SRU named a 2018 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence winner

Old Main in spring

April 20, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University is among 23 "innovative and impassioned" organizations selected by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection to receive the prestigious 2018 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.

SRU was selected for its Healthy Planet, Healthy People Environmental Summer Camp and Community Project Incubator that helps high school teachers and students create environmental stewardship projects. The University hosted the camp for students and educators that included classroom instruction, leadership training and immersive field experience. In partnership with the EPA, the camp provided $1,700 in seed money for participating school districts to kick start their community projects. Thirteen projects were completed in eight counties, providing the potential to raise environmental awareness among 2 million Pennsylvanians.

Paul Scanlon

   SCALON

"This main benefit of this program was in creating a ripple effect of environmental awareness, education and stewardship action in the students' local communities," said Paul Scanlon, SRU director of sustainability. "In addition to providing students with the tools necessary to carry out local stewardship projects, their teachers benefited from the experience, friends and families attending the wrap-up session at the end of camp became more aware of local environmental issues and solutions, and their local communities are benefiting from the educational value of the stewardship projects carried out in their communities."

The Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence are awarded each year by the DEP and highlight the best in environmental innovation and expertise throughout the state. The awards provide statewide recognition to businesses and organizations involved in a cross-section of environmental initiatives from cleaning up watersheds, saving energy, eliminating pollution, reducing waste and more.

Any individual, business, school, government agency or community organization in Pennsylvania was eligible to apply for the award.

"Just as important as Pennsylvania's abundant natural resources are the Pennsylvanians who invest their time, labor, and ingenuity to protect them," said Governor Tom Wolf. "Their dedication results in public health and safety, environmental, economic and recreation benefits across the commonwealth."

"DEP received more than 60 applications, which we evaluated for their degree of environmental protection, innovation, partnership efforts, economic impact, consideration of climate change and sustainability and results achieved," said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. "It's an honor to recognize the tremendous impact many Pennsylvanians have in protecting our air, land, and water."

Together, the nearly two dozen award-winning projects accomplished the following results:

-Enlisted 16,000 volunteers.
-Prevented 258 million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
-Saved more than $42 million in operation and maintenance costs.
-Conserved 37 million gallons of water annually.
-Diverted 29 million tons of waste and 57 million bottles from landfill disposal.
-Created 98,500 acres of riparian buffers.
-Planted 35,090 native trees and shrubs.
-Installed 350 rooftop solar tubes.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 | robb.king@sru.edu