The Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence is open to any Pennsylvania business, farm, government agency, educational institution, non-profit organization and individual that has created, or participated in, the development of a project that promotes environmental stewardship in Pennsylvania. Applications can be submitted to DEP from October 13, 2020 through December 21, 2020.
Application information can be obtained by clicking here: https://www.dep.pa.gov/About/Awards/EnvironmentalExcellence/Pages/default.aspx
2020 award winners from NEPA include:
Geisinger Catawissa Clinic Photovoltaic Project
Geisinger Medical Center commissioned its second renewable energy installation—a 39 kW, 135-solar-panel project on the roof of the Catawissa Clinic. Geisinger’s partners, Zartman Construction, built a south-facing awning that includes seven solar panels. This provides window shading, which will reduce the overall cooling load on the building. The system will generate over half the electric for the 5,000-square-foot, 100-year-old building. The solar array can assist in making our communities healthier by generating clean power. The project is a testament to the environmental commitment Geisinger has to its community. By offsetting 46,163 kWh, the array provides the following environmental benefits by decreasing:
- SOx emissions by .18 tons annually
- NOx emissions by .04 tons annually
- Carbon Dioxide emissions by 24.91 tons annually
Preservation and Restoration of the Lehigh River Headwaters: Klondike Acquisition and Dam Removal
The 500-acre Klondike property adds to a larger complex of more than 45,000 acres of contiguous protected land. In 2013, Wildlands Conservancy (WC) was selected by the William Penn Foundation to lead a targeted land protection effort in the Upper Lehigh watershed as part of the Delaware River Watershed Initiative (DRWI). The “Klondike Ice Dam” was built on the Lehigh roughly 70 years ago and was considered high-hazard. In the early 1990s, the dam was enhanced in order to facilitate a proposed lakefront development. Because WC had been conducting continuous water quality monitoring on the Klondike property, they knew that the Lehigh River was being degraded by the 18-foot-high dam. As the river entered the dam impoundment, it became stagnant; water temperature increased, and dissolved oxygen decreased sharply. In October 2019, WC removed the Klondike dam and restored free-flowing conditions to the high-value Lehigh River headwaters and eliminated a substantial public safety concern. The water is now cold and shaded by an expansive riparian buffer; once smothered and degraded wetlands are regenerating, and wildlife is returning.
NATURE NUGGET: AARP Magazine hosts a “Money Saver” section that included a recent “They Want Your Stuff!” page. Your used appliance can be donated to many Habitat for Humanity ReStores which sell construction supplies and household goods and can pick up large appliances. You can also drop off small appliances and other items. Check out: https://www.habitat.org/ for more information.
“Porcupine Pat” McKinney is environmental education coordinator for the Schuylkill Conservation District and provides programming for people of all ages with an emphasis on schools, public programming and nature center development. “Porcupine Pat” hails from Marion, Ohio and has a BS with Distinction in Natural Resources – Environmental Interpretation from Ohio State. He is a recipient of the prestigious Sandy Cochran Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Education from the PA Forestry Association, the Schuylkill Pride Award, and the PAEE “Outstanding Environmental Educator Award.”