Fishing along the Delaware River | Photo by Todd Pride, courtesy Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers & Outdoors Partners

Fishing along the Delaware River | Photo by Todd Pride, courtesy Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers & Outdoors Partners

In 2023, Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) launched the Circuit Trails Coalition Community Grant Program with funding from the William Penn Foundation, initially investing $150,000 over two years into 10 organizations across the Greater Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Each grantee organization leads programming on or near multi-use trails that are part of the Circuit Trails network, which currently encompasses 410 miles of completed trails.

Now, with an additional $167,000 from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, PEC has awarded two-year grants to another six organizations, bringing the total number of 2024 Circuit Trails Community Grant Program grantee partners to 16.

The Community Grant Program intends to improve access to and increase use of the Circuit Trails, particularly in historically disinvested communities and among marginalized groups. In 2023, grantee partners offered projects, activities, and activations including tree plantings, bike riding lessons, fishing, hiking, tactical urbanism, art installations, and more, encouraging people to enjoy group activities on trails across Philadelphia, Chester, Camden, and Trenton. These grantees will continue their work in 2024.

Related: 10 Community Organizations Awarded $150,000 to Enhance Engagement and Access in Neighborhoods along Circuit Trails Network

Related: DVRPC Approves Regional Trails Fund Grants

Related: First ever Circuit Trails Coalition Community Grant awards two Trenton organizations | The Trentonian

Circuit Trails Coalition Community Grantees

2024 Grantees

Recipients were awarded one-year or two-year grants of $1,000 to $10,000 per year for their projects providing programming on Circuit Trails through 2024 and 2025.


AIM ACADEMY (Conshocken, PA)

AIM Academy serves students with language-based learning differences at its campus directly adjacent to the Schuylkill River Trail. With support from this new round of Community Grant Program funding, AIM will incorporate paddling on the Schuylkill River into its cycling programming, increasing access to water-based recreation for its student body.



East Falls Development Corporation (EFDC) will add seating and signage to the River Landing, a new ADA accessible access point to the Schuylkill River that fills a critical need for recreation space and connection to waterways for the entire region. The project will create a more inviting, safer public space. EFDC will also offer opportunities on or near the Landing for people to meditate and gather.



Girls In Gear teaches life skills through bike skills by helping riders ages 5+ build confidence on and off their bikes, promoting girls’ social-emotional wellness. Girls In Gear will use Circuit Trails Community Grant Program funding to host 200 riders across five program sites in Philadelphia, Camden, and Trenton, as well as a learn-to-ride clinic in the spring and fall.



Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW) uses bike rides, repair lessons, and field trips to improve young people’s mental and physical health, build problem-solving skills, foster excitement for outdoor adventure, and spur social and emotional development. Community Grant Program funding will support Watershed Trailblazers, a group of NBW programs that include an environmental education component — drawing attention to and promoting the use of the Delaware River Trail, Schuylkill River Trail, and other Circuit Trails.



Neighborhood Collaborative Community Gardens (NCCG) encourages residents of North Camden to be the stewards of their own community by cleaning and greening their neighborhood, including community gardens directly on the Circuit Trails network. NCCG will host family-friendly environmental education programming across its garden sites.


SHE IS FOCUSED & FIT (Philadelphia, PA)

She Is Focused is committed to engaging urban women and girls with the outdoors while also facilitating self-development and personal growth. She Is Focused Community will use the grant funding to lead Philly Focused & Fit, an initiative that uses the bike and other physical activities, such as walking and running, as tools to enhance overall quality of life and wellbeing.

2023 Grantees

Recipients were awarded one-year or two-year grants of $1,000 to $10,000 per year for their projects providing programming on Circuit Trails through 2023 and 2024.

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9th Street Youth & Community Center – Environmental Youth Corps Program (Chester, PA)

The 9th Street Youth & Community Center serves the youth of Chester, empowering them to reach their full potential academically, socially and spiritually in a safe environment. Community Grant Program-funded activities will take place along the Chester Creek Trail in Eyre Park, and include tree plantings, tree tending, tree maintenance, summer habitat projects, basketball equipment, installing picnic tables and hosting mentoring and life skills workshops.

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Artworks Trenton – Artworks Trail Jam (Trenton, NJ)

Artworks Trenton promotes artistic diversity by fostering creativity, learning and appreciation of the arts. Community Grant Program funding will allow Artworks Trenton to partner with Trenton Cycling Revolution’s Community Outreach Garage on the “Artworks Trail Jam.” The event will bring artists and community members together to create new art along a section of the D&R Canal Trail, increasing awareness of the trail and making it more accessible to the community.

