On December 30, 2021, 317 renewal projects all across Pennsylvania learned that they will share $70 million for work that will revitalize community economies, restore natural spaces and boost both local quality of life and tourism by creating new recreational opportunities.
“Our outdoor places are among the things that tie us all together – a place to meet for our health, for enjoyment, for recreation and a draw for tourists,” Governor Tom Wolf said.
“Many of the projects being funded – improvements to local parks, trails, and river access – bring these amenities closer to home, requiring less driving and expense to experience at a time during the pandemic when these opportunities are recognized as critical to our well-being,” he added.
The grants fall under the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources‘s (DCNR) Community Conservation Partnerships Program.
Here are three examples of funded projects:
- Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Inc., $250,000: Rehabilitation of Phipps Garden Center at Mellon Park, Pittsburgh City, Allegheny County. Work to include replacement of roof and mechanical upgrades; restoration of greenhouse roof glass; installation of solar panels and shade structures; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements;
- Glenolden Borough, $222,600: Restoration of 400 feet of the Muckinipates Creek in Glenolden Community Park, Glenolden Borough, Delaware County. Work to include streambank stabilization; installation of stormwater management measures, riparian forest buffer; construction of a boardwalk and pedestrian walkways; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements; and
- North Lebanon Township, $250,000: Restoration of lake shoreline; rehabilitation and further development of Lion’s Lake Park, North Lebanon Township, Lebanon County. Work to include renovation of ballfields, pedestrian walkways and parking areas; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
Funding comes from the Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, fees for ATV/snowmobile licenses, and federal monies.
“This important $70 million investment in outdoor recreation, infrastructure and conservation will leverage approximately $196 million in local, county and private investments, giving every state dollar more power for the public good,” Wolf continued.
The grants will support a variety of proposals including: 152 projects to rehabilitate or develop recreation, park, and conservation areas and facilities; protect approximately 4400 acres of open space; 180 acres of streamside forest buffers; and 48 non-motorized and motorized trail projects.
Pennsylvania has more than 6,200 local parks and 121 state parks, more than 12,000 miles of trails, and more than 83,000 miles of waterways.
Together with more than 2.2 million acres of state forests, the commonwealth has among the largest expanses of public lands in the eastern United States that offer outdoor recreation opportunities in all four seasons.