmental field studies class to enhance the existing curriculum with a variety of hands-on field studies.

Gettysburg College


This project will support a series of teacher workshops, entitled “Exploring the Chesapeake Bay Watershed,” during the 2011-12 school year.

Allegheny County

Pittsburgh Voyager Inc. RiverQuest


The project will coordinate 70 presentations to introduce participants—to the geological and water quality concepts that define the issues around Marcellus Shale; to the range of testing methods available to assess water quality; and to encourage participants to consider social, economic and environmental factors when formulating informed opinions.

Allegheny County Conservation District


This project will coordinate 15 two-session watershed education programs targeted for elementary and middle school students.

Pennsylvania Resources Council Inc.


This program will organize and conduct four watershed/rain barrel workshops for families designed to increase awareness and encourage action.

Audubon Society of Western PA


The project will educate teachers about the benefits and risks of Marcellus shale gas extraction within the context of land use.

Zoological Society of Pittsburgh


The One Degree Climate Change Outreach Program will discuss the effects of climate change on local wildlife species with students in grades 5 - 8.

University of Pittsburgh


This project will provide two in-service workshops for teachers of grades 5 - 12. These workshops will explore the history of energy in Pennsylvania; the environmental and economic impacts; the social and governmental influences; and the current status. Local to global connections will be included.

Avonworth School District


Avonworth Middle School seventh grade students will participate in learning opportunities through on-site and off-site experiences facilitated by the Fern Hollow Nature Center.

Berks County

Amity Township


The Amity Township Environmental Advisory Council will develop an energy efficiency information booth to display during the Amity Township Community Days event in September 2011. This project consists of educational material development, with the focus on energy efficient topics that would be most relevant to the community.

Berks County Conservation District


The Berks County Conservation District will construct and install educational signage for its stormwater best management practice retrofit tour at the Berks County Agricultural Center in Bern Township.

Green Valley Elementary School


The Green Valley Elementary School will develop the GREEN Zone, an outdoor learning resource project that will include educational stations with signage and hands-on activities.

Berks Career & Technology Center


This project will develop an outreach learning lab for students to learn about solar photovoltaic systems, solar thermal systems and geothermal systems.

Berks County Conservancy


The Eco-Awareness School Garden Project will develop a hands-on, scholastic garden kit package and fund two teacher education sessions.

The Rodale Institute


Rodale Institute, in partnership with Reading High School, will coordinate a two-day training event for 10th grade science students on food production, soil carbon and related environmental issues.

Blair County

Tyrone Area School District


Tyrone Area School District will integrate the Environment and Ecology academic standards into the core content curriculum, provide hands-on education and participate in a field trip to a nearby wind farm.

Bradford County

Northeast Bradford Junior-Senior High School


The Northeast Bradford Junior-Senior High School will incorporate hands-on activities into the ninth grade Environmental Science class focusing on water, wastewater and alternative transportation fuels.

Bucks County

Silver Lake Nature Center


The program will develop and pilot a climate change/carbon capture and storage program for high school students.

Township of Doylestown


The Doylestown Township‘s Environmental Advisory Council will coordinate four watershed education workshops for children, along with two watershed-related field trips to the Bucks County Audubon Society.

Bucks County Renewables


This weekend workshop will convert a diesel vehicle to operate on straight or waste vegetable oil. The workshop will be targeted to teachers who want to incorporate an in-depth look at alternative fuels into their classrooms, and to automotive service technicians who would like to explore waste vegetable oil conversions as a “green” business niche.

Bucks County Conservation District


The project will provide hands-on watershed education including physical, chemical, biological and historical components both in the classroom and on the river.

Bucks County Audubon Society


The program will coordinate teacher education and student sessions along with public presentations on water quality and watersheds in Solebury Township.

Butler County

Stream Restoration Inc.


The project will support the highly successful Ohio River Watershed Celebration’s Imagination Cruise, an annual, free educational event that illustrates the value of watershed protection and conservation.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania


The Pennsylvania Center for Environmental Education will develop an online educational resource to provide teachers with an additional teaching tool for students to examine and understand current environmental topics in Pennsylvania.

Cambria County

The Learning Lamp Inc.


The Learning Lamp will develop and implement a companion educator’s guide for classroom and summer enrichment programs using a large map of Pennsylvania to study water and watersheds, agriculture, renewable and nonrenewable resources, physical geography and landforms and other topics.

Natural Biodiversity


Natural Biodiversity will assist a local school in developing a plan for sustainable operating procedures and practices for the district’s buildings and grounds.

Saint Francis University


The university will coordinate hands-on student school and adult programs on wind energy.

