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PECO Green Region Open Space Program Grant

Grants to Southeastern Pennsylvania Nonprofits and Local Governments
in Eligible Locations to Protect and Enhance Public Spaces

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Natural Lands - PECO

Deadline Date:

10/19/21 4:00 PM


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Grants of up to $10,000 to Southeastern Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations, local governments, and regional recreation authorities in eligible locations for the preservation and enhancement of public spaces. Funding is intended to support the acquisition of land and conservation easements, capital projects for passive recreation, habitat improvements, and planning and consultant fees. Requests will be accepted from nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia, and from local government entities within the funding source's service area in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and York Counties.

Recognizing that open space in our communities is crucial to the quality of our lives, PECO has committed to supporting municipalities, recreational authorities, and non-profits in southeastern Pennsylvania with their ongoing efforts to preserve, protect, and improve public spaces and increase our collective tree cover. PECO designed the PECO Green Region Open Space program to assist local communities in these efforts by providing funding for some expenses not otherwise covered by state or county programs. Underlying the program is PECO’s endorsement of enhancing tree cover and deliberate planning for open space protection as a means to encourage the wisest use of scarce resources.

The property and/or facility location of the project must be open to the general public and promote equal access to nature for all communities.

Eligible Projects and Expenses: 

  • Improving municipal-, organizational-, or regional recreational authority-owned open spaces, not including property owned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Funds may be used for habitat improvements, such as improving or installing woodlands, riparian buffers, and meadows. Funds may also be used for the installation of capital improvements for passive recreation, such as trails, boardwalks, kiosks, observation platforms, and installation of LED and energy efficient lighting, but not parking lots. Fund expenditures may also include planning costs or fees for consultants such as landscape architects, park designers, botanists, and engineers.
  • Developing or updating open space plans and feasibility studies. Expenses may include consultant fees, costs associated with obtaining public input (hall rental, advertising, etc.), and publication costs.
  • Acquisition (by purchase or donation) of parcels of land to be used for open space. Expenses may include purchase costs, legal or consultant fees, surveying, environmental assessments, and appraisals.
  • Acquisition (by purchase or donation) of conservation easements (also known as “development rights”). Eligible expenses may include purchase costs, legal or consultant fees, surveying, environmental assessments, and appraisals.
  • In an effort to expand tree canopy in southeastern Pennsylvania, PECO encourages applicants to incorporate tree plantings as part of their application’s project proposal. While such endeavors are not a required element of the grant application, Review Committee members will look favorably on their inclusion in the application. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 146706

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants will be awarded in amounts up to $10,000 and may be used to fund up to 50% of the project.

Term of Contract:

Recipients are expected to fully expend the grant funding within 18 months of the funds being disbursed.

Retroactive reimbursement for costs accrued between the application deadline and when the grant funds are disbursed may be allowed on a case-by-case basis

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants:
- Any township, borough, city, or regional recreational authority within PECO’s service territory in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or York counties. (Eligible applicants must receive gas and/or electric service from PECO.)
- All incorporated non-profit organizations within the City of Philadelphia, including neighborhood organizations such as “Friends” groups.

PECO does not provide grants to individuals, nor to religious organizations unless programs are non-denominational.

Grant Conditions:
- If grant funds are used for acquisition of an interest in land, the recipient must demonstrate that a restrictive covenant, deed restriction, conservation easement, or similar instrument will be recorded against the property stating that the property must be held in perpetuity for open space purposes.

Ineligible Projects and Expenses:
- Staff time for municipal, organizational, or regional recreational authority employees for any aspect of the project.
- Relocation of owner/tenant, condemnation, or building repair/demolition.
- Expenses not directly related to the use or access of land for open space and/or passive recreation. For example, construction of a public works storage facility would not be considered an eligible expense.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: 4:00pm, Tuesday October 19, 2021

The municipality, regional recreational authority, or non-profit organization must have a source of funds (or be in the process of obtaining funds) to match or exceed the amount requested from the PECO Green Region Program. Matching funds must be in cash and must not be in-kind services. Municipal or staff salaries may not be used as matching funds.

Recipients of PECO Green Region funding awards from the 2020 Round are ineligible to apply for the 2021 Round. Recipients of PECO Green Region funding awards from the 2019 Regular and 2019 Bonus Rounds, as well as recipients of funding awards from prior rounds, are eligible to apply to the 2021 Round once a Final Report has been submitted to and approved by the PECO Green Region Program Administrator and the prior award is officially closed out.

About the grant program:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To access the online application system:

For questions, contact:

Estelle Wynn Dolan
PECO Green Region Program Administrator
c/o Natural Lands
1031 Palmers Mill Road
Media, PA 19063
610-353-5587 x 213

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and York Counties (government agencies); City of Philadelphia (nonprofits)

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