Nationally, nonprofits submitted 2,400 nomination forms for the CLASSY Awardsl which were narrowed down to 320 finalists, five finalists each in 16 categories from four regions – East, West, North, and South.
To vote, visit the CLASSY Awards website, select “East” and scroll down to select Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds. Regional finalists will be announced July 31 and winners will be announced September 22.
Gwen Johnson, Capacity Building Coordinator and Nomination Writer said, “I’m so excited about this opportunity. We are so close. I hope people will vote for us. This is truly an honor for FPW.”
FPW, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, was nominated for its steadfast dedication to protecting and restoring waters of the Commonwealth. The nomination highlighted FPW’s work relating to reauthorizing the Abandoned Mine Lands Fund (AMLF), an effort that took more than five years to achieve and projected to bring $1.4 billon to Pennsylvania and $6 billion nationally for land and water reclamation.
Most central Pennsylvanians are familiar with orange water, barren landscapes, open mine voids, and water-filled surface mines. What they may not realize is that these scars were caused by ‘pre-regulated’ mining where environmental considerations weren’t a priority.
In fact, Pennsylvania has more than 5,000 biologically dead streams, and approximately 220,000 acres of denuded lands caused by pre-regulated, mining pollution. Even more astounding than that is that more people die annually, on average, across the nation on abandoned mine lands than in active mining accidents. FPW works hard with its grantees and elected officials to heal these scars.
R. John Dawes, Executive Director said, “We are pleased that CLASSY has recognized our important work—it is truly an honor. It is important that future generations have enough clean water. We are doing our part to use private funds to leverage local, state, and federal dollars. Since our inception we’ve invested more than $7.7 million to leverage more than $124.3 million in agency dollars. Working together with our grantees, we ensure a safer and healthier environment exists for our families and children.”
The only other environmental group nominated in the Eastern Region is the Living Classrooms Foundation in Baltimore.