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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

DEP Announces Changes to 2017 Environmental Education Grants

Harrisburg, PA –To help improve the support that Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) provides for environmental education grants, DEP is increasing the range of grants available to eligible applicants. The 2017 round will include grants of up to $50,000 to applicants for larger-scale regional or statewide proposals. These and other changes to the grant program will be outlined in a series of workshops and a webinar in September to help applicants develop successful proposals.

“Projects funded by environmental education grants promote the environmental literacy of our citizens, both students and adults alike,” DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell said. “When people understand the environmental challenges facing their neighborhoods and communities, they can make informed decisions and take responsible actions to address them.”

Applicants for the new $50,000 general grants must provide a 20 percent match and are not eligible for advance payments. Traditional mini-grants of up to $3,000 will also be available. The mini-grants are eligible for advance payments and do not require a match. Awarded projects may begin on or after July 1, 2017. Mini-grant projects must be completed by June 30, 2018 and general grants must be completed by June 30, 2019.

All applicants are encouraged to undertake projects that address DEP’s priority topics of climate change, water education and environmental justice.

The workshops are geared to staff from county conservation districts, colleges and universities, public and private schools including Intermediate Units, school district curriculum specialists, nature centers, non-profit organizations, municipalities and authorities, and businesses.

Workshop participants will learn strategies to prepare a successful grant application and should be ready to discuss their ideas for grant funding. Applications will be accepted from Oct. 3 through Dec. 16, 2016.

Preregistration for the workshops is required and there is limited capacity. To register for one of the face-to-face workshops visit

Workshops will be held on the following dates and locations:

Sept. 13: 10 a.m. to noon – McKeever Environmental Learning Center, 55 McKeever Center, Sandy Lake, Mercer County.
Sept. 15: 10 a.m. to noon – Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, 8480 Hagy’s Mill Road, Philadelphia.
Sept. 20: 1 to 3 p.m. – Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, 3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus, Lehigh County.
Sept. 27: 10 a.m. to noon – Benjamin Olewine III Nature Center, 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, Dauphin County.

In addition to the workshops, DEP will hold a webinar about the grant program from 10 to 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 29. Registration for the webinar is required. Interested individuals may sign up here.

The workshops are being held in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association for Environmental Educators (PAEE), Wildlands Conservancy, Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation and the McKeever Environmental Learning Center.

For questions about the workshop content, contact Ann Devine at

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