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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 $12 million in grants to support 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.


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

2020 Environmental Education Grants Awarded

DEP has awarded $434,168 in 2020 Environmental Education Grants to 55 innovative formal and nonformal environmental education projects. Awarded projects address grant program priorities and represent a reasonable statewide distribution of Environmental Education Funds.

Click here to access the 2020 EE Grant award announcement.

EE Grants Program Resources

Apply (The 2020 EE Grants Program is closed.)

Applications must be submitted online.

Applicants must also complete these forms:

2020 Application Guidelines Webinar

Submit your best application possible! Access the 2020 EE Grants Program Webinar, which was held on November 18.

Eligibility – Who May Apply

  • Public schools and school districts (K-12) (includes Intermediate Units and Charter Schools)
  • Incorporated private schools (under limited circumstances, private religious schools may be exempted from the incorporation requirement)
  • Incorporated conservation and education organizations and institutions
  • Universities and colleges
  • County conservation districts
  • Incorporated nonprofit organizations
  • Businesses (must be registered to conduct business in Pennsylvania)

Ineligible Applicants

Entities, including municipalities, that do not appear on the Eligible Applicants listing cannot receive Environmental Education Program funds. Ineligible applicants are encouraged to partner with an eligible applicant to deliver environmental education programs.

Project Time Period

Awarded projects may begin on or before July 1, 2020, and must end by June 30, 2021. No time extensions will be provided. Expenses incurred outside of the Project Time period are ineligible for grant funds.

Project Audiences

Projects may deliver both formal (K-12) and non-formal education programs targeting any audience, including, but not limited to, youth, teachers, municipal officials, farmers, developers, site designers, businesses, and homeowners or other community residents. Environmental Justice Communities, including people who live and work within the communities, are considered priority audiences.

Environmental Education Grant Program Priorities

Climate Change

Education projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and negative impacts of climate change including floods, changes to groundwater, pests, disease, agricultural disruptions, and potential threats to human health.

Water

Education programs promoting effective ways to reduce non-point source and source water pollution to improve water quality.

Environmental Justice

Education programs designed to empower and engage residents and officials of Environmental Justice communities (as defined by the U.S. Census) in developing meaningful solutions that address local environmental issues and public health concerns.

Grant Award Amounts

The Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education Grants Program provides funding for education projects that foster an understanding of natural world functions and cultivate critical thinking and actions that promote environmental protection and sustainable resource management.  Two types of awards are available for projectsaddressing the Environmental Education Grants Program Priorities:

Mini Grants of up to $3,000 may be awarded for local (school, county, municipality or other defined area) environmental education projects. Mini-grants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to form project partnerships and include a project match (Cash or In-Kind).

General Grants: New for 2020 -General grants are being offered at two funding levels:

General Grants (Level I): From $3,001 up to $20,000 may be awarded for implementation of large-scale, regional or statewide environmental education projects.

General Grants (Level II): From $20,001 to $85,000 may be awarded for non-formal environmental education programs designed to widely* engage teachers and youth at the county, state and national levels.  (*Teachers and students from at least 60 Pennsylvania counties must directly participate in the project). Additionally, the project must demonstrate that at least 30% of program participants are members of an Environmental Justice Community.

All General Grants require a 20% Match (Cash or In-Kind) and Project Partners (Completed and signed Partner forms are required to be submitted with the application)

EE Grant Recipients: Reporting Forms 

Resources