Lehigh Valley Greenways MINI GRANTS
Stimulus for collaborative action to implement ready-to-go conservation and outdoor recreation projectsApply for a Mini Grant
Stimulus for collaborative action to implement ready-to-go conservation and outdoor recreation projectsApply for a Mini Grant
The success of Lehigh Valley Greenways is based in large part on the effective working relationship between the state lead and funder, PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR), and local lead and administrative entity, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L), and the network of partners from non-profit organizations, county and municipal government. This three-tiered approach, coordinated by D&L, allows partners to target funding, pool resources, and move projects forward.
Perhaps the most high profile contribution of the conservation landscape has been its awarding and administration of Lehigh Valley Greenways mini grants, which have spurred dozens of innovative projects across the region. From urban forestry initiatives and trail design to signage and technical publications, Lehigh Valley Greenways mini grants assist non-profits, municipalities, and educational institutions to accomplish a variety of projects to benefit residents of the Lehigh Valley.
The D&L and DCNR provide technical assistance to grantees throughout the process, helping our partners navigate reimbursements, make contact with state agencies, and implement sustainable policies. In short, we ensure that any project worth funding succeeds to the fullest extent possible and follows the highest standards for sustainability.
“The Conservation Landscape Initiative made a big difference here, it has brought funding and focus to a region that has a lot of potential and enabled us to develop that potential in a far shorter time period than we would be able to do otherwise.” – Jan Creedon, former Director of General Services for Lehigh County
Lehigh Valley Wide Projects
The Color of Nature program trains conservation leaders from communities of color to serve as role models and lead nature programs. This grant helped expand the program with two environmental mini day camps, 20 park programs, 64 after school club programs, and 12 summer school programs for Allentown youth.
Over 250 watershed stakeholders came together on October 13, 2015 at Lehigh University to engage with speakers on a variety of water resource topics from green infrastructure to amphibian ecology to riparian buffers and drinking water. New this year were a landscape track for professionals and a student networking session.
Bushkill Township targeted 150 feet of severely impacted Sober’s Run streambank for restoration. They installed natural boulders and two rock vane deflectors in an effort to stop erosion of the streambank and stabilized the upper streambanks with native vegetation.
During the second year of the program, LGNC continued to fund well-designed native plant landscaping projects that benefit the local wildlife and ecosystems, while at the same time offering a healthier, attractive landscaping alternative for residents and communities. They also developed a pocket buyer’s guide for native plants and organized five native plant workshops.
This grant was crucial to installing a raised deck observation/teaching area and 750 feet of connecting trail to link the barn and parking area with the observation deck, wetlands and native plant area.
This project created a summary of the 2014 Lehigh Valley Return on Environment report. Outreach was provided to municipalities and the general public through presentations, yard signs, factsheet handouts, and full copies of the report.
The Keystone Active Zone (KAZ) Passport encourages people to get outside and active at close-to-home parks, trails, and outdoor events, highlighting the D&L Trail and anthracite heritage. In 2014, the passport’s focus on the D&L Trail promoted existing trail miles and the future trail extension through bicycle rides and walks attracting nearly 3,000 attendees.
This grant funded part of the training for a class of 18 Master Watershed Stewards that will continue as knowledgeable volunteers that can reach out to the adult and school-age population to encourage stewardship and educate the community to increase the health of the Lehigh River watershed.
The Mill Street Crossing project enhanced the visibility and connection of the Delaware River, Bristol Marsh, Delaware Canal and Towpath (D&L Trail) and location of historic railroad and trolley line crossings. An abandoned corner property was spruced up with signs, pervious pathways for pedestrian connections, and native plants for beautification and ecological restoration.
The Color of Nature program trains conservation leaders from communities of color to serve as role models and lead nature programs. This grant helped recruit and train two additional leaders and fund 25 summer park programs, 7 school ecology club programs, and 4 family oriented nature walks.
“Heritage Conservancy developed a wetland ecosystem teaching guide to supplement their established experiential-learning education program at Bristol Marsh. Initially, 300 Bristol Marsh: Learning Beyond the Classroom guides were printed and distributed to 48 schools with digital copies available.