Johnstown Area Heritage Association


The Johnstown Area Heritage Association will coordinate a summer environmental education week-long camp for underserved students in grades 4 - 6 in the Greater Johnstown School District.

Carbon County

Palmerton Area School District

Students in grades 3 - 6 will take field trips to the Lehigh Nature Gap Center to study water quality, forest ecology, birds and geology and will use hands-on resources as part of classroom and field experiences.

Centre County

Penns Valley Conservation Association


The Penns Valley Conservation Association will coordinate an outdoor water conservation demonstration project by installing rain water collection tanks, drip irrigation hoses and educational signage in the Penns Valley Community Learning Garden.

Pennsylvania State University


This project will develop sustainable energy workshops for teachers featuring a mobile solar photovoltaic and solar thermal portable laboratory, along with lessons and teaching materials.

PA Chapter American Chestnut Foundation


The Pennsylvania Chapter - American Chestnut Foundation will create and distribute 10 American chestnut learning boxes to pilot sites for environmental education, outreach and evaluation.

Borough of State College


The State College Borough will design and install two watershed educational displays at the Walnut Springs Wetland.

Chester County

West-Mont Christian Academy


Students will construct a solar water heating system, wind turbine, and develop a statewide educational web portal for middle school students.

Agora Cyber Charter School


This project will educate students on solar and wind energy using hands-on models.

Upattinas School


The school will build an outdoor water laboratory that can serve as a focal point for water-related activities.

Unionville Chadds Ford School District


Elementary school students will participate in a field trip to the Stroud Water Research Center to learn about watershed management and conduct a stream study.

Green Valleys Association of Southeastern PA, Inc.


The Green Valleys Association will coordinate watershed week to educate Summer Nature Day Camp participants about aquatic wildlife, water pollution, and waterway conservation and protection using hands-on activities and demonstrations.

Stroud Water Research Center


The Stroud Water Research Center will coordinate a teacher summer field experience; student field experience; and post-experience classroom research activities.

Clearfield County

Moshannon Water Creek Coalition


The program will design, construct, and install educational signage that addresses abandoned mine drainage in the Moshannon Creek watershed.

Phillipsburg Osceola Area School District


The North Lincoln Hill Elementary School first grade students will participate in a field trip program to the Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

Clinton County

Trout Unlimited Inc.


The project will provide an environmental education internship opportunity for two college students and develop course materials related to the impacts of abandoned mine drainage on the biology and ecology of freshwater resources to be used at a teacher workshop during the West Branch Susquehanna Restoration Symposium IV.

Keystone Central School District


Empowering the Next Generation project will expand the electronics and electrical program by including renewable energy instructional training modules for installation in an outdoor classroom laboratory.

Crawford County

Conneaut School District


The Conneaut Valley High School will obtain equipment and materials, along with coordinating field trips to the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and nearby waterways for water quality studies.

Allegheny College


Allegheny College will create a green campus tour to educate the campus community and visitors about the college’s sustainability efforts. The green tour will loop through much of Allegheny‘s campus, highlighting a variety of green initiatives—ranging from green technology to green landscaping techniques and from green architectural features to policy decisions that encourage students to act in environmentally-responsible ways.

Crawford County Conservation District


The conservation district will conduct four weekly nature programs for children, ages 6 - 10, on water and watersheds; soils (nonpoint source pollution); plants (trees, ecosystems and carbon sequestration); and animals (bats, ecosystems and habitat).

Cumberland County

Mechanicsburg Area School District


This project will support the purchase watershed-related educational supplies for the district’s environmental center.

Messiah College


Messiah College will increase the awareness of conservation lifestyle habits of 2,300 residential students; expand the opportunities for out-of-the-classroom experiences for environmental leadership development of 10 students; and reduce student energy consumption in on-campus apartments by three percent.

Delaware County

Garnet Valley School District


The project will develop the Bethel Springs Nature Trail involving students and the community to learn about sustainability and environmental stewardship.

Natural Lands Trust, Inc.


This project will educate Lehigh and Northampton County municipalities about natural area stewardship in public parks.

Ridley School District


The environmental education project will provide for curriculum revision, implementation and monitored data assessment of students achievement for two units of study of Ridley High School‘s ninth grade science program.

Pennsylvania Resources Council Inc.


The Pennsylvania Resources Council will provide in-school, hands-on watershed education programs for students in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties.

Dauphin County

Dauphin County Commissioners


Dauphin County will develop and conduct an Act 48 educator professional development workshop at Wildwood Park in Dauphin County. ¬†The workshop, entitled “WOW! Wonders of Wetlands,” will provide information about wetlands and wildlife for teachers and educators to adopt into their curricula.

