Deadline Approaches for Pennsylvania to Grow Greener

Local community and watershed groups in Pennsylvania have until Feb. 11 to apply for the first round of "Growing Greener" grants.

Pennsylvania community groups who want to make a difference in the environment won't want to miss out on this opportunity.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary James M. Seif reminded local community and watershed groups that time is running out to apply for the first round of "Growing Greener" grants.

Gov. Tom Ridge's plan "Growing Greener" will invest nearly $650 million in preserving farmland and protecting open spaces; cleaning up abandoned mines and restoring watersheds; helping communities address land use and provide upgraded water and sewer system.

Grants are expected to go to various groups in order to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

The deadline for grant applications is Feb. 11.

"We've received a number of applications so far from a variety of eligible organizations, including communities and watershed groups," said Seif. "We've even received applications electronically for the first time through DEP's Web site."

DEP will accept all applications that are postmarked by midnight on Feb. 11, so there is still time to submit an application.

In January, DEP hosted a series of grant-writing workshops throughout the state to assist perspective applicants. More than 1,300 people attended the 15 sessions.

"The historic amount of money made available through 'Growing Greener' is just the first step in protecting and restoring our environment," said Ridge. "Our goal now is to get that money into the hands of these concerned citizens, where it can do the most good."

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