Malagari celebrates all-ages environmental initiatives

SOUDERTON, June 1 – State Rep. Steve Malagari, D-Montgomery, expressed his support for Environmental Education Grants Program funding of three projects in Montgomery County.

“This is just the start of the changes we hope to see in Montco, but it’s a big start,” said Malagari. “In creating a better world for the next generation, it is important to involve those who will be the stewards of our land in a few years. The environmental and safety issues that our communities will face from climate change and water pollution are undeniable, and we need every generation in the fight.”

The Environmental Education Grant Program supports projects that engage youth or adults who live, work, or attend school in Environmental Justice areas. It also prioritizes projects that educate participants to develop practical solutions and take action to help their communities become more climate-change resilient or reduce water pollution to improve local water quality.

The following programs received funding:

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit: $29,789

Funding will be used to create an environmental education mobile lab to provide authentic local field experiences for students. The mobile lab will offer at least two visits to an estimated 20-25 schools.

Riverbend Environmental Education Center: $28,780

Utilizing the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience framework, Riverbend Educational Center will conduct a summer institute for elementary and middle school teachers. The project will engage students in an outdoor experience at their school leading to a student-driven action project.

Souderton Area School District: $4,952

To return some of the land back to native species to support the environment and encourage climate-change awareness, students will participate in lessons, gather native seeds, propagate the seeds, prepare the ground, and plant seedlings around campus.

The Environmental Education Grants Program mandates setting aside 5% of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania. To date, DEP has awarded $13.3 million in Environmental Education Grant funding to support 2,199 projects.