Download Teachers Guide | Bristol Marsh Nature Preserve Virtual Tour
Throughout the Lehigh Valley, the 2014 class of Master Watershed Stewards installed three rain gardens, eight educational signs, and 150 feet of riparian buffer at the Atlas Dam removal site, as well as, creating two educational displays on groundwater and aquaponics.
Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA worked with partners to gather trail use data with three trail counter devices installed along the D&L Trail and a paper survey to collect trail economic impact data. Results showed the Lehigh Tannery trail section had the highest number of users reaching over 1,000 users/week in the spring.
Upper Saucon Township, with Wildlands Conservancy as a consultant, identified parcels along South Mountain that could provide access points and additional acreage to South Mountain Preserve. Wildlands performed landowner outreach, successfully made contact with approximately half the property owners, and a 4.2 acre parcel was acquired.
This program aims to educate the public about the benefits of using native plants in residential landscaping. The first year focused on installing educational native plant gardens and signs at public locations and hosting three native plant workshops.
Borough of Hellertown planted native trees, shrubs, and groundcover to re-vegetate the bank of Saucon Creek through Water Street Park and create rain gardens in accordance with the 2013 master park plan.
This grant helped fund the completion of Erosion & Sedimentation Control Plan review, Phase I Archeological Survey report, and securing NPDES permits to prepare for constructing 1.9 miles of Jordan Creek Greenway west of Covered Bridge Park in South Whitehall Township.
Lehigh Valley Adventure Camp Phase IV was held June 18-22, 2012 offering a free, weeklong outdoor camp with meaningful outdoor recreation activities for 15 campers from Bethlehem incorporating environmental, cultural and historical activities.
D&L made updates to the Lehigh Valley Greenways page on their website to accept applications for Lehigh Valley Greenways mini-grants through the website.
Lehigh Gap Nature Center hosted the first Kittatinny Science Summit focused on identifying researchers working in the Kittatinny Corridor, connecting researchers for collaboration, and identifying gaps in the data and research.
Bushkill Township completed a streambank restoration along 150 feet of severely eroded bank along Sober’s Run in the northern portion of Jacobsburg State Park.
City of Easton resurfaced about 3,000 ft of the D&L Trail from Abbott Street Lock to the South 3rd Street Bridge and the main D&L trailhead parking lot in Hugh Moore Park.
Heritage Conservancy and Bushkill Township met with landowners and provided a series of workshops with information about the economic, recreation, health and education benefits of trails with an end goal of finding a potential route for connecting Jacobsburg State Park to the Blue Mountain.
The D&L Trail: Weissport Trailhead was releveled and improved with new asphalt parking lot surface to eliminate standing water, potholes and drainage issues and make it safer and easier to access the parking and D&L Trail.
The Borough of Lehighton developed a trailhead along the D&L Trail on land donated by the Lehighton Sewer Authority. The project added ADA parking, interpretive and directional signs, and a pavilion.
Working with local and regional stakeholders, PA Environmental Council (PEC) devised a plan to solve the Morrisville Borough Bridge Street crossing along the D&L Trail. The feasibility study will guide the implementation and construction to create a safer road crossing and connect the trail.
Wildlands Conservancy developed and facilitated six experimental environmental education activities, presented 51 in-school programs, and led 2 clean-ups in Lechauweki Park with Bethlehem Area School District’s Fountain Hill Elementary School.
Lehigh Valley Adventure Camp Phase V was held June 17-21, 2013 offering a free, weeklong outdoor camp for 16 teenagers from Southside Bethlehem incorporating environmental, cultural and historical activities
Lehigh Gap Nature Center hosted the Kittatinny Science and Research Summit II focused on “closing the gaps” in research and monitoring data that is critical to conservation. A variety of state officials, universities and non-profit conservation partners were among the 65 attendees.
