Gov. Corbett Thursday announced DCNR has awarded $38 million in grants to provide new recreational opportunities, expanded protection of natural resources and locally-driven community projects as a result of more than $38 million in new grants to be distributed across the state.
The Community Conservation Partnership Program grants will support 201 conservation and recreation projects in 62 counties.
The grants will fund a variety of proposals, including 36 trail projects; protecting 2,718 acres of open space; 77 community parks; five river conservation projects; and 35 projects for regional and statewide heritage area, park, greenway and trail initiatives.
“Pennsylvania’s parks and trails; natural areas; and many opportunities to be active outdoors, on land and on our great rivers and streams, define our communities and make them places where people want to live, work and play,” Corbett said. “These grants will help our local partners – including municipalities, counties, land trusts and conservancies – to meet the vision they have for their communities and regions.”
The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program combines several funding sources into one grant program. Funding comes from Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax; the Environmental Stewardship Fund; the ATV/Snowmobile Fund generated through fees for licenses; and federal funds.
Some highlights of funded projects include:
-- Quakertown, Bucks County, will receive $250,000 to further develop Krupp Site Park, a former brownfield, including an amphitheater and trail connections to adjacent sports fields, the library and a neighboring park.
-- The City of Philadelphia will work with the Schuylkill River Development Corp. to use $300,000 to use an abandoned railroad swing bridge to help extend the Schuylkill River Trail across the Schuylkill near Gray’s Ferry Ave. and close a major trail gap.
-- Capital Area Greenbelt plans to use $500,000 in Harrisburg, Susquehanna and Swatara townships, Dauphin County, to connect the Greenbelt to Fort Hunter Park and make traffic safety improvements at six intersections.
-- Brookville Borough, Jefferson County, will receive $380,000 for development of a town square to include an outdoor performance venue and walkways.
-- Harborcreek Township in Erie County will protect Lake Erie shoreline with $88,000 for the acquisition of 1.5 acres adjacent to the existing Shorewood Park.
-- Northumberland County Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) Authority will further develop the AOAA with $788,007, to include the construction of off-highway vehicle facilities, trail upgrades and a trailhead.
More than $3.1 million of the total investment is being provided to Heritage Areas for projects and programs including: conducting an economic impact study on the Heritage Areas program; further development of the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail and D&L and Lackawanna river trails; water trail enhancements, river town assessments; scenic byways; and planning and marketing heritage tourism events.
“Our more than $38 million investment will leverage at least $70 million in local, county and private investments, giving every state dollar more power for the public good,” Corbett said.A list of grants awarded is available online.