Grant funding totaling more than $7.3 million for recreation and conservation projects in Allegheny and Chester counties was recently announced.
The grants are supported by federal dollars allocated through the Land and Water Conservation Fund established by Congress in 1964 to safeguard natural areas, water resources, and cultural heritage; and to provide recreation opportunities to all Americans.
“These investments will help Pennsylvania protect land that is under pressure from development and improve community parks with things like loop trails that are so desired for close-to-home outdoor recreation, as well as with the green infrastructure that helps absorb stormwater during heavy rain,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.
The grants are:
- Upper Saint Clair Township, Allegheny County, $2.6 million for the rehabilitation of the Morton Complex including loop trails, walkways, playground equipment with required safety surfacing, multipurpose fields, concessions/comfort facility, parking area and stormwater management measures, and to make the facilities more accessible to people of all abilities;
- East Pikeland Township, Chester County, $767,600 for development of Hidden River Park and Preserve including loop trails, performance space, pavilion, observation area, walkways, parking area and stormwater management measures, and to make the facilities more accessible to people of all abilities; and,
- Westtown Township, Chester County, $4 million toward the acquisition of approximately 208 acres of the Crebilly Farm for a new township park.
Federal approval is a required next step for these grants.
Pennsylvania has the sixth largest outdoor recreation economy in the country. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis (link to pdf of report), outdoor recreation adds $14 billion to the Pennsylvania economy. This activity creates 150,000 full time jobs which earn Pennsylvanians $6.8 billion in wages and salaries.