Wednesday, April 22, 2015

PA American Water Marks Earth Day By Awarding Environmental Grants

Pennsylvania American Water announced Wednesday seven watershed initiatives across the state have earned financial support through the company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program.
The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling nearly $35,000 for their community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.
The winning Environmental Grant projects are as follows:
— Habitat for Humanity, Washington County: The grant will be used to reduce stormwater runoff at a Habitat for Humanity construction site. The project includes installing rain gardens and native plants in the landscaping to absorb and reduce stormwater runoff into a tributary of Chartiers Creek.
— Keystone College, Lackawanna County: The project aims to identify the impact of a declining population of Eastern Hemlock trees on the watershed, as well as implement best practices in landscaping and stream restoration to protect the South Branch of Tunkhannock Creek.
— Montgomery County Conservation District: The organization will use the funding to develop permanent displays on watershed stewardship and water quality at Norristown Farm Park. The displays will be integrated into the county’s educational programs at the park.
— Economic Development South, Allegheny County: With the funding, the organization will develop a Saw Mill Run Watershed Stewards Program, a volunteer program to connect citizens to issues affecting the watershed. The group will also launch a mobile application allowing users to report water quality issues in the watershed.
— Columbia County Conservation District: The grant will fund a water education program for eighth-grade students across the county.  Students will learn about the history of Briar Creek Lake, as well as learn about groundwater, watersheds and wetlands.
— Brandywine Valley Association, Chester County: The organization will use the funding to develop environmental educational programs for students in the Coatesville Area School District. Children will gain a better understanding of the watershed and learn stewardship practices to sustain the quality of the community’s water resources.
— Dunmore Historical Society, Lackawanna County: With the grant, the organization will renew and enhance three existing butterfly gardens and provide soil erosion protection through plantings at the Dunmore #1 Reservoir.
“As we observe Earth Day, we are pleased and inspired by the organizations’ commitment to environmental stewardship and how the winning projects will generate enthusiasm and volunteerism in our communities,” said Kathy L. Pape, president, Pennsylvania American Water. She noted that the Environmental Grant Program is in its 11th year supporting local watershed improvement projects across the Commonwealth.
A panel of judges selected the grant recipients from nearly 40 applications, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.
For more information, visit the Pennsylvania American Water webpage.

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