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DEP Announces Environmental Education Grants to the Northeast Region, Luzerne County Preparatory School Project included

DEP Announces Environmental Education Grants to the Northeast Region, Luzerne County Preparatory School Project included

Wilkes-Barre, PA  The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced today a total of $632,897 in environmental grant funds have been awarded to 63 projects, 50 of which engage youth and adults living or working within environmental justice areas. Grants were given to schools, institutions and conservation districts as well as environmental and community groups.


DEP has granted 10 projects in the Northeast region. One of these was for Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School located in Luzerne County. The school was awarded a $20,000 Environmental Education grant to fund an outdoor environmental education project. The centre point will be a pollinator garden and bird garden that will allow students at Kingston school to learn more about biodiversity and the effects of climate change.


The project includes a new location, where students and faculty will maintain the bird garden and pollinator habitats. It also provides an educational tool, including virtual and in-person tours, speakers, workshops, and workshops that address biodiversity. The site will be able to implement sustainable landscaping and agricultural techniques, as well address the causes and consequences of climate changes. The school will host forums on climate change, as well as other environmental issues, both local and international.


These grants provide the foundation for environmental education for all ages, according to Patrick McDonnell, Secretary of DEP. Each of these projects is an investment in the environmental education of Pennsylvanians. 


It’s a great way for students learn about environmental issues and to see the world through their eyes, said Dean Ritter. He is acting assistant director of DEPs Northeast Regional Office. Outdoor environmental education classrooms are possible with the help EE grants. Students can also get hands-on experiences in the natural world through these classes. 


Wyoming Seminary’s EE Award allows them to invite students of all ages to visit the area’s native species and to create birding and pollinator gardens. We hope to encourage investment in our environment and promote actions that lead towards its preservation, said Nicole Lewis (Director of Sustainability at Wyoming Seminary and also the grant applicant).

The Environmental Education Grants Program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5% of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. Since its inception, $12.3 million has been awarded by the DEP in environmental education grant funding for 2,135 projects.


The 2022 program selected applications to develop innovative formal and informal education projects. 

Priorities for grant programs related to water, climate change, and environmental justice should be addressed 

Offer opportunities to increase the public’s understanding of Pennsylvania’s environment issues; 

Learn the skills necessary to make informed decisions

Grants were granted to schools, institutions, conservation areas, and environmental and communitiy organizations. Thirty-four local projects were awarded mini grants up to $3,000, while 28 projects with a wide or statewide reach were granted general grants up to $20,000, while one project was designed to engage students at the local, state and national levels. One grant totaled $65,710. More than 90% will go to projects that engage youth or adults working in the area of environmental justice.

Northeastern Pennsylvania Projects by County 


Marywood University: This camp is for youth aged 10-14. It will raise awareness about topics like climate change and watershed conservation and offer potential career opportunities in an environmentally-themed field. ($2,921)



Lehigh County Conservation District: Integrate an outdoor living lab, with weekly hands-on lessons into a new high school Environmental Science class. ($3,000) 



Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation – Create a virtual reality curriculum including a tour through the Askam Abandoned Mine Drainage Treatment System. ($13,879)

Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School – Establishing pollinator and birding garden to be used as outdoor learning areas. Teachers, students, and the public are invited to participate in tours, speaking engagements, and workshops. ($20,000)   


Monroe County Conservation District – Host multiple interactive educational fields days for 10th graders, and water resource workshops to Master Watershed Stewards as well as local Envirothon teams. Create an educational video to be used by local developers and municipalities. ($10,589)


Pike County Conservation District (2 Projects): Host multiple Leaf Pack Network workshops to address non-point source water pollution for educators and high school students. ($2,562); install two native plant garden and hold pollinator workshops. ($2,908) 



Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation: Two-day Lake School. Provides hands-on training and education in monitoring lake water quality for private homeowner associations. ($19,983)



Wyoming County Conservation district: Two (2) field experiences for students (grades 4 and up) Rotational stations will cover a variety topics, including PA agriculture, soils and water quality, wildlife and forestry, as well as climate change. ($2,148)   

Multiple Counties

Pennsylvania Envirothon is a project that encourages high-school students to investigate environmental issues and equips them with tools to create healthy communities through stewardship activities. Teachers and students interact at the national, state, and county levels. Analyze the current program to identify ways to increase teacher and youth engagement in environmental justice areas. ($65,710)

The Pennsylvania State University hosts a 20-hour Environmentalstewardship Program, which will create 16 trainees in Blair County, Chester, Lackawanna and Susquehanna. Participants will also be able to lead workshops and implement group projects. ($19,525)



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