Dauphin County Conservation District


The Dauphin County Conservation District will organize and conduct two rain barrel workshops for county homeowners to provide information on water conservation and protection.

St. Stephen’s Episcopal School


The St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s seventh and eighth grade students will participate in residential environmental education camp programs at the South Mountain YMCA Camp Conrad Weiser and Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.

Pennsylvania Forest Products Association


The Pennsylvania Forest Products Association will develop and produce an update to the Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative course curriculum to ensure compliance with the latest state environmental regulations and best management practices.

Elk County

Elk County Conservation District


The Elk County Conservation District will coordinate a stormwater mitigation and water conservation workshop with demonstrations using rain barrels to collect and reuse stormwater runoff, and a small demonstration rain garden showing materials, garden construction and examples of plants.

Erie County

Erie City School District


The Northwest PA Collegiate Academy will coordinate field trips to supplement the content areas and teach students about green design, climate change and watershed education. The target audience will be school students enrolled in the Advanced Placement Environmental Science and Freshman Biology courses; members of the Collegiate Green Team; and CHAMPS students from the Erie School District elementary schools.

Erie City School District


The Erie City School District will integrate their Conservation Through Education energy program into science classes at twenty schools with curriculum development, after-school teacher training and materials.

Pennsylvania Lake Erie Watershed Association


The Pennsylvania Lake Erie Watershed Association will address the need for increased green practices among local school districts. This funding will enable five groups of elementary, middle or high school students to undertake a study of green practices within each of their school buildings. The focus of each study will be energy consumption, and issues related to policy or practice of energy use.

Gannon University


The program will present a one-day workshop to high school science teachers on energy efficiency and conservation along with hands-on activities and resources for conducting energy audits.

Fairview Middle School


The Fairview Middle School will develop and install two educational stations along a trail on campus. The educational stations would serve as an area for teachers to instruct their students on watershed protection and human influences on the environment; to let students explore the environment; and to educate the general public who use the trail.

Erie County Conservation District


The conservation district will create a community garden and compost park to educate the community and school districts about conservation and best management practices.

KDIndustries, Inc.


KDIndustries will conduct a workshop and tour highlighting energy efficient and sustainable practices.

Franklin County

Franklin County Conservation District


Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and Fulton counties will work collaboratively to host “Leaf Pack” training for teachers. Teachers will learn to educate students to use benthic macroinvertebrates as indicators of stream health and to connect stream health with surrounding forest cover.

Chambersburg Area School District


The main purpose of this project is to provide students from multiple Agricultural and Environmental Education classes the opportunity to be involved in the planning and installation of a living roof.

Lackawanna County

Green Field Energy Solutions


Green Field Energy Solutions will coordinate community and school presentations along with an on-site tour and hands-on sustainability training.

Lancaster County

Lancaster Farmland Trust


The project will educate owners of preserved farms about implementing conservation practices and provide a resource network for financial and technical support.

Lancaster Investment in a Vibrant Economy (LIVE Inc.)


The project will engage and educate Lancaster City residents about four specific green infrastructure projects in their neighborhoods and create a framework for outreach that can be utilized city-wide.

Lancaster School District


Martin Elementary School will take the 4th grade students on a one-day field trip to the Chesapeake Bay. The students will investigate how Lancaster County runoff affects the waters and living things in the Chesapeake Bay.

Lawrence County

Westminster College


Funds will be used to create alternative energy lab kits; purchase equipment and resources; develop an educator’s guide; and coordinate educator’s workshops.

Lehigh County

Wildlife Information Center Inc.


Partnering with Moravian College, the project will build a network of twenty teachers and use phenology monitoring in schoolyards, nearby parks and natural areas to teach science research principles and create awareness of the importance of the Kittatinny Ridge, a major landscape feature in the area.

Wildlands Conservancy Inc.


Wildlands Conservancy and the Lehigh Environmental Education Consortium will coordinate a five-day education program to K-12 teachers. Topics to be covered will include: agriculture, land preservation, land use, water quality, drinking and wastewater treatment, habitat, land reclamation and stream restoration.

Luzerne County

Wilkes-Barre Area School District


Kistler Elementary School will develop and construct a classroom garden where students experience and learn the concepts of sustainability, environmental impacts, natural resources, ecosystems, integrated pest management and agriculture.

Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation


The Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation will coordinate an abandoned mine drainage teacher training education program for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s 34 science teachers in five elementary schools.

Lycoming County

Lycoming County Conservation District


The Lycoming County Conservation Trail will be designed and constructed for recreation, along with formal and non-formal education about forestry and forest management, species identification, watersheds and agricultural conservation practices.

