Nurture Nature Center awarded two new grants to support programs and education about the local environment

Nurture Nature Center was recently awarded two new grants that support programs and education about the local environment.  In April 2022, NNC received a 2022-2023 Environmental Education Grant for $20,000 from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).  The PA DEP awarded $632,897 in Environmental Education Grants to support 63 projects addressing environmental justice, climate change, and water quality. Through this funding, NNC will be expanding the Watershed-Friendly Property Program to include urban areas and larger properties/institutional properties. NNC will work with partners, Penn State Extension Master Watershed Stewards and the Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley, to develop the new applications and conduct outreach to spread the word about the program.

Making larger properties watershed-friendly is imperative for watershed health due to the large amount of acreage they comprise. Additionally, institutional properties tend to have highly manicured landscapes with non-native grasses requiring significant maintenance through mowing and pesticide and fertilizer applications contributing to water quality issues, among other impacts.  By taking action to make these properties more watershed friendly, the health of the watershed and those that live in it will be improved, in addition to cost and time savings for the institutions. In urban environments, there are many individuals who want to contribute to watershed health but have limited property to do so, therefore creating unique situations for education and certification. Urban residents can contribute to watershed health through their waste management practices, among other behavioral activities.

The expanded program will include specific applications for these new property types and a new website hosting all available applications and resources. Follow NNC and check back here for updates about the new expanded program.

In April 2022, NNC also received a Kiwanis Foundation of Easton Award for a Youth Impact Grant. NNC will use the $1,500 grant to support development of a new and innovative program that gets local youth outdoors to learn about and connect with their local environment. The program will include opportunities for youth to learn about gardening in NNC’s Urban Recycle Garden, solar energy through hands-on demonstrations, and nature journaling through experiential learning. NNC will connect with the Easton Area Community Center and the Boys & Girls Club of Easton to extend the program’s outreach and impact.

Gabi Sullivan accepts a Kiwanis Foundation of Easton Award for a Youth Impact Grant for Nurture Nature Center