The Conservation Diversity Initiative was launched to help connect people of color with nature by training conservation leaders to build capacity within communities of color to lead nature programs. This grant helped recruit and train 8 leaders for bilingual family nature walks and environmental education programs at local parks.
Lehigh Valley Greenways is one of seven Conservation Landscapes supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Greenways Partnership includes more than 25 organizations and municipal partners dedicated to the conservation of and connection to natural resources in the Lehigh Valley region.
The Lehigh Valley Greenways Mini Grant Program is a reimbursement grant program funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and administered by the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L). The purpose of the mini grant program is to inspire collaborative, strategic approaches to regional conservation and/or outdoor recreation opportunities and to implement ready-to-go projects that protect and promote the natural resources of the Lehigh Valley and advance the goals of Lehigh Valley Greenways.
Lehigh Valley communities are linked to greenways, trails, and outdoor experiences resulting in stronger local economies and improved public health, green infrastructure and natural resources.
Eligible project types are educational programs/workshops, special purpose studies, or implementation projects. Eligible projects should advance the Lehigh Valley Greenways vision and goals and be consistent with previously completed local, county, and regional plans such as open space, greenway, trail, recreation, comprehensive, watershed and/or rivers conservation plans. The list of plans and recommendations directly addressed by the proposed project should be included in the application narrative.
Projects should be single-year projects with a secure 50% or greater match and must be located in the Lehigh Valley region (Lehigh or Northampton County). Please note that projects along the D&L Trail in Carbon and Luzerne Counties should apply to Pocono Forest and Waters Conservation Landscape for mini grant funding.
Lehigh Valley Greenways mini grants will not fund membership drives or fundraising, real estate acquisition or property easements, or any projects not entirely related to at least one of the four goals of Lehigh Valley Greenways.
Ineligible grant expenditures include:
Each applicant is limited to a maximum of two project applications per grant round. Applicants with multiple project ideas are encouraged to contact Claire Sadler for advice on prioritizing your projects. Applications that have been funded by another Conservation Landscape are ineligible. Applicants are strongly discouraged from repeatedly applying for mini grant funding to support the same project.
January 30, 2017 – Application period opens
February 17, 2017, 1:00-3:00pm – Pre-application meeting at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center
**All potential applicants must attend this meeting or schedule a separate meeting with Claire Sadler to discuss your projects. Sending a representative to the pre-application meeting is strongly preferred so you are present for the presentation and can learn from the questions of other applicants.
March 3, 2017 at 4:00pm– Application period closes
**Applicants are required to submit an online application by 4:00pm at http://lvgreenways.org/mini-grants/apply-for-a-mini-grant/
March and April 2017 – Projects are reviewed and selected by committee
April 2017 – Mini grant awards are announced and grant agreements mailed
May 1, 2017 – Project start date *only if agreements are signed and returned to D&L
May 11, 2017 – Celebration of mini grant awards held
July 31, 2018 – Project completion and closeout
Grant awards are made on a competitive basis. Applications will be initially screened to ensure all application requirements have been submitted. Then applications will be reviewed by a small committee of current Lehigh Valley Greenways partners who meet DCNR conflict of interest requirements and ranked based on:
The review committee reserves the right to request additional information to supplement the submitted application as needed. Applications will be listed as SELECTED for funding, NOT SELECTED for funding, or held as a HIGH VALUE PROJECT to be considered for funding if resources become available before the next mini grant application process.
Final applications must be submitted no later than 4:00pm on Friday, March 3, 2017 through the online application on this website.
Eligible projects are single-year education, planning and implementation projects located within Northampton and Lehigh Counties .
Grant requests are limited to minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $10,000.
For large projects ($20,000 and greater) and land acquisition projects, apply directly to DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/grants/ and contact Lorne Possinger, DCNR Regional Advisor
Eligible local match can include:
Cash match should be secured and available when you list the match on your grant application.
No, the mini grant program is funded through a DCNR funding source, and you cannot match DCNR funds to DCNR funds.
All applicants must adhere to the DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) requirements for eligibility, eligible and ineligible costs, and post-completion mini grant requirements. These include but are not limited to: