PA Wilds Mini Grants Awarded

The PA Wilds Team is pleased to announce the awardees of the PA Wilds 2015 Mini-Grant Program.

Community Project Teams that participated in two past workshops offered by the PA Wilds Team, in 2007 and 2012, were invited to apply to the mini-grant program. The 2007 workshop entitled “Balancing Commerce and Nature for Sustainable Community Development” included seven teams of community leaders to address issues of specific concern to their areas and to create “vision to action” plans to guide collaboration among diverse interests in their communities. The 2012 workshop entitled “Connecting Nature, Economy, and Community Character,” included nine teams from several different counties looking to advance sustainable tourism projects important to their areas and that revolve around the region’s natural and cultural assets.

More than $130,000 in funding requests were received during the Mini Grant application period, which closed in early September. The PA Wilds Team had $25,000 total to award, and awarded all of that across five projects, leveraging a total of $45,500 in match contributions – more than the required dollar-for-dollar match.

The awards were:

PA Route 6 – For development of Dark Sky orientation kits with information on the dark skies, maps to the park, sky maps for home viewing, red filters for flashlights and a sticker identifying “star gazers.” The kits will be distributed to Galeton school children, made available at local businesses and at festivals free of charge.

Oh My Stars, Endless Mountains Music Fest – Supports arts and music programming in conjunction with state park programming and events at Cherry Springs State Park, a major attraction in the Pennsylvania Wilds.

Sylvan Heritage Council –This project will cover expenses to professionally landscape the Northern Tier Community Action Corp. building, a historic landmark in the town of Emporium that is important to community revitalization efforts.

Elk County Striders – To support the continued growth of the Bolder Dash, a 20-mile trail run that highlights some of the most dramatic woods in Elk County drawing runners, walkers and hikers from local areas and outside the region.

PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship – For development of an external branding and marketing strategy for the PA Wilds Artisan Trail.

Funding for the Planning Team’s 2015 Mini-Grant Program is provided through the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation and Partnerships Grant Program and therefore must adhere to all statewide rules and regulations. Awardees have one year to complete their project.

For more information on the PA Wilds Team and its programs and services, please visit

The Pennsylvania Wilds region includes the counties of Warren, Forest, Elk, Potter, McKean, Tioga, Clinton, Lycoming, Clearfield, Jefferson, Cameron and Clarion, Northern Centre.

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