EMHR’s Partnership Grants program provided funding to make exterior and interior improvements to an 1896 Victorian Hotel along Route 414 in Leroy Township, so that it could be restored and utilized as the new Leroy Heritage Museum (top) for Bradford County’s southwestern municipalities. Above, EMHR administrative assistant Savannah Schools and Loyalsock Foundation founder/president Mary Blondy take a look at project plans for the new recreational facility to be constructed in Laporte (Sullivan County). The EMHR provided funding for the design, purchase, and installation of outdoor trail signs, chairs, and benches for recreational walking paths throughout the future site of The Summit: Center for Wellness.
The Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) will be distributing Partnership/Mini-Grants again this year to help 501(c)3 non-profit organizations start or complete projects that enhance the heritage value of their respective communities. Public education institutions, counties, municipalities and municipal agencies within the EMHR’s coverage area are also eligible for funding. Applications will be accepted from Friday, April 7 through 4 p.m. on Monday, May 8.
Qualifying organizations in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties apply each spring to fund projects related to historic preservation, outdoor recreation development, special purpose studies, interpretive way-finding signage, public engagement and educational programming, certain building rehabilitation projects, and environmental conservation. Successful applicants have used the mini-grants for trails projects, park improvements, increasing public access to heritage sites, mural projects, and more. Organizations may also apply for grants to assist with costs of implementation projects.
“Our Grants Review Committee members are always impressed with the variety of projects proposed through Partnership/Mini-Grant applications,” said EMHR executive director Cain Chamberlin, who noted that the EMHR has $65,000 in grants available, the same as last year. “The EMHR is proud to offer this annual grants program to our heritage partner organizations across the four-county region.” The EMHR receives numerous applications each year and, because there are limited funds available, it becomes a very competitive grant process. The Grants Review Committee looks for those projects that parallel and will further the mission and the objectives of the EMHR.
Applicants must be registered and paying members of the EMHR. Grant amounts can range from $500 to $10,000 with a 100-percent match required. In other words, if the total project cost will be $16,000, the organization can apply for up to $8,000. An applicant’s match can be in the form of cash-match or in-kind match, meaning volunteer hours and donated professional services can be utilized.
Applications will be evaluated by the EMHR Grants Review Committee in May, and successful applicants will be notified by email or letter by May 26. Work on projects may begin on June 5, 2023, and must be completed by Sept. 2, 2024 with proper documentation submitted to the EMHR. Administrative assistant Savannah Schools and grants program coordinator Vanessa Billings-Seiler are more than happy to answer questions from applicants prior to submission and during the course of the project itself.
In 2022, the EMHR received requests for over $111,000 in funding and ultimately awarded $65,165 to 11 organizations and municipalities. Winners included Keystone College, North Branch Land Trust and Dietrich Theater in Wyoming County; the Loyalsock Foundation, Eagle’s Mere Conservancy, and Sullivan County Council on the Arts in Sullivan County; American Rivers, Forest City Historical Society, and Friends of Salts Springs State Park in Susquehanna County; Wyalusing Borough’s Creekside Park and the Bradford County Regional Arts Council in Bradford County.
The EMHR Partnership/Mini-Grants program is made possible with direct support from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. For more information, interested readers should log on to www.emheritage.org and click on Grants. Questions may be directed to Schools at 570-265-1528 or email@example.com.
The Friends of Salt Springs Park (above) in Susquehanna County applied for trailhead parking area expansions and repairs that were funded with EMHR mini-grants.
The EMHR’s Partnership/Mini-Grants program funded a trail access improvement project (above) at the North Branch Land Trust’s Howland Preserve along Vosburg Road in Tunkhannock, which is now known as Vosburg Neck State Park.
Leroy Heritage Museum exterior.