Since its inception in 2006, The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund has enabled local organizations and governments to complete important work throughout the watershed. Each year, our grants team takes on the difficult job of prioritizing applications and selecting the grant winners. As you can see from the stories below, project run the gamut from rain gardens to equipment installations, all with the goal of improving the infrastructure and health of the watershed.
2022 Grant Award Tour
As development increases along the entirety of the Schuylkill River Watershed, so does the danger of damaging stormwater runoff impacting the communities, the residents, and the river. More than half of rainfall in developed areas can become runoff after a storm, pushing debris and pollutants into the floodwaters that eventually reach the river. The 2022 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund’s grantees will be tackling this issue through various projects thanks to the generosity and commitment of corporate donors such as Constellation Nuclear, Aqua Essentials, and PA American Water.
Each year, before we announce the current grant awards, Schuylkill River Greenways and the Schuylkill Action Network offer a bus tour event to showcase what previous grantees have accomplished. The tour began at Charlestown Playhouse with their rain garden. This beautiful garden, designed and installed by Don Pell Gardens, provides bioretention and storm water drainage through hundreds of native plants and shrubs. the project has improved water quality and habitat, and created educational opportunities for students at the school.
The next stop on the tour was Jacob Reiff Park in Lower Salford Township, where Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy completed their stream bank stabilization project this past summer. The project had two goals” to restore 275 feet of stream bank along the west branch of Skippack Creek and to prevent future erosion through 1/25 acres of riparian forest buffer planting. This Conservancy worked in partnership with Lower Salford Township to complete this ambitious project.
After lunch, the group visited a very different, but important project in the Borough of Pottstown. With an aging water infrastructure, the borough was able to install water quality inlet filters at Hanover and Airy Streets (pictured) and another system at Laurel and S. Washington Streets. These filters are designed to capture trash, litter, debris, and sediment which will in turn improve the quality of water running to the Manatawny Creek and eventually the Schuylkill River.
The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund is the result of a unique public/private partnership. Funders include: Exelon Generation's Limerick Generating Station, the Philadelphia Water Department, Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, MOMs Organic Market, Aqua PA and DTE Energy. A number of partners oversee the fund and its projects. The grants are administered by the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, which is managed by the non-profit Schuylkill River Greenway Association. All grant recipients are carefully selected by an advisory committee consisting of:
- Exelon Generation
- Delaware River Basin Commission
- Philadelphia Water Department
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
- Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area
- Schuylkill Action Network
As a significant provider of clean energy in our area, we at Limerick Generating Station are committed to the betterment of our community and surrounding environment. We are proud to partner with Schuylkill River Greenways as we all strive towards strengthening the natural beauty and health of our local ecosystem.- Frank Sturniolo, Limerick Generating Station Site Vice President
The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund provides grants to government agencies and non-profit organizations for projects that improve the quality of water in the watershed. The grants focus on three major sources of pollution: stormwater run-off, agricultural pollution and abandoned mine drainage.
The annual grant program begins each year in January with funding typically being awarded in May or June. The goal of the Restoration Fund is to support projects in the Schuylkill River watershed that are consistent with restoration and water management goals for the entire basin. Any questions about the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund or the grant submission process should be directed to Tim Fenchel at email@example.com.
The fund was created in 2006 through a unique public/private partnership between Exelon Nuclear, the Delaware River Basin Commission and the Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area. Since being established in 2006, the fund has distributed more than $4.6 million–and leveraged another $5 million–for 121 projects that protect and restore the Schuylkill River.
The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund is funded through public/private partnerships and relies on donations from numerous organizations and individuals. Click here to donate to the fund.
SRG distributed $300,000 in grants for restoration projects across 5 counties in the Schuylkill River Watershed
As development increases along the entirety of the Schuylkill River Watershed, so does the danger of damaging stormwater runoff impacting the communities, the residents, and the river. More than half of rainfall in developed areas can become runoff after a storm, pushing debris and pollutants into the floodwaters that eventually reach the river.
The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund’s grantees are tackling this issue through various projects, thanks to the generosity and commitment of corporate donors such as Constellation Nuclear. “As a 24/7 carbon-free energy producer, Limerick Generating Station is committed to provide reliable, clean energy to move us all toward a safer, more sustainable future,” said Mike Gillin, Limerick Site Vice President. “We are proud to continue our partnership with Schuylkill River Greenways to drive local environmental progress to make the strongest possible impact, today and tomorrow.”
