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Popular recreation area in Luzerne County receives funding

The two parking lots at the Seven Tubs Recreation Area will be paved. Culverts will be added to help with stormwater issues. Fencing, sidewalks and guard rails will be installed and a restroom facility will be built thanks to $1.5 million in state funding.

“We are looking to be able to enhance the recreation experience here in this area. And then also in the Seven Tubs, we're really looking to improve public access," said Ellen Shultzabarger, state forester.

Schultzabarger joined Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Dunn as well as other state representatives Thursday at the 123-acre recreation area in Plains Twp. to announce new funding for the area.

Parks across the Commonwealth have seen an influx in usage since the pandemic began in 2020. However, much of the work on infrastructure in the state’s parks and forests was last done in the 50s, 60s and 70s, said John Norbeck, the Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry.

The state’s 2022-23 budget includes $700 million for conservation, recreation and preservation throughout the state. Of that funding, $75 million is for state parks and forest infrastructure.

Dunn said the Pinchot State Forest District, where Seven Tubs is located, is well loved.

"What the public is telling us is they want more recreation, and they want more access to the outdoors," said Dunn. "There's nowhere that that's more intensely felt than here in the eastern part of the state and the northeast.”

The state is working to secure a contractor for the project, said Bilal Baqai, DCNR’s Eastern Regional engineer for facility design and construction. Once that is in place, construction will begin. The upgrades are expected to take about a year to complet

Kat Bolus is the community reporter for the newly-formed WVIA News Team. She is a former reporter and columnist at The Times-Tribune, a Scrantonian and cat mom.