The governor’s office Thursday announced the release of $28 million in grants for 176 conservation and recreational projects across Pennsylvania, including 14 in Allegheny County.
Cindy Adams Dunn, secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, outlined the investments at a gathering of Homestead residents and federal, state and borough lawmakers near the site of a future trail linking Homestead with the Great Allegheny Passage, a project that will get $100,000.
Homestead will receive another $100,000 for improvements in McLean Playground and Frick Park.
Ms. Dunn said the investments are important because “the health and vitality of a community is reflected in the quality of its parks and trails, access to rivers, open spaces and outdoor recreation opportunities.”
The 14 projects in Allegheny County — more than any other county in the state — will receive a total of $2,478,300. The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy will receive an additional $75,000.
The largest grants are $1.3 million for the acquisition of 500 acres adjacent to state game lands and the Lehigh River in Lackawanna County and $1 million toward more than 100 acres for habitat preservation and recreation along French Creek in Chester County.
Another $887,500 goes toward acquiring more than 370 acres for recreation in Dauphin County, and in Butler County, $700,000 will help build a municipal swimming pool in Zelienople.
The next-largest grants, both of which involve Allegheny County, are for $500,000.
One is intended for development of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail in Etna, including a pedestrian bridge, handicapped access, landscaping and signage. The other goes to development of 5.6 miles of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail in Monroeville, Penn, Murrysville and Trafford. The project will include rehabilitation of four bridges and other improvements.
Grants involving land purchases in Allegheny County include: 2.2 acres along West Smithfield and Yates streets in Elizabeth Township ($13,400); 29 acres near Little Sewickley Creek in Bell Acres ($218,000); and 7.75 acres near Dead Man’s Hollow in Lincoln ($20,400). The Allegheny Land Trust will receive the funds.
Other awards for park and trail improvements include: McLaughlin Run Park in Bridgeville ($215,000); Hampton Community Park ($200,000); Moon Park ($250,000); and the Youghiogheny River Trail in Elizabeth Township ($247,000).
Other grants go to Pittsburgh for a Greenway Resource Guide ($50,000); a splash park feasibility study in Sangree Park in Ross ($17,500); and a recreation plan for West Homestead ($45,000).
Other Western Pennsylvania counties receiving funding included: Armstrong ($137,000 for Belmont Complex in Kittanning); Beaver ($240,000 for two projects); Butler ($1,207,500 for four); Washington ($176,000 for Washington Park); and Westmoreland ($192,500 for four).
For a complete list of grants by county, visit: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/brc/grants/brcinteractivemapping1/grantannouncements/index.htm.
Dan Majors: 412-263-1456 or firstname.lastname@example.org.