FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 16, 2024
Contact: Tali MacArthur
Email: [email protected]
PEC Announces Pennsylvania Water Trail Mini-Grant Awards
Dallas – The Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Pennsylvania Water Trail Mini-Grants. These grants are awarded on a competitive basis.
The Pennsylvania Water Trail Program is administered by PEC in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and the National Parks Service and serves to promote and maintain the Pennsylvania Water Trails Program’s network of creeks and river.
Projects awarded funding advance program goals such as creating recreational opportunities for all Pennsylvanians on Water Trails; developing trails that support sustainable use of natural resources; increasing physical and inclusive access to and use of Water Trails; linking diverse community members with accessible on-water paddling experiences, improving the paddling experience through education, signage, and mapping, and connecting water trails to land trails or to other culturally significant community assets. All projects must occur on a designated Pennsylvania Water Trail (view map here: https://www.pawatertrails.org/pa-water-trails).
The Pennsylvania Water Trail Partnership, along with all of the Water Trail Managers, work to achieve a common vision that includes:
- Developing more water trails in Pennsylvania;
- Strengthening connections between existing water trails to promote a system of trails;
- Marketing and promoting Pennsylvania water trails more effectively;
- Sharing technical assistance, tools and resources among local managers for long-term maintenance, stewardship, and sustainable and equitable access
- Promoting national recognition of Pennsylvania’s water trails; and
- Promoting water trails to enhance citizen stewardship of local water resources.
PEC has administered the PA Water Trail Mini-Grant program since 2017. Mini-grant funding is financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
PA Water Trail Program Mini-Grantees:
City of Easton was awarded $2473 for Accessibility Improvements to the Delaware Canal State Park Trailhead. This park’s location within walking distance of downtown Easton is used for outdoor recreation and active transportation. In particular, older residents, individuals with disabilities, and trail users who do not own cars rely on amenities such as seating, bike racks, and tables in order to enjoy this unique place where the Lehigh River Water Trail meets the Delaware River Water Trail.
Delaware Riverkeeper Network was awarded $5000 for the Taking a Deep Dive to Understand the Natural Resources of the PA Water Trail Along the Delaware River Estuary project. DRN will host two, 4-hour guided paddling trips along the Philadelphia section of the Delaware Water Trail. Participants will gain a greater understanding of natural ecology and environmental issues of the Delaware River Estuary as they learn about the health of communities above and below the waterline.
French Creek Valley Conservancy was awarded $3000 for the French Creek Water Trail Maps and Website Updates project. Both the Upper and Lower French Creek Water Trail maps will be updated and reprinted to show access locations and amenities along the 78-mile Water Trail. The maps were last updated in 2019 and since then, at least three new access points have been added or improved, and a low-head dam has been removed on one of the navigable tributaries. Maps will include new photographs and directions to access locations.
Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy was awarded $5000 for the Perkiomen Creek Water Trail Map Update project. In 2023, the Perkiomen Creek Water Trail was designated a Pennsylvania Water Trail. That accomplishment, plus several new and improved access locations, will be highlighted on the updated maps. Printed copies and an online map will be available.
Susquehanna Greenway Partnership was awarded $4000 for the Susquehanna River Water Trail: Middle Section Paddling Itineraries Booklet project. Funding will support the production, printing, and distribution of a ‘Susquehanna River Water Trail: Middle Section Paddling Itineraries Booklet’ in partnership with the Susquehanna River Trail Association. This piece will join a slate of free water trail booklets on the West Branch and Lower North Branch and serve as an outreach tool to promote the 53 miles of water trail between Sunbury & Harrisburg.
Congratulations to these organizations whose projects will improve access, awareness, and connections for communities to their local Pennsylvania Water Trail.