Building Better Communities Grant Program

Building Better Communities


The Building Better Communities initiative, now in its sixth year, helps communities served by American Water enhance or create public park spaces or programs that encourage the community to engage in water and nature-inspired play, connect to the natural world, and focus on environmental education and water-based recreation. During the last five years, through our partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association, the American Water Charitable Foundation has awarded $2.0 million in Building Better Communities Grants to 14 communities in Belleville, IL; Brunswick, MO; Camarillo, CA; Scranton, PA; Charleston, WV; Camden, NJ; Gary, IN; Davenport, IA; Hopewell, VA; Coatesville, PA; Peoria, IL; Seaside, CA; Chattanooga, TN and Bel Air, MD.

Following the success of the last five years, we are pleased to continue our partnership for an additional three years and further our charitable efforts in this regard, focusing on water and nature-inspired play in communities served by American Water. With an additional contribution of $1.5 million, we anticipate awarding two projects in each 2019, 2020 and 2021. Through this grant program, we offer families and children an opportunity to learn, interact and appreciate water, a critical natural resource, in a fun and engaging way.

The American Water Charitable Foundation is proud to continue to demonstrate American Water’s ongoing commitment to being good stewards of the environment and bettering the communities where its employees and customers live, work and play.

For information regarding this grant opportunity, please email or contact Michele White, NRPA project manager, at

American Water Signature Program

AWCF and NRPA Award $500,000 for Water-Inspired Play Areas
AWCF Announces $1.5M Grant with NRPA
AWCF Awards $150,000 to 2018 NRPA Grantee in Bel Air, MD
AWCF Awards $150,000 to 2018 NRPA Grantee in Chattanooga, TN
AWCF Awards $450,000 to 2017 NRPA Grantees
AWCF Awards $290,000 to 2016 NRPA Grantees
AWCF Awards $400,000 to 2015 NRPA Grantees
AWCF Awards $384,000 to 2014 NRPA Grantees
AWCF Announces $2.5M Grant Program with NRPA


As another component of our signature program, in 2015, the American Water Charitable Foundation launched a new partnership with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance and awarded a grant of $25,000. The partnership brings together USA’s union members and American Water employees to volunteer their time and skills to improve public access to water-based recreational activities and enhance environmental sustainability. Due to the success of the program and our first three projects in Charleston, WV, Chattanooga, TN, and Peoria, IL, the Foundation awarded an additional $150,000 grant for water-related conservation projects in 2017 and 2018.  With this grant, our employees will participate in four Work Boots on the Ground projects that will benefit American Water communities in Lexington, KY, Alexandria, VA, St. Joseph, MO, and Scranton, PA. 

AWCF Awards $300,000 to Union Sportsmen’s Alliance
AWCF & USA - WV Coonskin Park Fishing Pier - Dec. 2015
AWCF & USA - IL River Canoe and Kayak Trail - Oct. 2015
AWCF & USA - TN Harrison Bay State Park Boat Shed - Sept. 2015
AWCF Grants $25,000 to Union Sportsmen’s Alliance 2015