On December 5, Governor Tom Wolf announced an investment of $44 million for 266 projects across Pennsylvania that will create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources, and help revitalize local communities.

“Communities go from good to great when they provide residents and visitors with parks and trails, access to waterways, and opportunities for healthy outdoor activity,” Governor Wolf said. “This $44 million in grants will support communities throughout Pennsylvania working to protect and improve natural amenities for our citizens.”

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined officials from the City of Pittsburgh and the Urban Redevelopment Authority at an event adjacent to the Hays Woods property to highlight the grants in Allegheny County.

The URA was approved for an $800,000 grant to assist with the acquisition of the 563-acre property that will eventually be turned over to the city for its second largest park for enjoyment and recreation.

“Parks nearby are the places where our kids play; that make our urban neighborhoods beautiful and attractive to homeowners; where we gather to build community; and they help attract the businesses that provide jobs,” Dunn said. “It’s fantastic to be able to protect a sizable amount of open space in this dense urban area.”

Dunn was joined at the event by Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Robert Rubinstein and other state and local officials.

“The URA is excited to play a role in protecting and preserving this important ecological treasure for future generations of Pittsburghers to enjoy,” Rubinstein told the gathering.

Additionally, more than $2.36 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.

The grants are administered by DCNR through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Additional investments include: 49 trail projects; protecting nearly 8,000 acres of open space; nine projects for planting riparian buffers along streams; 14 projects for rivers conservation; and over 100 projects to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park and conservation areas and facilities.

View the complete list of grant awards here