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Environmental Education Grant Program

Grants to Pennsylvania IHEs, Nonprofits, Schools,
and Businesses for Environmental Education

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/11/19 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $3,000 and grants of up to $25,000 to Pennsylvania IHEs, nonprofits, schools, businesses, and conservation districts for environmental education programs. Funding is intended for programs that address climate change, water, and environmental justice on a local or regional level.

General grants will be awarded to organizations implementing large-scale regional or statewide environmental education projects on priority topic(s).

Mini-grants will be awarded for local environmental education projects focused on priority topic(s).

Priority Topics:

Climate Change:

- Public education campaigns about emissions and ways to protect public health.
- Education projects that demonstrate and encourage a reduction in engine idling, conserving energy, sustainable school initiatives, using alternative transportation and renewable energy.
- Selective climate adaptation projects as a part of a larger educational effort, such as tree plantings, water quality monitoring, riparian buffer plantings, and other related topics.


Programs that educate developers, site designers, municipalities, local officials, businesses, and homeowners about reducing non-point source pollution, along with other water-related educational programs. This includes educational programs on agricultural nutrient management, abandoned mine drainage/reclamation; water conservation; private water wells, groundwater, road salt, citizen’s science and water quality monitoring, stormwater management; cold water habitats and fisheries; habitat restoration and other related topics.

Environmental Justice:

Funding is designed to support activities to educate, empower, and enable disadvantaged communities to meaningfully participate in environmental and public health issues and to implement ways to address issues at the local level.
- Education projects to encourage a connection to nature and the urban environment for inner-city students to develop hands-on stewardship projects to better understand environmental impacts and risks.
- Projects to identify sources of household hazardous waste within communities; identify local hazardous waste facilities; educate community residents on the proper disposal and alternative green cleaning products and encourage the use of these non-hazardous products.
- Projects to track, monitor, and develop education programs to address and reduce vehicle idling and promote alternative transportation.
- Demonstration education projects such as green infrastructure or energy conservation, such as green rooftops or walls, rain gardens, rain barrels or cisterns, tree box filters, urban tree plantings, energy conservation or renewable energy, and other related projects. Demonstration projects must be used to educate and expand the community’s knowledge and understanding of pollution impacts and climate change.
- Citizen involvement projects to create, through seed funding, and support municipal or multi-municipal environmental advisory councils (EAC) and other public participation teams. Funding will support EAC projects, such as stormwater education programs with an emphasis on improving water quality for MS4 permittees and other priority topics; comprehensive demonstration projects; and how-to trainings about DEP and public participation, including the regulatory process and becoming involved as a partner.

Project Options:

Non-formal Environmental Education Projects:

- Regional environmental education projects for any target audience, outside of the formal school setting. This includes afterschool programs, summer camps, municipalities, farmers, building managers, landowners, colleges and universities, pre-schools, scouts, 4-H clubs, faith communities, and others.

- Projects must focus on any of the priority topics described on pages 1-2. Youth programs must relate to the Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology; Science and Technology and Engineering Education. Applicants are encouraged to integrate Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts.
- Promote project at a statewide conference.
- Include a strong technology component to fully integrate and utilize social media, apps, web tools, and technology.
- Plan to sustain project after funding ends.
- Feature strong partnerships.
- Include strong evaluation component to assess impact and metrics.

Mini-Grants: Grantees will purchase hands-on activity supplies, coordinate field trips for learning, and conduct environmental education projects focused on priority topics.

K-12 Environmental Education Projects:

- Regional environmental education projects for the formal, K-12 school setting.

- Projects must focus on any of the priority topics described on pages 1-2. Programs must relate to the Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology; Science and Technology and Engineering Education. Applicants are encouraged to integrate STEM concepts. All school-based general grant projects must be embedded into curriculum and include the following components:
- Integrate teacher professional development.
- Integrate into curriculum.
- Coordinate student-led action project.
- Include multiple field experiences involving students collecting and analyzing data and reporting results.
- Define a local issue.
- Feature career development in the environmental science fields.
- Partner with a non-formal education organization, such as a non-profit organization, college or university, park, or other related groups.
- Promote the entire project at a statewide conference.
- Have a strong technology component to fully integrate and utilize social media, apps, web tools, and technology.
- Plan to sustain project after funding ends.
- Include strong evaluation component to assess impact and metrics.

- Sustainable Schools: Coordinate programs to develop green, sustainable K-12 schools. Applying organizations will focus on reducing environmental impact, school health or outdoor classrooms, including energy efficiency and conservation, water quality and conservation, sustainable school transportation, waste and recycling, climate change, air quality, radon/improving indoor air quality, or integrated pest management.
- Schools may form and enhance an energy team with teachers, students, building facility managers, and administrators with the goal to reduce the school building’s energy use by first benchmarking with Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager. Schools may develop and implement school-centered energy conservation plans, including student-led energy audits. Schools may partner with colleges or universities, nonprofit environmental education centers, STEM organizations, math and science collaborative, or other organizations.
- Curriculum Integration Projects: Articulate the Academic Standards for Environment and Ecology into the formal K-12 curriculum for the entire school district, private school, charter school, or cyber school. Schools may coordinate workshops to be attended by representatives from all schools and grade levels within the school district or private school. Any tentative workshop dates must be included in the application. Remember, the goal of this project is for permanent change.
- Curriculum Revision Projects: Revise current (or write new) lesson plans or units to meet the changes identified in the alignment to the Environment and Ecology Standards, Energy Education and provide a means for classroom assessment. Applying schools will use their district’s fully aligned matrix to revise or write new lesson plans to integrate the Environment and Ecology Standards into the school’s curriculum. Assessment of the integration is required. The district’s fully aligned matrix must be submitted with the application.

