Grants Available for Allegheny River of the Year Events

| April 1, 2017

Allegheny-RiverWARREN CO., Pa. (EYT) – As part of Pa.’s 2017 River of the Year Celebration for the Allegheny River, Penn Soil Resource Conservation & Development will accept applications for Mini-Grants of up to $500.00 each from qualified applicants to co-sponsor activities, events, or educational programming associated with the Allegheny River.

Penn Soil RC&D Council reserves the right to select the most appropriate applications for inclusion in the River of the Year Celebration. Penn Soil RC&D may also offer to provide additional in-kind assistance to help publicize or promote your event as part of the overall 2017 PA River of the Year Celebration, whether a grant is awarded or not.

As the organization that nominated the Allegheny River, Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Council, a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving the residents of eight northwestern Pa. counties will receive a $10,000.00 leadership grant from the DCNR and the state Organization of Watersheds and Rivers to help plan and celebrate the River of the Year designation.

“The River of the Year Grant requires us to provide a local cash match to those funds and there are limitations on what the grant funds can be used for, so we are also searching for additional partners who would be interested in co-sponsoring the River of the Year Celebration,” Executive Director Wes Ramsey said. “We invite you to consider becoming a River of the Year Celebration Sponsor by reviewing the enclosed sponsorship materials. Your sponsorship benefits will apply to all River of the Year events occurring after receipt of your sponsorship commitment.

“At the present time, we are aware of at least six events that are already being planned and we anticipate that the number of events could possibly grow to more than 20 events that will occur starting in April and happen throughout this calendar year.”

DCNR and POWR will work with the Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Allegheny River.

Penn Soil RC&D will also coordinate with many partner organizations to manage the 2017 River of the Year celebration over a large geographic area to hold educational and recreational events connecting residents and visitors alike to the value of clean water and the resources provided by a high quality stream such as the Allegheny River.

Every year, thousands of people paddle down this beautiful river, and winning this designation helps us focus more attention on its history; the value of clean water; its biological diversity; the recreational opportunities it provides; and the economic value of the Allegheny River to our region.

Through public educational and recreational events and projects in the coming year, we hope to increase public awareness and participation in activities which will lead to increased stewardship of our natural resources.

Here are the grant guidelines:

Eligible Applicants 

Conservation Districts, Municipalities, municipal agencies, pre-qualified land trusts, and registered charitable organizations tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Eligible Activities, Events, or Educational Programming 

Projects eligible for the mini grant funding must meet the following criteria: The project must take place in the state of PA and provide educational, recreational, or environmental benefits focused on the Allegheny River resources.

The event must be scheduled and held between the dates of May 1 and November 6. Some examples of eligible projects could include educational sojourns, paddling or float trip events, water safety programs, public access area improvements, stream cleanup projects, establishment of riparian buffers, erosion control projects, control of invasive species, fishing derbies, educational programs, water quality monitoring training, etc.

Match Requirement: 

Grant funds reimbursed must be matched dollar for dollar with either cash from other sources, documented volunteer time or a combination of cash and in kind paid or volunteer time documentation.

Volunteer time will be valued at $21.25 per hour for the purposes of this mini grant. Volunteer timesheets and travel expense forms will be provided for your documentation upon notification of a successful grant award.

Eligible Non-cash match includes those services that are directly tied to the project’s development and implementation after a grant has been awarded, and without using them the work would have to be contracted out or paid by other means. Eligible non-cash match or In-kind services must be properly documented.

Eligible Expenses: 

Eligible project expenses may include facility, equipment, or venue rental costs, speaker fees, travel expense, cost of instruction, printing & postage cost, materials, and supplies used in the project, event insurance, necessary professional services, portable sanitation services, signage, and advertising.

Ineligible Expenses: 

It is impossible to list all ineligible items; however, in general, grant funds cannot be used to purchase food and drink, entertainment, t shirts, promotional giveaway items or souvenirs, or tools and equipment that will outlast the event. Grant funds may not be spent for fundraising activities.

Applications will be accepted via regular mail at Penn Soil RC&D Council; 4000 Conewango Avenue; Warren, PA 16365 or via email at the address listed below. The application may be submitted using either the PDF version or the expandable Microsoft Word version. Penn Soil RC&D Council reserves the right to select the most appropriate applications for inclusion in the River of the Year Celebration.

For more information on the Penn Soil RC&D River of the Year Mini-Grant Program in a PDF version Click here

For more information on the Penn Soil RC&D River of the Year Mini-Grant Program in a Microsoft Word version Click here 

For more information or to discuss a potential River of the Year Celebration Event, please contact Wes Ramsey, Executive Director of Penn Soil RC&D via telephone at 814-726-1441 extension 5 or via email at

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