The Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) will continue to process Partnership Grant applications despite the temporary displacement of so many people in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. While administrators of the non-profit organizations, public education institutions and municipalities that are eligible for the $5,000 grants may now be working from home, EMHR staff remains available to assist applicants via phone and email.
“Despite the threat of COVID-19 and the many disruptions it has created in our day-to-day lives, the EMHR will continue to offer its annual Mini-Grant Program, given that much of the application process can be done electronically or by mail,” said EMHR executive director Cain Chamberlin. “We are still committed to supporting our heritage partners as best we can, as they will undoubtedly be hurt by this state-wide shutdown like most other entities.”
A generous allocation to the EMHR from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) in 2019 has resulted in a record $61,000 available to this year’s successful applicants. Last year, $54,000 in mini-grants were issued to fund projects like trail improvements, educational and interpretive signage, murals, museum improvements, and programs for youths in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties.
“This grants program and the EMHR’s partnership with the DCNR has brought millions in state dollars to the four-county region, helped dozens of regional organizations and municipalities through the years with various projects, and has provided countless opportunities pertaining to historic and cultural preservation, outdoor recreational development, educational programming, and more,” Chamberlin related. “We are dedicated to ensuring that it continues for years to come.”
The Partnership Grants application period opened on March 23. Deadline for submitting applications is May 1, and recipients will tentatively be announced on May 27. Work on projects can begin on June 1 and should be completed by Aug. 31, 2021, allowing 14 months. Extensions can be made available if necessary. Project values can range from $1,000 to $10,000 with a full match required. For example, the organization or municipality would be responsible for $3,500 of a $7,000 project.
Applications will be scored on their reflection of the EMHR’s mission to maintain and enhance the unique rural character and culture of the Endless Mountains and its goals to attract visitors, strengthen local economies, engage residents and visitors with our heritage assets, offer a wide range of outdoor recreational destinations for all ages and abilities, and preserve and promote agricultural growth and deliver authentic experiences of “Living with the Land” in the Endless Mountains
In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to log on to emheritage.org to download an application and read guidelines for eligibility and to call the EMHR at 570-265-1528 with any additional questions.