Thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC) will continue its work to support statewide water trails, and connect residents to the East Coast Greenway and Tidal Delaware Water Trail. Additionally, PEC’s supporting organization, Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR) received funding to continue the Pennsylvania River Sojourns and River of the Year programs.
“This funding from DCNR helps PEC fulfill one of our most important missions – getting Pennsylvanians outside to enjoy their nearby parks, trails and waterways, and become environmental stewards of our state’s natural resources,” said Don Welsh, PEC President and CEO.
DCNR is the primary source of state support for Pennsylvania recreation, parks and conservation initiatives. Grant funding from the DCNR assists hundreds of communities and organizations across Pennsylvania to plan, acquire and develop recreation and park facilities, create trails and conserve open space.
“Our grant investments work to bolster our vision for the health of our families, the vibrancy of our communities, the strength of our economy and our quality of life in Pennsylvania,” DCNR Deputy Secretary Cindy Dunn said. “These grants allow us to partner with communities so that they can expand and improve the wonderful assets that make the places we call home vibrant and attractive.”
This funding supports the following PEC initiatives, which provide opportunities for residents and visitors to experience Pennsylvania’s natural and urban treasures.
Statewide Water Trails Program – PEC will continue to manage the PA Water Trails Partnership with state and federal agencies, ensuring Pennsylvania’s status as a national leader in water trail development. PEC provides technical assistance to local groups and communities who are initiating water trail projects. Additionally, PEC will initiate an impact study of the economic, land use and visual impact of water trails in PA, and further statewide communications planning for the Water Trails Program. PEC will also begin to build the case for the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania being added as a connector trail to the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
Tidal Delaware Water Trail – PEC will support environmental stewards and recreation leaders along the Tidal Delaware River by providing educational materials, training and online resources to provide more opportunities to experience the river through boating and fishing. Additionally, PEC will assist municipalities in implementing proposed launch site plans that will create more access for boaters to the Delaware River.
East Coast Greenway – PEC will coordinate project implementation of multiple segments of the Greenway in Bucks, Philadelphia and Delaware counties. This includes determining the appropriate route of the trail, design, and construction. Once complete, this paved, off-road biking and walking trail will form part of a 3,000 mile trail connecting cities from Maine to Florida.
River of the Year and Sojourns – POWR will promote the 2010 River of the Year and will administer the statewide river sojourns program. Sojourns are paddling, camping and educational trips along Pennsylvania’s most exciting rivers including the Allegheny, Susquehanna, Schuylkill and Delaware.
Funding for the grants comes from Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key 93), the Environmental Stewardship Fund (Growing Greener 1), the Growing Greener Bond Fund (Growing Greener 2) and federal funding sources.
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The Pennsylvania Environmental Council promotes the protection and restoration of the natural and built environments through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy with the private sector, government, individuals and communities as partners to improve the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians.
Now celebrating its 40th Anniversary, PEC serves the entire state through offices in Meadville, Luzerne, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Philadelphia. For more information visit https://pecpa.org/.