“Each year, the SRRF awards grants which allow for the implementation of incredible projects that improve water quality of the Schuylkill River by addressing sources of pollution and protecting natural areas. Honoring its commitment to ensuring safe, high quality drinking water for the city’s residents, Philadelphia Water Department proudly contributes funding to the SRRF to help protect water resources throughout the Schuylkill River watershed.” Said Kelly Anderson, Watershed Protection Programs Manager at the Philadelphia Water Department
The grants focus on three major sources of pollution: stormwater runoff, agricultural pollution, and drainage from abandoned mines. Since its inception, the fund has distributed nearly $5 million for over one hundred projects that protect and restore the Schuylkill River in perpetuity.
Showcase guests visited recently completed projects at Charlestown Playhouse, Jacob Reiff Park, and Pottstown Borough viewing projects from rain gardens, to storm runoff mitigation to underground hydronamic separators. The group was treated to lunch, thanks to the Schuylkill Action Network.
The partnership between SRG and major donors funds the innovation and creativity of smaller organizations to address watershed issues at the local level. “At Aqua, we take seriously our mission to protect and provide earth’s most essential resource, and we are proud to partner on this grant program to ensure clean water for our customers and future generations. Congratulations and thank you to the grantees who work to protect the Schuylkill River and its tributary streams,” said Krista Seng of Aqua, and The Essential Foundation.
SRG Distributes $337,500 to water quality improvement projects
The devastating impacts of Hurricane Ida showed the need for restoration projects along local waterways. Towns, homes and businesses near rivers, creeks and streams experienced extreme flooding.
The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area continues to address this need with the distribution of $337,500 in grants this year to seven projects
helping to improve the region’s water conditions and natural environment. The projects will improve water conditions through activities such as streambank fencing, mine drainage, and native plant installations to improve areas prone to flooding.
Since it was established in 2006, the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund has supported 121 environmental projects with an investment of $4.6 million.
“The mission of the fund is to restore natural spaces in order to improve the ecosystem,” said Schuylkill River Greenways Education Director Sarah Crothers. “One of the main causes of major flooding, other than increased amounts of precipitation, is the lack of natural absorbent surfaces.”
Crothers explained man-made surfaces such as concrete don’t soak up water. Natural buffers and landscaping like native trees, shrubs and grasses act as a sponge when it rains.
“The Schuylkill River Restoration fund is made possible by all of our generous partners who recognize the importance of the awarded projects. Once implemented, projects have an immediate positive impact on the watershed,” said Schuylkill River Greenways NHA Deputy Director Tim Fenchel.
Exelon has provided more than $3.1 million to the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund since it was founded; the Philadelphia Water Department has contributed $1.2 million over the past twelve years; Aqua PA has donated more than $225,000; and MOM’s Organic Market has donated approximately $10,000.
Press Event & Project Tour took place on Sept. 17, 2021 in Philadelphia
Schuylkill River Greenways, Schuylkill Action Network, Exelon Generation, Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Water Department, Aqua Pennsylvania, the Environmental Protection Agency and the PA Department of Environmental Protection will held a showcase on Sept. 17, 2021, in Philadelphia to announce the recipients of the 2021 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund. Guests of the showcase took a tour of agricultural projects at Northwestern Stables including runoff and paddock improvements.
In 2020, a total of $307,695 was awarded to nine projects in four Pennsylvania counties that will improve water quality in the Schuylkill River, a source of drinking water for almost 2 million people. The Schuylkill River Restoration Fund also celebrated 15 years. For the past 15 years, through the generous contributions of our program funders, the leadership of the Advisory Committee and the hard work of our applicants and partners, the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund has supported over 120 projects for the conservation and preservation of the Schuylkill River.
The Schuylkill River Greenways National Heritage Area, Schuylkill Action Network, Exelon Generation, Delaware River Basin Commission, Philadelphia Water Department and Aqua Pennsylvania held a virtual press event on Sept. 10, 2020 to announce recipients of the 2020 Schuylkill River Restoration Fund. The online event included presentations by key partners, as well as several premier project videos. The video showcases were of projects in the Schuylkill River Watershed ranging from stormwater projects along the Schuylkill River Trail, to a stream restoration in the Tulpehocken Creek, to coal silt remediation in the headwaters of Schuylkill
- Harold Adams Farm (2006)
- Unami Creek Stormwater Remediation (2006)
- Arthur Luft Farm (2007)
- Deb Woolf Farm (2007)
- Schuylkill Headwaters Assoc., AMD Remediation (2007)
- Wheeler Flume AMD Remediation (2009)
- Schroeder Farm (2008)
- Aiden Lair Park Stormwater Project (2010)
- Greening Greenfield (2011)
- Russell Guntz Farm (2012)