On December 15, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced an investment of $45 million for 261 projects across Pennsylvania that will create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources and help revitalize local communities.

“The health and vitality of our communities is reflected in the quality of parks and trails, access to rivers, open spaces and outdoor recreation opportunities,” Dunn said. “These grants will fund more than 260 projects throughout Pennsylvania to help protect and enhance our natural amenities.” 

The grants are administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Funding comes from the 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 monies.

Investments are being made in a variety of proposals including 38 trail projects, protecting nearly 9,000 acres of open space, 14 projects for rivers conservation, and 126 projects to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park, and conservation areas and facilities.

Some of the funded projects include:

  • Rehabilitation of a splash pad and addition of pickleball courts in Lindberg Park, Salisbury Township, Lehigh County;
  • Development of the Loyalhanna Trail in Westmoreland County to connect Keystone State Park to New Alexandria Borough
  • Payment toward the acquisition of about 982 acres in Chester County adjacent to White Clay Creek Preserve
  • Purchase of equipment to construct and maintain motocross track and trails at Breezewood Proving Ground in Bedford County
  • Development of the Wintergreen Gorge Trail in Harborcreek Township, Erie County
  • Installation of a demonstration mussel hatchery at Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia
  • Fourteen projects to implement the SCORP recommendations including eight nature play areas, four brownfields to playfields, and two health-related projects
  • About $100,000 in grant funds to implement a structured community planning effort that will lead to the development and/or rehabilitation of 10 small community (pop. 2,500 or less).

Additionally, more than $2.25 million is being provided to Heritage Areas for projects including advancing river and trail towns, closing gaps in Pennsylvanian’s destination trails, developing heritage tourism initiatives, improving educational and interpretative signage, and planning and marketing heritage tourism events.

View a complete list of grant recipients here.