The 13 complementary grants awarded in April will support the expansion and use of the regional Circuit Trails network. Support for the Circuit Trails contributes to creating the long-term conditions for a healthy watershed by providing widespread and equitable access to the region’s waterways.

These awards include support for the following organizations:

  • Appalachian Mountain Club to increase access to, use of, and support for the Delaware River watershed’s trails, waterways, and open spaces by completing priority trails and community connections in the Pennsylvania Highlands and undertaking outreach to paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts. ($325,000 over 24 months)
  • Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to provide leadership on the Circuit Trails Coalition’s advocacy efforts to advance the completion and accessibility of the trail network, and to enhance trail use through programs. ($600,000 over 24 months)
  • Brandywine Conservancy to advance Circuit Trails and water trails along the Brandywine Creek Greenway by partnering with municipalities and other stakeholders to complete planning and design, and to secure funding. ($300,000 over 24 months)
  • Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc. to support safe and inclusive use of the D&L Trail and its adjacent rivers by working with community partners to develop welcoming communications, programs and trail amenities that are geared to underrepresented, diverse audiences. ($250,000 over 24 months)
  • East Coast Greenway Alliance, Inc. to advance the East Coast Greenway in Northern DE and Southern NJ by advocating to complete segments; stewarding projects through inclusive community engagement, planning and design; assisting with construction; and holding welcoming programs and events. ($125,000 over 24 months)
  • Heritage Conservancy to connect people with the Delaware River watershed and Circuit Trails by providing experiential watershed programs and advancing the East Coast Greenway in Bristol Township, PA. ($300,000 over 24 months)
  • New Jersey Conservation Foundation to increase safe and equitable access to, and offer relevant programming on, trails, parks and waterways in Camden, New Jersey. ($332,000 over 24 months)
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council to expand the Circuit Trails network and utilization, especially in under-resourced communities, by leading the Circuit Coalition’s advocacy work in PA. PEC will also lead efforts to assess and improve the Coalition’s structure and function, develop a tool to identify priority trails, and establish a re-grant program to encourage trail use. ($1,632,300 over 24 months)
  • Rails to Trails Conservancy to expand awareness, use, and support of the Circuit Trails network by implementing a strategic and inclusive communications campaign, with a focus on people that have been underrepresented on the trails. ($550,000 over 24 months)
  • Rails to Trails Conservancy to coordinate Circuit Coalition operations, guide and champion priority trail projects in Southern NJ and Philadelphia, and advocate for trail development funding in NJ. ($330,000 over 24 months)
  • Riverfront North Partnership to support equitable access and recreation on the Delaware River and North Delaware River Greenway in Philadelphia through planning, design, and construction of priority capital projects and expanding stewardship and community engagement. ($335,000 over 24 months)
  • Schuylkill River Greenway Association to expand the Circuit Trails network by closing critical gaps on the Schuylkill River Trail (SRT), strengthening funding for SRT maintenance, and providing access to the SRT and watershed education opportunities to historically under-resourced communities. ($495,000 over 24 months)
  • Tri-State Transportation Campaign to lead the Circuit Coalition’s work in New Jersey and expand the trail network by adding new miles of trail, advancing state policies, and developing community connections to the trails. ($335,000 over 24 months)


For any questions about the Circuit Trails and our portfolio of grants, please email Michele Perch.



Additionally, one grant was approved outside of the Watershed Protection Program, but significantly related to it. The WPF Fund is designed to advance cross-programmatic efforts; support exceptional one-time civic opportunities; test new ideas and explore new, but related areas of work; and strengthen regional philanthropy or enhance the capacity of grantees. 

  • A grant was awarded to the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund to continue operating a Watershed Racial Justice Initiative – a program of online learning, affinity groups, and capacity building to support William Penn Foundation grantees’ engagement with and action on issues of racial diversity, equity, and inclusion. ($350,000 over 24 months)

For any questions about the above grant, please email Nathan Boon.