PRC is honored to have been awarded two grants in August in support of the organization’s environmental justice work throughout the commonwealth.
A nearly $300,000, two-year grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will fund PRC’s programs to build green stormwater infrastructure and community capacity to sustain and grow the initiative; while an almost $20,000 grant from American Water Charitable Foundation will support watershed education, including rain barrel distribution. Both grants will support projects in areas that are underserved and disproportionately suffer from flooding.
“Communities of color and low-income residents overwhelmingly feel the impacts of increased stormwater and flooding in their environmental health and quality of life,” said Darren Spielman, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Resources Council. “With the goal of making our educational outcomes more equitable and accessible, we are grateful for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and American Water Charitable Foundation’s generosity and look forward to using these funds to reach a diverse set of Pennsylvanians with educational resources, while building capacity and streamlining stormwater management.”
PRC already has established programs for green stormwater infrastructure, flood prevention, rain barrel dispersion, and education through workshop-based education that combines needed information on watershed conservation, water pollution, and hazardous chemicals along with the tools necessary to immediately apply those skills for enhanced watershed stewardship. Financial support allows PRC to extend educational and household hazardous waste disposal offerings to a greater number of households, and to especially target underserved communities by lowering cost barriers to lower-income households.
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s support will allow the Growing Greener Communities Program to strengthen the partnership of organizations working towards a greener suburban landscape, streamlining stormwater work, and increasing capacity to respond to increasing requests while building technical tools and resources for other groups, organizations, and communities to replicate it. Pennsylvania Resources Council, Eastern Delaware County Stormwater Collaborative, Darby Creek Valley Association, and Lower Merion Conservancy will build capacity by combining several of their programs into the Growing Greener Communities Program to streamline stormwater work. The Program will work to address the inequalities present in large parts of the project area and connect upstream and downstream communities together through small scale projects.
American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program aims to provide equitable and accessible projects and programs focused on clean water, conservation, environmental education and water-based recreation. This grant aligns with its mission to support high-impact projects and initiatives that further support ESG (environment, social and governance), as well as inclusion, diversity, and equity.
“The American Water Charitable Foundation is committed to participating and investing in programs that benefit communities served by American Water,” said Carrie Williams, president, American Water Charitable Foundation. “We are proud to further American Water’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor and good steward of the environment.”
PRC will distribute rain barrels free of charge to workshop participants to foster the implementation of water conservation and stormwater management practices in PA American Water service areas. In addition to valuable information on basic stormwater runoff and watershed conservation, participants will learn the benefits of installing a rain barrel at home along with the connection between common consumer habits and water quality, including the impact of hazardous chemicals on water pollution.
“Our individual and collective behaviors in the materials and products used daily is essential to promoting stewardship of PA’s water and water systems, and only a well-informed populace will take the steps necessary to reduce pollution and flooding in regional watersheds,” said PRC Eastern Program Director Diana Andrejczak. “Funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation and American Water Charitable Foundation underscores the importance of environmental education and resources for communities.”