EBENSBURG – Hundreds of thousands of dollars in state grants awarded recently will fund efforts to develop trails, improve parks and support conservation efforts in Cambria and Somerset counties, two state legislators said Thursday.
State Rep. Frank Burns, D-East Taylor Township, announced in a press release that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has awarded a total of $500,000 in grants to benefit parks, recreation opportunities and conservation efforts wholly or partially in Cambria County, including the following:
• $25,000 to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to coordinate and fund the PA Water Trails Program, including implementation of its 2020 mini-grant program, which supports the Kiski-Conemaugh Water Trail, which runs through Cambria County;
• $40,000 to Portage Borough to install fencing, provide Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant access, renovate tennis courts and make other site improvements at Crichton-McCormick Park;
• $40,000 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to develop a plan related to climate change impacts in the Laurel Highlands region, which includes Cambria County;
• $165,000 to the Pennsylvania Environmental Council Inc. to coordinate and fund activities of the Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape, including a mini-grant program and the implementation of a communications strategy to promote water resources in the region;
• and $230,000 to the Allegheny Ridge Corporation to assist communities with the development of new access points and related improvements to the Kiski-Conemaugh River Water Trail and the Juniata River Water Trail.
Additionally, state Sen. Pat Stefano, R-Fayette, said in a separate press release that $270,000 was awarded to support the development of the September 11th National Memorial Trail in Somerset County. That award is meant to fund construction of a 1.5-mile trail segment between the Great Allegheny Passage trailhead in Garrett Borough and the proposed alignment of U.S. Route 219 in Brothersvalley Township.