Monday, June 29, 2015

PA Environmental Council Receives $1.5M Grant From William Penn Foundation

The PA Environmental Council Monday announced it has received a $1.5 million grant from the William Penn Foundation for support of development of the Circuit trail network in Bucks, Delaware, and Philadelphia counties.
The funding, spread over two years, will enable PEC to focus on portions of the East Coast Greenway, a trail stretching from Florida to Maine that is also a critical link in completing the 750-mile Circuit.
“The William Penn Foundation’s commitment to completion of the Circuit is doubly significant because of the trail work itself, and the importance that this network has to the Philadelphia region,” PEC Executive Vice President Patrick Starr said. “The Foundation’s most recent grant continues its commitment to ensuring alternative transportation for Philadelphians.”
Currently, 300 miles of the Circuit are open for use, while 400 remain to be built. Working with a variety of partners, PEC has been a key factor in the creation of the Circuit as a policy leader and as an implementer of trails.
In particular, PEC has been involved with the planning and implementation of one of the Circuit’s trunk lines—the East Coast Greenway—for more than a decade. The Circuit itself was formally announced in May 2012. The grant period runs from July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017.
The grant also enables PEC to start the process of linking the Circuit with trail development that has occurred and continues to grow in the Northeastern part of the state.
The ability to engage in additional endorsement of trail development and further advocacy and leadership in statewide trail initiatives throughout Pennsylvania is a principal goal of PEC’s 2015 Strategic Program Plan.
It is PEC’s aim to connect the people of the Commonwealth to the outdoors and educate them about the state’s rich natural resources while engaging them in environmental stewardship and advocacy. The continuation of the Circuit is a practical way for Pennsylvanians to explore, experience, and enjoy Pennsylvania’s diverse outdoor resources.
“PEC is a leader in trail planning and promotion statewide, and this grant further solidifies that fact,” PEC President and CEO David Woodwell said. “It is PEC’s goal to get Pennsylvanians outdoors and in touch with the Commonwealth’s astounding natural resources to engage citizens in the protection and restoration of the environment.”
As part of its statewide trail initiative, PEC is also a member of the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition, a group of 20 organizations in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Northern West Virginia, Western Maryland, and Southwestern New York working to complete and connect a system of 1,600 miles of share use trails.
Now 53 percent complete, the Industrial Heartland Trails Coalition includes the Great Allegheny Passage, a trail that hosts over 800,000 trips annually and generates over $40 million in direct annual spending from its trail users.
PEC’s vision is that by 2033, the 53-county region will be positioned as the epicenter of a multi-use trail system in the region.
For more information on activities and programs, visit the PA Environmental Council website.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner