Governor’s Awards Recognize Environmental Excellence Across PA

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) will join the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in recognizing recipients of the 2024 Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence on Tuesday, April 30, 2024 at the Hilton Harrisburg (One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA).

The Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence are awarded each year by DEP, celebrating efforts throughout the state to improve environmental quality.

This year, DEP will recognize 22 schools, businesses, and community organizations around the Commonwealth. Projects were evaluated on criteria including environmental protection, innovation, partnership, economic impact, consideration of climate change, sustainability, environmental justice, and outcomes achieved.

DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley will present this year’s awards and deliver keynote remarks. Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources also will be in attendance and will be speaking at the dinner.

“This year’s Environmental Excellence honorees showcase the innovative ways we can protect our environment and shape a more sustainable future here in Pennsylvania,” Shirley said in a press release about the event. “Together we will spur the next generation of environmental stewards and these projects represent our ability to work together and preserve Pennsylvania’s natural resources.”

UpstreamPGH will receive a Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence at the 2024 PEC Harrisburg Dinner for its Wilkinsburg Stormwater Resiliency Project.

The awarded projects span the state. In southwestern Pennsylvania, the water management nonprofit UpstreamPGH was recognized for its Wilkinsburg Stormwater Resiliency Project. Located in an environmental justice community, the project aims to improve water quality in Nine Mile Run, a tributary of the Monongahela River, by reducing stormwater and sewage entering the stream.

East Buffalo Township, in central PA, partnered with Merril Linn Conservancy, Union County Conservation District, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Trout Unlimited, PA Fish and Boat Commission, DEP, and local volunteers to acquire and restore Turtle Creek Park. Restoration included stabilizing the streambank, reducing erosion, enhancing water quality, improving fish habitat, and establishing a native tree nursery. The 79-acre public park features fields, wetlands, woodlands and streams, and is designated as an open space passive-use area that aims to offer “Recreation for All.”

Penn State Master Gardeners help with a native pollinator garden at Dingman Township Park.

In northeast PA, Pike County Conservation District partnered with Dingman Township, the Pike County Master Gardeners, and McLane Associates to develop two native plant pollinator gardens at Dingman Township Park. The project also included educational signage about identifying pollinators, their benefits, and how visitors can take to encourage pollinators on their own properties.

West Chester University celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Robert B. Gordon Natural Area for Environmental Studies (GNA) with the 2023 Forest Festival. More than 200 university and community members attended the event, during which staff unveiled new educational signage made in collaboration with the Delaware Tribe of Indians and their sister nations, the Delaware Nation, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians. The GNA continues to provide crucial habitat for local wildlife, native plants, and is treasured by researchers and casual visitors alike.

We hope you will join us in celebrating all of this year’s award winners. To register, click here.