Harrisburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) awarded $205,000 in Environmental Education Grants to 45 projects across the Commonwealth addressing environmental justice, climate change, and water quality.

“Supporting these projects will provide children and adults in urban, rural, and suburban communities with knowledge of the natural world, the importance of a healthy environment, and the value of environmental protection,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. 

Grants were awarded to schools, libraries, conservation district offices, and environmental and community organizations. Four projects with a broad or statewide reach received general grants of up to $25,000. Forty-one projects with a local focus received mini-grants of up to $3,000. 

The grants program prioritizes projects that: 

•Educate and empower disadvantaged communities to participate meaningfully in environmental and public health issues;

•Educate the public on emissions reduction, energy conservation, renewable energy, and climate adaptation;

•Educate local officials, business owners, homeowners, and the general public about reducing nonpoint source pollution, water quality monitoring, cold water habitats, and other aspects of water quality. 

The Environmental Education Grants Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside five percent of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. 

Projects awarded in north central Pa. region include:


•Pennsylvania State University: Digital outreach training for students on agricultural hazardous waste disposal solutions ($3,000)


•Columbia County Conservation District: Workshops on rain barrels for home and business stormwater management ($2,900)


•Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association: STEM-based programs for families on a paddlewheel riverboat on the West Branch Susquehanna River ($3,000)


•Northumberland County Conservation District (three projects): Sand and gravel simulator for groundwater training ($1,475); rain barrel construction workshop ($735); field trip for school students focused on coal mining history and water quality ($1,340)


•Wellsboro Area School District: Equipment for students to participate in Trout in the Classroom and conduct research on environmental factors affecting trout health ($1,770)

Who can 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 is on local and regional issues, encouraging 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.

Available grants include mini-grants of up to $3,000 and general grants of up to $25,000.

How to apply

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

  • 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)