PA American Water Wednesday announced seven watershed-related projects across the Commonwealth will receive nearly $35,000 in financial support through the company’s 2016 Environmental Grant Program.
Grants were awarded to:
-- Armstrong County Conservation District: The grant will be used to develop a website and outreach program that uses GPS technology and geocaching to draw geocache seekers to local watershed improvement projects. The program is designed to highlight best management practices among watershed restoration and protection projects.
-- Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (Butler County): With the grant, the society will host a workshop for local municipalities to receive hands-on training on the installation of a rain garden at a community park. When completed, the rain garden will not only improve the health of the Connoquenessing Creek but also serve as a model for local residents.
-- Berks Nature (Berks County): The grant will allow the organization to provide hands-on environmental education for students at Wilson West Middle School. The project includes developing an outdoor learning environment where students will learn about the watershed, drinking water supplies and stormwater issues while also conducting water testing and data collection.
-- Lacawac Sanctuary (Wayne County): With the funding, the organization will develop a water resource program for fourth-grade classes in Luzerne County that will educate students on the importance of watersheds and how to protect water sources.
-- Lawrence County Conservation District: The organization will develop two youth nature camps to connect local children to the environment through hands-on lessons, activities and crafts.
-- Lehman Sanctuary (Luzerne County): The grant will fund the building of a field station within the Huntsville Reservoir watershed to enable environmental education programs for students, in addition to helping naturalists and educators conduct research and teaching opportunities.
-- Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association: The grant will fund the develop of a best practices manual for planning and measuring stream clean-up projects, as well as provide training via webinars for watershed associations and environmental organizations, and a webpage to house the manual and a calendar of clean-up projects. The project also includes plans to develop a children's book about taking care of the river.
A panel of judges selected the grant recipients from nearly 40 applications from within the PA American Water service areas, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.
“Over the years since we launched the Environmental Grant Program, organizations have presented projects and initiatives that are inspiring and made a positive impact on our watersheds,” said Kathy L. Pape, president, Pennsylvania American Water. “We are very proud to support these programs and the people behind them – many of whom are teachers, volunteers and neighbors in our communities.”For more information, visit the PA American Water website.