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East Trenton Collaborative – East Trenton Tactical Urbanism (Trenton, NJ)

The East Trenton Collaborative (ETC) is a community organization and development initiative that engages partners, supports businesses and builds the power of residents to make East Trenton a great place to live, work and play. ETC’s East Trenton Tactical Urbanism project incorporates a mix of outreach, low-cost physical improvements and programming to increase a sense of safety on and access to the D&R Canal Trail and the streets that connect to its entrances in East Trenton (Mulberry Street and Sherman Avenue). East Trenton Collaborative’s main goal for this project is to create equitable access to the D&R Trail by installing traffic calming infrastructure, creative wayfinding and public art.

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Exploring Nature with Disability Pride PA (Philadelphia, PA)

Exploring Nature with Disability Pride PA is a project to find ways for our communities to come together again in 2023-2024 after the isolation and physical separation of the pandemic. Disability Pride PA, a nonprofit organization that promotes visibility and cultivates pride while advocating for an inclusive world, will produce activities along the Delaware River Trail from South Philly to Northern Liberties. Activities will include Walk & Learns, Picnic along the Delaware Trail, Disability Arts and Making Music with PHONK Philly.


Get Fresh Daily – Get Fresh Families Outside (Southwest Philadelphia, PA)

Get Fresh Daily, an organization that provides healthy living education through culturally relevant programs that center the Black community, is expanding its Youth Environmental Wellness Initiative by launching Get Fresh Families Outside. Get Fresh Families Outside is an initiative to teach campers how to ride a bike, while inviting families to ride with their children and enjoy the Circuit Trails. Program events will take place on the Bartram’s Mile Trail and the Cobbs Creek Trail.

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Healing Through the Land (Philadelphia, PA)

Healing Through the Land is about reclaiming our relationship to the land, our community, our ancestors and ourselves. The Healing Through the Land initiative will engage community members with workshops, walks and other activities. These educational adventures aim to reconnect and elevate Black and Brown people to nature for holistic healing to inspire and build upon community sustainability in tangible ways. Events will be held on trails such as Cobbs Creek, Bartram’s Mile Trail, John Heinz Trail and many more.

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Hike+Heal (Philadelphia, PA)

Hike+Heal Wellness, LLC is a diverse women’s hiking hive offering healing hikes and grounding experiences to increase overall physical, mental and spiritual wellness. Hiking is at the center of what they do because it clears the mind, by providing a sense of calm and peace while reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Hike+Heal takes a holistic approach to make hiking accessible for women of color through welcoming and safe programming, community connection and incorporating various healing modalities in their offerings.

Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers & Community Partners logo

Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers and Outdoors Partners – Circuit Trails Fishing and Birding Training and Experiences (Various locations in PA and NJ)

Todd Pride is the founder and lead coach of the Mid-Atlantic Youth Anglers & Outdoors Partners training operation. Todd and his team of trainers facilitate fishing, birding, wildlife and conservation training activities for youth and their supporting adults across the Philadelphia region. The Circuit Trails Fishing and Birding Training and Experiences program will offer a free, monthly public fishing and birding training and outing from April through October along the Delaware River Greenway at Lardner’s Point, the Delaware River at Camden-Cooper River/Park and the Schuylkill River and trail tributary areas in Norristown.

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Superior Arts Institute – #AdvocacyThruArt (Camden, NJ)

#AdvocacyThruArt is a project created by the Superior Arts Institute, an art-based organization that serves the Camden City community. The project will engage Camden youth in learning about the Circuit Trails through creating, filming and producing content that celebrates the trail and creates a heightened sense of belonging in urban green spaces.

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Youth Development United – Chester Bike Rodeos (Chester, PA)

Chester Upland Youth Soccer strengthens the communities it serves by mentoring youth, engaging families and promoting healthy living by providing after-school and weekend soccer programming, mentorship and nutrition education for children in the traditionally underserved, suburban Philadelphia communities of Chester, Upland and Eddystone. The Community Grant Program will fund Chester Bike Rodeos, which will include riding lessons, bicycle safety and activities that encourage people to maximize health and wellness benefits while enjoying Chester’s Delaware Riverfront Trail and the Eyre Park Levee Walk along Chester Creek in Delaware County.