PRC, the oldest grassroots environmental organization in the commonwealth, has been awarded a $244,475 Growing Greener Grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The grant will allow PRC and its partners to support an array of watershed restoration projects in southeastern Pa. The Growing Greener fund is the single largest source of state investment to address environmental concerns in Pennsylvania.
“We are honored to be selected for this Growing Greener funding to support the critical watershed work we do with our partners,” said Darren Spielman, Executive Director of PRC. “PRC is working on the ground in Pennsylvania’s communities every day to improve the environment, protect and restore our natural resources, and safeguard the ecosystems which are critical to biodiversity and human health. Watershed restoration is an important element of this effort.”
PRC and its partners will utilize the grant to help fund the Growing Greener Communities project. This project will focus on reducing residential lawn grasses by installing small scale GSI, such as rain gardens, to increase habitat and improve infiltration within the densely developed watershed. The end goal is to help improve water quality in the Delaware River Watershed while helping protect it from the effects of climate change and addressing 21st century environmental needs.
Through the Growing Greener Communities project, PRC and its partners plan to construct 75 new rain gardens and bioswales, plant 200 trees, and install 20 flow-through planters. These projects are expected to capture more than 6 million gallons of stormwater annually.
“These strategically located projects impact the watershed both upstream and downstream and involve typically underserved areas that disproportionately suffer from flooding and stormwater runoff,” explained PRC Eastern Program Director Diana Andrejczak. “The grant funding will enable us to launch an apprenticeship program to expand programs into new communities and to create a guidance-based website to enable other organizations to access a replicable model for use in starting their watershed programs.”
PRC will partner with the Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative, Darby Creek Valley Association, the Friends of the Heinz Refuge, the Hav-A-Rain Garden Program, and the Upper Darby Rain Garden Program on the project.