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Environmental Education Grants

Each year, Pennsylvania invests in its schools, county conservation districts, and other nonprofit organizations to improve environmental awareness among students and adults alike.

The Environmental Education Grant Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates that five percent of all pollution fines and penalties collected annually by the Department of Environmental Protection be set aside for environmental education. Since the inception of the environmental education grant program, DEP has awarded more than $10 million in grants to support the environmental education efforts throughout Pennsylvania.

Administered through DEP, the funds are used for projects ranging from creative, hands-on lessons for students, teacher training programs, and outdoor learning resources to conservation education for adults.

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Wildlands Conservancy's "Climate Change in Our Watershed" middle school program, funded with an Environmental Education Grant

For Applicants: 2019 Grants 

Webinar Update

The DEP EE Grant Webinar scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2018, has been rescheduled.

The correct date for the webinar is now Friday, December 14, 2018, at 1 PM.

DEP appreciates your understanding in this matter and looks forward to the upcoming 2019 DEP Environmental Education Grant Round and the important efforts this program has historically supported.

If you have not yet registered to attend the webinar, please register here.

Timeline

  • November 2: Grant round opens. Grants Program Manual is available.
  • January 11: Applications are due. 
  • April 22: Awards are announced by DEP on or about this day in conjunction with Earth Day.
  • July 1: Awarded projects may begin.

Apply

Applications must be submitted online. To submit, please visit the e-grants application. Applicants must also complete these forms:

Forms required with application:

  • For 2019 General Grant Application: Detailed Budget Sheet (PDF and Word)
  • For 2019 Mini-Grant Application: Detailed Budget Sheet (PDF and Word)
  • Partnering Form (PDF and Word)

More Helpful Information

  • 2019 Grant Award Requirements (PDF)
  • Environmental Education Grants Program Fact Sheet (PDF)
  • 2019 Environmental Education Grants Program Manual (PDF and Word)

Eligibility – Who May Apply

Public and private schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, non-profit organizations, and businesses may apply for the Environmental Education Grants Program. The focus of the Environmental Education Grants Program is on local and regional issues. It is important for students and adults to understand their neighborhoods and surrounding communities as the future of the environment depends on citizens taking positive action on behalf of the environment. 

Grant Amounts

Organizations may apply for mini-grants of up to $3,000 or general grants up to $25,000. 

General grants will be awarded to organizations implementing large-scale regional or statewide environmental education projects on priority topic(s). Applicants for general grants are required to include a 20 percent match. 

Mini-grant applicants may apply for up to $3,000 for local environmental education projects focused on priority topic(s). Mini-grant applications are not required to include a match but strongly encouraged to submit a cash or in-kind match.

Topics

Climate Change

  • Public education campaigns about emissions and ways to protect public health.
  • Education projects that demonstrate and encourage a reduction in engine idling, conserving energy, sustainable school initiatives, using alternative transportation and renewable energy.
  • Selective climate adaptation projects as a part of a larger educational effort, such as tree plantings, water quality monitoring, riparian buffer plantings, and other related topics.

Water

Programs that educate developers, site designers, municipalities, local officials, businesses, and homeowners about reducing non-point source pollution, along with other water-related educational programs. This includes educational programs on agricultural nutrient management, abandoned mine drainage/reclamation; water conservation; private water wells, groundwater, road salt, citizen's science and water quality monitoring, stormwater management; cold water habitats and fisheries; habitat restoration and other related topics.

Environmental Justice

Funding is designed to support activities to educate, empower, and enable disadvantaged communities to meaningfully participate in environmental and public health issues and to implement ways to address issues at the local level.

  • Education projects to encourage a connection to nature and the urban environment for inner-city students to develop hands-on stewardship projects to better understand environmental impacts and risks.
  • Projects to identify sources of household hazardous waste within communities; identify local hazardous waste facilities; educate community residents on the proper disposal and alternative green cleaning products and encourage the use of these non-hazardous products.
  • Projects to track, monitor, and develop education programs to address and reduce vehicle idling and promote alternative transportation.
  • Demonstration education projects such as green infrastructure or energy conservation, such as green rooftops or walls, rain gardens, rain barrels or cisterns, tree box filters, urban tree plantings, energy conservation or renewable energy, and other related projects. Demonstration projects must be used to educate and expand the community's knowledge and understanding of pollution impacts and climate change.
  • Citizen involvement projects to create, through seed funding, and support municipal or multi-municipal environmental advisory councils (EAC) and other public participation teams. Funding will support EAC projects, such as stormwater education programs with an emphasis on improving water quality for MS4 permittees and other priority topics; comprehensive demonstration projects; and how-to trainings about DEP and public participation, including the regulatory process and becoming involved as a partner.

For Recipients: Reporting Forms 

  • 2019 General Grant Progress Report Form (PDF and Word)
  • 2019 General Grant Final Report Form (PDF and Word)
  • 2019 Mini-Grant Final Report Form (PDF and Word)
  • 2019 Reimbursement Request Form (PDF and Word)

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