Here at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, we believe it is our duty to educate and inform the local community of our endeavors and the importance of preserving our local environment.

Functioning as the home for many local organizations, such as the Purple Martin Conservation Association, the Friends of TREC provide housing and funding for other organizations whom wish to participate in activities and programs that will educate the public in the fields of the environment, art, research, and conservationist sciences. Every year, multiple programs and organizations are allowed the opportunity to apply for grants in order to help fund their respective goals.

During the 2010 fiscal year alone, the Friends of TREC provided $22,000 in funding, the majority of which goes towards the annual IU5 Transportation Grant. The IU5, a condensed title for the Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit, acts as a regional educational service agency. The three counties included within the geographical area of IU5 are the Crawford, Erie, and Warren counties and is comprised of 17 school districts throughout the three counties.

As of 2014, the Friends of TREC have provided $77,000 in funding towards the IU5 Transportation Grant, which allows those schools within the tri-county area to attend the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. At the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, students are given the opportunity to enjoy the exhibits, view educational films on the Big Green Screen, learn from PA Department of Conversation and Natural Resource (DCNR) environmental educators, and participate in the hands on labs of the Dr. Thomas Research Wing.


Some of the Programs the Friends of the Tom Ridge Environmental Center have supported.

  1. Presque Isle User Summary
  2. Red Fox Taxidermy
  3. Gardens at TREC
  4. Transportation Grants
  5. Purchase of Nature Board – TREC lobby
  6. Transportation Grant – Environmental Erie
  7. Neighorhood Art House – Environmental Awareness
  8. Natural History Musuem Equipment
  9. Sponsorship of Big Green Screen Films
  10. Regional Science Consortium – College Student Housing
  11. Natural Impression Student Art Show
  12. Transportation Grant – Green Careers Day
  13. Holiday Movies Series at TREC
  14. Summer Movie Series at TREC
  15. PNC Grow Up Great (5 years)
  16. Wildlife Film Festival
  17. Regional Science Consortium – Environmental Summer Camp
  18. Sunset Celebration
  19. John C. Oliver Environmental Leadership Award