West Chester, Pa (August 4, 2022) – Chester County schools, colleges, businesses, nonprofit groups, and environmental organizations can apply to receive some of the $900,000 in total state grant funding available for environmental education projects, state Senator Carolyn Comitta said.

“Quality environmental education programs promote critical and creative thinking skills, while inspiring students and young people to become more engaged with their local communities,” Comitta, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, said. “As we continue to face the growing impacts of climate change on nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s crucial that the next generation of leaders is prepared to continue to make environmentally-informed decisions based on science and sustainability.”

The funding, made available through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Environmental Education Grants program, provides up to $5,000 for projects with a local focus, up to $30,000 for regional or statewide initiatives, and up to $85,000 for projects that engage students and teachers at the local, state, and national level.

“This grant supports environmental education projects that engage teachers, youth and residents in actions that help protect Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources and preserve its beauty,” said DEP ​Acting Secretary Ramez Ziadeh.

While all education project topics are considered, priority areas are water quality, climate change, and environmental justice. 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.

Last year, the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County was awarded a $3,000 Environmental Education Grant to expand its new leaf sensory garden and offer pre-school and summer camp field experiences, including lessons and activities.

DEP will hold a live webinar on Tuesday, September 27, 2022, from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM regarding this grant funding. Program staff will review the application process, offer tips, and answer questions. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Registration details will be forthcoming.

Electronic applications must be submitted through the Keystone Login (first-time users will need to register.) This grant round has an application deadline of Friday, December 9, 2022, by 4:59 p.m. 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 2,100 projects totaling over $12 million have been awarded grant funds.