PA American Water Wednesday announced the award of $35,000 to local environmental organizations in its service territory as part of its 2016 Environmental Grant Program.
The grants were awarded to—
-- Armstrong County Conservation District will use its grant 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 in Butler County 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 in Berks County will use its grant 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 in Wayne County 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 will develop two youth nature camps to connect local children to the environment through hands-on lessons, activities and crafts.
-- Lehman Sanctuary in Luzerne County 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 in Union County will use the funding to develop 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.
Established in 2005, American Water's Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the communities it serves.
"Once again, we are inspired by each one of these 42 organizations commitment to making a difference in one our communities, and we are very proud to partner with them to turn their plans into a reality," said Susan Story, president and CEO of American Water. "Now in its tenth year, our environmental grant program has provided more than $1.4 million of needed support for 373 projects to help improve, restore and protect our valuable natural resources through partnerships. We are very proud to support these programs and the people behind them - many of whom are volunteers and neighbors in the communities we serve."For more information, visit PA American Water’s Environmental Grant Program webpage.