PEC receives DCNR funding for trails, EACs and community meadows

PEC's efforts to provide access to trails, and support community greening efforts received a boost from the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources.
October 14, 2010
Press Releases

Three PEC projects received funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). Check back soon for details on these exciting projects!

Pennsylvania Environmental Council, $50,000 to lead the implementation of the Statewide Comprehensive Recreation Plan goal to promote, create and encourage the strategic engagement of Environmental Advisory Councils (EAC) in Pennsylvania, support the EAC Network addressing priority issues including: stormwater management, green building & energy, open space preservation and recreation opportunities. Jonathan D. Meade, 717-230-8044.

Pennsylvania Environmental Council, $25,000.00 to provide education and outreach to communities and Environmental Advisory Councils by benchmarking best management practices for meadow establishment and maintenance in municipal parks. Four specific meadow test sites will be developed as case studies in Whitemarsh and Upper Dublin townships. Mindy Lemoine, 215-592-7020.

Pennsylvania Environmental Council, $100,000 to prepare a master site development plan and conceptual design for the development of approximately 2.2 miles of trail on Spring Garden Street connecting the East Coast Greenway through downtown Philadelphia to the Schuylkill River Trail and Delaware River Trail. Spencer Finch, 215-592-7020.

Additionally, POWR receieved funding to continue Pennsylvania’s exciting sojourn program. Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, $125,000 to promote 2011 River of the Year activities and administer a mini-grant program for river conservation organizations to conduct river awareness and sojourns. Jonathan D. Meade, 717-230-8044.

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From the DCNR web site: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/news/newsreleases/2010/1010-c2p2grants.htm

Harrisburg – Pennsylvanians will benefit from revitalized communities, new recreational opportunities, and work to preserve natural resources through the state’s investment of more than $23 million for 189 conservation and recreation projects in 65 counties, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary John Quigley announced today.

“The health and vitality of our communities is reflected in the quality of their parks and trails, access to rivers, open spaces and outdoor recreation opportunities,” Quigley said. “This round of grants will fund almost 200 projects to help preserve and enhance those natural amenities.”

Funding for the grants comes primarily from DCNR’s Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax and the Growing Greener program.

“DCNR put a significant effort into ‘greening’ the grant program this year. Part of the selection process included scoring applications based on a number of green criteria, and this focus clearly had an impact on applications from across the state,” Quigley said. “Generally, the applications included green construction materials; provisions for more trees; green stormwater handling technologies; and more surfaces that water can pass through.

“Many of the funded facilities are close-to-home for many people, requiring less driving and expense to experience. That’s a big benefit of the ‘staycation’ trend,” Quigley added.

In keeping with the State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, 39 of the grants were awarded to trail projects. Eighty four percent of Pennsylvanians responded that walking was their number-one recreational activity in a recent survey. Additionally, more than 90 grants will be used to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park and conservation areas and facilities.

The grants announced today will also help to protect critical habitat, preserve open space, and create or upgrade community parks for active recreation. In total, 27 grants were awarded to acquire more than 2,200 acres of land.

Finally, two grants will help develop iPhone applications that promote tourism, three grants will develop skate parks, and two grants will develop dog parks.

Combined, projects benefiting from the state’s $23 million in grants account for a total investment of more than $76 million—or nearly three-and-a-half times more than the state’s commitments. The additional funds come from local, county and private investments.

“As in previous years, the demand for these grants was higher than the money we had available, and we were unable to fund 177 applications,” Quigley said. “The number of applicants we cannot fund next year will be even greater, as one of our primary funding sources—the Growing Greener II bond fund—will be depleted.”

For a complete list of grants by county, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/grants/indexlist.aspx.

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