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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits and Agencies to Protect and Enhance Public Spaces

PECO Green Region Open Space Program Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Natural Lands Trust Inc
PECO Green Region
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and York Counties (government agencies); City of Philadelphia (nonprofits)

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/30/23 4:00 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $10,000 to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, local governments, and regional recreation authorities to preserve public spaces in eligible locations. Funding is intended for the acquisition of land and conservation easements, capital projects for passive recreation, habitat improvements, and planning and consultant fees. The property and facility must be open to the general public and promote equal access to nature for all communities. Requests will be accepted from nonprofits in Philadelphia, and from local government entities within the funding source's service area in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and York Counties.

Recognizing that open space in communities is crucial to the quality of lives, PECO has committed to supporting organizations in southeastern Pennsylvania with their ongoing efforts to preserve, protect, and improve public spaces and increase collective tree cover. PECO designed the Green Region Open Space Program to assist local communities in these efforts by providing funding for expenses not otherwise covered by state or county programs. Underlying the Green Region Program is PECO’s endorsement of enhancing tree cover and equitable access to the outdoors through deliberate planning for open space protection as a means to encourage the wisest use of scarce resources

Eligible Projects and Expenses:

  • Improving municipal, organizational, or regional recreational authority-owned open spaces, not including property owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Funds may be used for habitat improvements, such as improving or installing woodlands, riparian buffers, and meadows. Funds may also be used for the installation of capital improvements for passive recreation, such as trails, boardwalks, kiosks, observation platforms, and the installation of LED and energy-efficient lighting. Fund expenditures may also include planning costs or fees for consultants such as landscape architects, park designers, botanists, and engineers.
  • Developing or updating open space plans and feasibility studies. Expenses may include consultant fees, costs associated with obtaining public input (hall rental, advertising, etc.), and publication costs.
  • Acquisition (by purchase or donation) of parcels of land to be used for open space. Expenses may include purchase costs, legal or consultant fees, surveying, environmental assessments, and appraisals. 
  • Acquisition (by purchase or donation) of conservation easements (also known as “development rights”). Eligible expenses may include purchase costs, legal or consultant fees, surveying, environmental assessments, and appraisals.
  • In an effort to expand tree canopy in southeastern Pennsylvania, PECO encourages applicants to incorporate tree plantings into their application’s project proposal, including details such as the number and species of trees to be planted. While such endeavors are not a required element of the grant application, Review Committee members will look favorably upon their inclusion in the application.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible Applicants:
- Any township, borough, city, or regional recreational authority within PECO’s service territory in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or York counties. Eligible applicants must receive gas and/or electric service from PECO.
- Within the City of Philadelphia, all incorporated non-profit neighborhood organizations, including Friends groups, but exclusive of religious organizations unless programs are non-denominational.

Recipients of PECO Green Region funding awards from the 2021 Round and prior are eligible to apply to the 2023 Round once their prior award is officially closed out.

PECO does not provide grants to individuals.

Recipients of PECO Green Region funding awards from the 2022 Round are ineligible to apply for the 2023 Round.

Ineligible Projects and Expenses:
- Staff time for municipal, organizational, or regional recreational authority employees for any aspect of the project.
- Relocation of owner/tenant, condemnation, or building repair/demolition.
- Parking lots, except for ADA improvements and/or installation or upgrades to LED lighting.
- Expenses not directly related to the use or access of land for open space and/or passive recreation. For example, construction of a public works storage facility is not considered an eligible expense.

Pre-Application Information
The 2023 Round is now open, with a grant application deadline of 4:00 PM, Thursday November 30, 2023.

The municipality, non-profit organization, or regional recreational authority must have a source of funds (or be in the process of obtaining funds) to match or exceed the amount requested from the PECO Green Region Program. Matching funds must be in cash and must not be in-kind services. Municipal or staff salaries may not be used as matching fund

Retroactive reimbursement for costs accrued between the application deadline and when the grant funds are disbursed may be allowed on a case-by-case basis. All requests for such reimbursement should be communicated in writing to the PECO Green Region Program Administrator.

Estimated Size of Grant
Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $10,000 and may be used to fund up to 50% of the project.

Term of Contract
Recipients are expected to fully expend the grant funding within 18 months of the funds being disbursed.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For questions, contact:
Estelle Wynn Dolan
PECO Green Region Program Administrator
c/o Natural Lands
1031 Palmers Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-353-5587 x 213

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