Palmerton Area School District has been selected to receive an Environmental Education Grant.

The Department of Environmental Protection recently announced that it has awarded more than $538,000 in Environmental Education Grants to 102 non-profits, schools, universities and conservation districts across the state.

Grant recipients will use the funding to develop projects such as hosting sustainability workshops, holding nature programs for children, and implementing environmental education programs in their communities.

"Knowledge is power and we want to give communities the power to become more active in protecting the environment," DEP acting Secretary Michael Krancer said. "These programs will help Pennsylvanians of all ages to learn more about what we can do to promote sustainability and to help keep Pennsylvania a beautiful place."

Superintendent Carol Boyce said the district has received about $3,000 through the grant, whereby students in grades 3 - 6 will take field trips to the Lehigh Nature Gap Center to study water quality, forest ecology, birds and geology and will use hands-on resources as part of classroom and field experiences.

"It is our hope that this will give them an expanded knowledge of their own surroundings here," Boyce said. "We're absolutely delighted; every little bit helps and allows us to expand the horizons for our youngsters."

The grant program was established by the Environmental Education Act of 1993, which mandates setting aside 5 percent of the pollution fines and penalties DEP collects annually for environmental education in Pennsylvania.

For more information on environmental education, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click "Environmental Education".