Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today announced that grant applications are now being accepted for recreation and conservation projects in communities across Pennsylvania.

“This COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of parks, forests and trails to our mental and physical health as demonstrated by the significant increase in their use, even now during the cold months,” Dunn said. “Our DCNR grants can assist communities with local park acquisition and improvements, trails and river access that are so critically in demand.”

Dunn noted that for the first time this year, climate resiliency will be included in the criteria used to review grant applications. Grantees are asked to explain how their project implements sustainable and climate resilient adaptations and/or mitigations. A document is provided to help grantees understand the green and sustainable practices that may be suitable for projects.

Every grant dollar generally leverages an additional $3 in local, county and private investments, giving every state dollar more power for the public good.

Grantees include local governments and recreation and conservation organizations.

The 2020 grant application round closes at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 14.

Funded through DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program, grants benefit planning, acquisition, and development of:

  • Public parks
  • Recreation areas
  • Motorized and non-motorized trails
  • River conservation and access
  • Streamside forest buffers
  • Open space conservation
  • Regional and statewide partnerships to better develop and manage resources

There are numerous tutorial videos to help potential applicants learn about grant requirements and how to navigate the application interface on DCNR’s YouTube channel. Grant applications are only accepted through DCNR’s Grants Customer Service Portal.

Funding for Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants comes from several state and federal sources, including:

  • Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund
  • Environmental Stewardship Fund
  • Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program
  • Snowmobile and ATV Restricted Revenue Accounts
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • Recreational Trails Program

DCNR’s grant programs have helped protect more than 180,000 acres across Pennsylvania for outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and water quality. One in three local parks in the commonwealth have received DCNR grant funding.

For more information, visit DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnership Grant Program website.