Mini-Grants: Conduct projects and purchase environmental education hands-on activity supplies, to coordinate field trips for student learning, to conduct teacher education/in-service programs, or other environmental education programs.

Eligible Grant Expenditures:

People Costs
- Stipends for school teachers and administrators for work done outside the normal work day. Do not pro-rate their salary for work done on this grant.
- Staff time (number of hours).
- Clerical support (number of hours).
- Substitute teacher pay.

Travel Costs
- Personal mileage at the current GSA rate.
- Transportation costs at a flat fee rate

Resource Costs

Educational resources, such as: books, library/research resources, software, test kits, field guides, native plants and trees, mulch, shovels, hoes, garden trowels, gloves, building materials, signage, nets.

Equipment, such as: microscopes, binoculars, handheld GPS units, weather stations, structures and equipment, such as energy audit equipment.

Laboratory equipment (details are required): if more than $1,500 is proposed for equipment, include: where the item(s) will be located and how the item(s) will be used after proposed program ends.

Other Costs
- Photocopying, printing, binding, graphic layout
- Phone charges
- Facility rental (other than awardee)
- Advertising/marketing
- Website
- Postage costs

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163473

Estimated Size of Grant:

Organizations may apply for mini-grants of up to $3,000 or general grants up to $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Awarded projects may begin on or after July 1, 2019. All grant projects must be completed by June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Public and private schools, colleges and universities, county conservation districts, non-profit organizations, and businesses may apply for the Environmental Education Grants Program.

All projects must occur in Pennsylvania.

DEP EE Grants Will Not Fund:
- Projects that are not entirely focused on environmental education.
- Basic research: such as data collection, surveys and/or stipends for researchers.
- Beautification projects or landscaping.
- Fundraising or membership drives.
- Political advocacy, campaigning, legislative lobbying or litigation programs. Applications that advocate for a particular policy position or appear biased will not be considered.
- Real estate acquisitions or due diligence research related to such acquisitions.
- Construction activities including building construction, improvement to existing structures, pond or wetland construction.
- Applications from entities who have defaulted on the performance of grant commitments on prior DEP EE grant-funded projects.

Ineligible Grant Expenditures:
- Food or beverages
- Lodging or airfare
- Computer hardware for general office use (i.e., laptops, iPADs/tablet computers): No more than 10 percent of the entire grant can be used to purchase program-specific technology.
- Staff salaries greater than 35 percent of the total amount of grant funds requested. Grant funds requested to pay staff benefits and contractual salary/benefits will be included in calculating this 35 percent cap.
- Out-of-state travel
- Award items (certificates, plaques)
- Indirect costs, general operations or overhead charges: e.g. rent, utilities, monthly phone or website hosting charges
- Boats, kayaks, paddle boards and canoes (to purchase or rent)
- Cameras, including go-pros.
- Clothing (t-shirts, hats)
- Lawn mowers and other power equipment
- Furniture for general office use
- Grants, scholarships or fellowships to be given by the grant recipient to a third party. Grant funds may be used to pay up to $100 a day for either substitute teachers or teacher stipends to enable teachers to participate in DEP EE grant-funded programs. Grant funds may also be used to provide classroom supplies to enable teachers to implement new programs, but not to provide cash payments to teachers for these supplies. Grant funds may not be used to pay for graduate credits that participants may earn at these events.
- Pass-through of cash or incentive prizes to project participants, e.g. grant funds may not be used to provide services (such as septic system cleanouts) to project participants at a discounted cost.
- Reimbursement for expenses prior to the effective start date.
- Promotional items, such as stress balls, laser pointers, magnets, pins, etc.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The DEP EE Grant Webinar will take place on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 2 PM.

To register:

Pre-Application Information:

- November 2, 2018: Grant round opens. Grants Program Manual is available.
- December 7, 2018: Applicants submitting an optional one-page proposal summary must email it on or before this date.
- January 11, 2019, 11:59 PM: Applications are due.
- April 22, 2019: Awards are announced by DEP on or about this day in conjunction with Earth Day.
- July 1, 2019: Awarded projects may begin.

Applicants, particularly those who are new to the EEGP, are encouraged to email a one-page proposal summary with the total requested grant amount by December 7, 2018.

Applicants for general grants are required to include a 20 percent match.

Mini-grant applications are not required to include a match but strongly encouraged to submit a cash or in-kind match.

The EEGP is a reimbursement program for general grant recipients; however, mini-grant recipients may apply to receive a 100 percent upfront, advance payment.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Applicants, particularly those who are new to the EEGP, are encouraged to email a one-page proposal summary with the total requested grant amount to

If you require assistance in completing the application, please contact DCED’s Customer Service.
Phone: (800) 379-7448 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST Monday through Friday

EE Grants Program
PO Box 2063
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2063

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania