Daley announces 2 state grants for environmental initiatives in Montgomery County

MERION STATION, June 6 – State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, today announced that Lower Merion Conservancy and Riverbend Environmental Education Center were each awarded state funding to help promote environmental education and stewardship in the region.

Lower Merion Conservancy was awarded $30,000 for its “Connecting our Community to a Salty Situation for Better Water Quality and Climate Resilience,” which seeks to engage students and teachers in water-pollution lessons and in real-time stream data collection. The program also will offer public workshops and hold planting events in the community.

Riverbend Environmental Education Center was awarded $29,881 for its “Nature Based STEM Community of Practice for MWEEs” program, which uses the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience framework and provides support to teachers as they incorporate environmental education lessons and activities into their curriculum.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection awarded $980,256 in Environmental Education Grants to 56 projects statewide.

“Kudos to Lower Merion Conservancy and Riverbend Environmental Education Center for their hard work applying for these grants and showing that Montgomery County is a great place to invest in new environmental initiatives,” Daley said. “Elevating our environmental stewardship shows that we’re a community who cares about our environment and public health for generations to come.”

Earlier this year, Riverbend was honored to be recognized by the Pennsylvania Environmental Education Association as the 2024 Meaningful Watershed Education Experience Partner of Excellence for its "Nature-based STEM Community of Practice" teacher professional development program.

“We offer this year-long program free of charge to K-8 teachers working in Title 1 schools in the School District of Philadelphia, Norristown Area School District and Upper Darby School District,” said Riverbend Education Operations Manager Suzanne Safran. “Teachers gain knowledge and experience doing science investigations with their students outdoors as they work side-by-side with Riverbend educators learning how to implement a MWEE. The results have been exciting investigations and projects based on each classroom's interests: native plant gardens, recycling, migratory bird habitat improvements, interpretive signage for schoolyard habitats, and more. 

“We can only offer this exciting program with financial support from outside organizations. We look forward to this collaboration and to supporting the exciting projects that will emerge as a result of the Nature-Based STEM Community of Practice next year.”