Pennsylvania DCNR: Grants Available to Preserve, Promote Natural, Cultural Assets in the Poconos Region
HARRISBURG, Pa., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan today announced the Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape Conservation Assistance Program has mini-grants available for communities and organizations to protect and promote natural and cultural assets in the northeastern region of the state.
For 2012, up to $100,000 in grants will be available from the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, with a required one-to-one match. The maximum individual grant award offered to applicants is $20,000. The funds are provided through DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program.
“Through these grants, extending back to 2009, local communities have been able to better enhance their sense of place and expand their regional economies by capitalizing on natural resources,” Allan said. “Mini-grants have helped encourage economic development in local communities by funding projects to build trails; conduct regional trail feasibility studies; hold outdoor festivals; develop promotional guides for local agriculture and forest products; and much more.”
The Pocono Forests and Waters initiative is among seven statewide conservation landscape programs overseen by DCNR to engage communities and local partners with state agencies and funding partners. The shared goal: conserve and protect regional natural resources.
The Pocono Forests and Waters Mini-Grant Program was developed and is overseen by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The council is spearheading organizational efforts within the landscape, which covers two distinct areas in Pike, Monroe, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne and Carbon counties. The landscape is noted for a rich and diverse past that includes early Colonial settlements along its rivers and valleys; industrial development and extractive uses; and outdoor leisure and vacation activities.
“The mini-grant program is designed to connect Pocono area public lands — its parks, forests, waterways and game lands — to the local communities through partnerships promoting sound land-use planning, natural resource conservation, and heritage-, cultural- and nature-based recreation,” said Pocono Forest and Waters Coordinator Carol Hussa, with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. “Projects that advance land conservation, trail and greenway connections, revitalizing communities and urban areas, and education and outreach are encouraged to apply.”
Grants ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 will be awarded to projects within the Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape that support and advance the initiative’s goals and priority areas.
Applications are available at www.pecpa.org. Deadline is July 15; grants awarded will be announced Sept. 1; and projects must be completed by Dec. 1, 2013.
Since the mini-grant program began, $161,000 has been awarded with more than $390,000 in matching dollars from grantees.
Media contact: Terry Brady, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources