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Pennsylvania invests in environmental education

Pennsylvania invests in environmental education

By Blake Jackson

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is investing nearly $1 million in environmental education initiatives across the state. This funding prioritizes projects that empower residents in environmental justice communities.

"These grants connect people to environmental protection practices," explains DEP Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. "They offer learning opportunities for all ages, from children to adults."

Environmental justice communities face a disproportionate burden from climate change, air and water pollution. The DEP awarded funding to 48 projects (nearly all) that specifically target educational activities in these areas.

The funded programs offer a diverse range of environmental learning experiences. Examples include:

  • Immersive field trips for youth
  • Community engagement in climate change solutions
  • Support for schools developing environmental curriculums

A full list of funded projects can be found on the DEP website.

These grants are vital for fostering environmental awareness and action. They empower communities to make informed decisions that promote sustainability and a healthy environment.

Grant recipients include schools, environmental organizations, conservation districts, and even some businesses. The application period for the 2025 Environmental Education Grants Program is expected to open in August 2024, with a deadline in mid-November.

The program is funded through the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which allocates 5% of DEP's pollution fines and penalties to environmental education efforts.  Since its inception, the program has awarded over $14 million to support more than 2,200 projects.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-paul-hartley

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Categories: Pennsylvania, Education, Government & Policy

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