LAKE ARIEL – NBT Bank donated $5,000.00 to Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station and Environmental Education Center through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. Lacawac Sanctuary is a non-profit research and education center providing the community with a host of quality environmental, historical, and cultural programs. This donation will assist with academic enrichment programs such as Conservation Leadership Academy, PiER Mentoring Program for Girls in STEM; and Day Camps, K-12 Field Experiences and Youth Environmental Sciences Afterschool Outreach.

Craig Lukatch, Lacawac Sanctuary’s president stated, “We are grateful to NBT Bank for their financial assistance. Our programs help children in our community so the local funds support our local residents. Lacawac’s goal is to educate people of all ages about northeast Pennsylvania’s unique and diverse habitats and natural resources keeping true to our mission of education, research and preservation,”

Jamie Reeger, Lacawac’s Environmental Education Manager noted that “Our hands-on academic enrichment programs directly complement what students are learning in school, and address the Pennsylvania State Education Standards for Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology.”

Mary Ellen Bentler, NBT Bank Vice President and Retail Market Manager Northeast PA Market stated that “NBT Bank values the work that is accomplished at Lacawac Sanctuary and supports its work through donations such as the one made through the Pennsylvania EITC program.”

Businesses can make a charitable donation to approved organizations based on the amount of state taxes they owe. In return, the businesses receive a 75 percent tax credit (up to $400,000) when they file their state taxes. A two-year commitment at the same funding level earns a business a 90 percent tax credit.

Lacawac Sanctuary is a nonprofit association founded in 1966 for the purpose of protecting a gift of the original Connell Park lands by Arthur and Isabel Watres and facilitating environmental education and research. Located on Lake Wallenpaupack, the Lacawac Sanctuary Foundation plays an important role in the preservation of Lake Lacawac which is one of the southernmost glacial lakes in the hemisphere and has been preserved in pristine condition free from development and encroachment. For more information visit www.lacawac.org.