Mercer County

McKeever Environmental Learning Center


The McKeever Environmental Learning Center will coordinate a multiple-day workshop on Marcellus Shale education, sustainable energy sources, plants, agriculture/gardening and other topics.

Sharpsville Area School District


The Sharpsville High School students will build and install a greenhouse to be used by the industrial technology, community-based education, environmental, culinary, math and biology classes.

Monroe County

Stroudsburg Area School District


The project will build an outdoor teaching space that will provide hands-on learning for students.

Montgomery County

Perlman Watershed Conservancy


The conservancy will implement stormwater best management practices at a stormwater retrofit demonstration site. The site will serve as an educational tool for the community, watershed members and visiting students.

Riverbend Environmental Education Center


The project will coordinate a week-long summer science experience on sustainability for third and fourth graders in the Norristown Area School District.

Borough of Conshohocken


The Conshohocken Borough‘s Environmental Advisory Council will develop a community garden for residents, including composting stations and rain barrels to conserve water.

Elizabeth B. Barth Elementary School


Third and fourth grade students at the Elizabeth B. Barth Elementary School will participate in watershed-related field trips, along with installing a rain garden and rain barrel on school grounds.

Greater Valley Forge Transportation


Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association will coordinate the GVF Bike to Work Challenge - a program to encourage employees to bike to work instead of driving.

St. Stanislaus School


The project will install a rain garden and cistern on the school property that will serve as an outdoor learning area to educate students about their watershed and non-point source pollution.

Northampton County

Lehigh University


The project will provide teachers with professional development and training to promote the teaching and learning of climate change for all eighth grade students in the Bethlehem Area School District.

Philadelphia County

MaST Community Charter School


This project will create a usable, dynamic, outdoor work area to be used by MaST students of varying grade levels.

Earth Force, Inc.


Earth Force and Tookany/Tacony-Frankford Watershed Partnership will focus on watershed education and stewardship, non-point source pollution, water quality testing, and stormwater management in economically-disadvantaged watershed communities in Philadelphia.

Urban Tree Connection


Urban Tree Connection will enhance the quality of youth gardening programs by developing curriculum; providing engaging environmental education lessons along with regular garden programming; and creating a youth environmental library.

The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education


The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education will develop and offer a two-day Act 48 educator workshop on using a school’s outdoor space to protect watersheds through reforestation and stormwater management; and provide strategies for teachers to use the outdoors to address the academic standards for science and technology and environment and ecology.

Foundations Inc.


Atmosphere Investigators is a summer opportunity for children in Northwest Philadelphia, in grades K-10, to learn about climate changes as it relates to farming and food system practices. They will explore problems and solutions in the environmental field and gain knowledge related to science, nutrition and community food systems.

Union County

Union County Conservation District


The Union County Conservation District will coordinate an alternative energy tour within the county, featuring a visit to a biodiesel facility, solar site and biomass operation.

Washington County

Avella Area School District


The project will stimulate student interest and develop a deeper understanding of an aquatic ecosystem; to create an awareness of healthy aquatic ecosystems and evaluation techniques; and to provide students with the knowledge to take ownership of their surroundings and learn stewardship of their aquatic environment.

Washington County Conservation District


This project will educate Washington County residents on non-point source pollution, recruit volunteers for water quality monitoring and create a macroinvertebrate identification poster.

Peters Township School District


Students will investigate alternative energy sources and technologies. Working collaboratively, they will design and test various technologies and determine practical real world applications of emerging technologies. Students will educate their peers and others as they become more informed about environmental and energy issues affecting not only the students now, but also in the future.

Westmoreland County

Westmoreland County Cooperative Extension Association


This project will reach residents who have private wells and educate them on routine water testing as well as proper well and spring head management techniques to ensure safe water through a public service announcements, drinking water clinics, and home water conservation and leak repair workshops.

Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (WPCAMR)


WPCAMR will develop a portable educational exhibit and an outreach video for a workshop on watershed outreach filmmaking.

Sewickley Creek Watershed Association


The Sewickley Watershed Association will install an educational kiosk and interpretive trail to educate visitors about abandoned mine drainage (AMD) and AMD remediation.

Wyoming County

Keystone College


The project will provide an educational workshop on rain gardens, along with the installation of a demonstration rain garden on campus for educators and community members.

York County

West Shore School District


Middle school students will design, construct and incorporate an outdoor learning center into the curriculum.

Susquehanna Valley Naturalist


The project will coordinate and conduct water-related student programs, equipment trunks and educator workshops.

Out of State

Chesapeake Bay Foundation


The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will provide three Susquehanna Watershed Education Program field experiences to approximately 70 eighth grade students from the Harrisburg School District’s Math/Science Academy.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

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