Pennsylvania American Water, based in Hershey, PA, announced yesterday that it would award funds to seven watershed initiatives across the state through the company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds that total nearly $35,000 for community-based projects that protect, improve or restore watersheds.
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.
The following organizations were awarded funding from Pennsylvania American Water for 2015 Environmental Grants: Habitat for Humanity (Washington County), Keystone College (Lackawanna County), Montgomery County Conservation District (Montgomery County), Economic Development South (Allegheny County), Columbia County Conservation District (Columbia County), Brandywine Valley Association (Chester County), and Dunmore Historical Society (Lackawanna County).
“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.
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 eight-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.
Pennsylvania American Water is a subsidiary of American Water, which initiated the Environmental Grant Program in 2005 in Pennsylvania to support projects that protect or restore drinking water sources and surrounding watersheds. Since then, American Water has expanded the annual program to many of its state subsidiaries across the nation.
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 45 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
Congratulations to the winners!