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Projects and studies funded by state to develop more recreation opportunities

North Branch of the Susquehanna River at Vosburg Neck State Park in Wyoming County.
Kat Bolus
/
WVIA News
Vosburg Neck State Park in Wyoming County

State grants given to local organizations and municipalities will fund feasibility studies for walking and biking paths. The money will help rehab and develop parks, increase ADA access and install playground equipment.

Last week Governor Josh Shapiro announced an over $52 million dollar investment in recreation and conservation projects across the state. Out of that funding, almost $8 million dollars were awarded to recreation and conservation projects in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania.

Lycoming County received $100,000 to complete a Comprehensive Recreation, Park, Open Space and Greenway Plan. The last one was completed in 2009, said Jenny Picciano, lead planner for the county.

"This is a long overdue update for that plan," she said. "It'll essentially look at our current condition of our recreation facilities, parks, open space greenways and ... see what needs to be done to update our plan and improve our infrastructure."

She says recent multi-municipal comprehensive plans looked at county and municipal priorities over the next 10 to 20 years.

"And across the board, outdoor recreation ... was top of the list," Picciano said.

Bloomsburg received over $400,000 to renovate the tennis and basketball courts at the town park, as well as add a pickleball court.

Activity has substantially increased at the 46-acre town park, said Charles Fritz, Director of Governmental Services/Recycling Coordinator for Bloomsburg.

"Besides the court activities, we have baseball fields, a pool and we recently added a dog park. And we're in the process of establishing a three-mile walking trail along the river," he said.

Grants awarded for local recreation and conservation projects, include:

Bradford County

  • Canton Borough, $90,000: Rehabilitation of War Memorial Park, including renovation of basketball courts, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Carbon County

  • Palmerton Borough, $30,000: Prepare a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of Palmerton Memorial Park Association Swimming Pool.

Clinton County

  • Castanea Township, $70,000: Rehabilitation and further development of Harvey’s Run Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway and parking area; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • Clinton County, $172,000: Development of Bald Eagle Valley Trail in Castanea Twp. Work to include construction of approximately 0.11 miles of trail from Jarrett Avenue to Logan Avenue; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Columbia County

  • Bloomsburg Town, $118,900: Development of a boat launch along the Susquehanna River Water Trail; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements; and $408,200 for the rehabilitation and further development of Bloomsburg Town Park, including renovation of pedestrian walkway and basketball courts, construction of pickleball courts, installation of fencing, lighting and utilities; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Lackawanna County

  • Greenfield Twp., $60,000: Further development of Greenfield Twp. Community Park. Work to include installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • Jefferson Twp., $300,000: Development of Jefferson Twp. Recreation Complex. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkways, internal loop trail, comfort station and multi-purpose athletic fields; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements
  • The Conservation Fund, $773,500 for the acquisition of approximately 488 acres along Balish Road in Scranton.

Luzerne County

  • Duryea, $399,000: Payment toward the acquisition of approximately 171 acres along Swamp Road in Duryea Borough, Luzerne County for open space protection.
  • Hazleton, $37,000: Prepare a Master Site Development Plan for the 10.3-acre Columbus Court Park. Work to include an electronic written report and site development drawing; and $330,000 for the rehabilitation of Pine Street Park. Work to include renovation of basketball court and multi-purpose field; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Lycoming County

  • Lycoming County, $100,000: Prepare an update to the Comprehensive Recreation, Park, Open Space and Greenway Plan.
  • Williamsport, $224,100: Rehabilitation and further development of Shaw Park. Work to include renovation of pedestrian walkway and parking area; construction of pedestrian walkway, pump track and stormwater management measures; installation of fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Monroe County

  • Wildlands Conservancy Inc., $52,800: Restoration of approximately 575 feet of Forest Hills Run in Paradise Twp. Work to include stream bank stabilization, installation of in-stream habitat structures and riparian buffer; landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Northumberland County

  • Shamokin, $22,900: Prepare a Master Site Development Plan for the 0.5-acre Volunteer Park and a feasibility study for a pedestrian/bicycle bridge connecting Volunteer Park and Claude Kehler Park.

Pike County

  • Matamoras, $100,000: Further development of Airport Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkways, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Schuylkill County

  • Schuylkill Berks Nature, $737,900: Payment toward a conservation easement on approximately 550 acres along Blue Mountain Road in Wayne Twp., for critical habitat protection.
  • Delano Twp., $66,000: Rehabilitation of Delano Twp. Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway and parking area; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • Foster Twp., $70,000: Rehabilitation of Foster Twp. Community Park. Work to include installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • St. Clair, $77,500: Rehabilitation of John Siney Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • Schuylkill County, $63,600: Prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan for the county.
  • The Nature Conservancy, $692,800: Payment toward the acquisition of approximately 975 acres in Tremont Twp., for an addition to State Game Lands 211 and 229.
  • Washington Twp., $90,000: Further development of Washington Twp. Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway and parking area; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Tioga County

  • Tioga County, $500,000: Development of the Pine Creek Rail Trail in Delmar Twp. Work to include construction of approximately 0.8 miles of trail from the Mary Worthington Lane Bridge to State Route 287 and stormwater management measures; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Union County

  • East Buffalo Twp., $270,400: Development of Spruce Hills Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway, internal loop trail, access drive, parking area and stormwater management measures; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • Mifflinburg, $196,200: Further development of Mifflinburg Community Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • White Deer Twp., $185,000: Further development of West Milton Memorial Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkway, comfort station/pavilion facility, parking area and stormwater management measures; installation of utilities, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Wayne County

  • Damascus Twp., $250,000: Rehabilitation and further development of Damascus Twp. Park. Work to include renovation of baseball field, construction of pedestrian walkways, installation of fencing, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
  • Waymart, $90,000: Rehabilitation of Wayside Park. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkways and parking area; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing and lighting; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.

Statewide

  • Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Inc., $270,000: Manage the heritage area and heritage area initiatives; facilitate trail projects within the D&L Trail network; lead Trail Town and Trail Friendly Business programs; conduct education and outreach programs; and $161,000 to coordinate and fund activities of the Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape including the 2024 mini-grant program; create a strategic plan for the conservation landscape; coordinate and fund activities of THE LINK Trail Network and Coalition.
  • Delaware River Greenway Partnership, $71,500: Fund and coordinate activities including management of the Lower Delaware Wild and Scenic River; conduct social media and municipal engagement; implement the Heritage River lecture series.
  • Endless Mountains Heritage Region Inc., $280,000: Manage the heritage area and heritage area initiatives including the 2024 mini-grant program; manage the North Branch Susquehanna River Water Trail; develop barn preservation and farm tour workshops; update Endless Mountains Outdoor Recreation Guide.
  • Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, $197,000: Manage the heritage area and heritage area initiatives; facilitate development of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and research trail gap needs; conduct education and outreach programs.
  • Pennsylvania Environmental Council Inc., $100,000: Implement recommendations from the NEPA Trails: Assessing Connections and Community in Northeast Pennsylvania study; support trail network development; expand connections between trail groups within the 10-county NEPA region; $83,500 to coordinate and fund the PA Water Trails Program including implementation of the 2024 mini-grant program; update the water trail strategic plan; provide outreach and technical assistance to water trail managers; and $130,000 to prepare an analysis of cycling infrastructure for the Pennsylvania Wilds region.
  • Pennsylvania Route 6 Alliance, $267,000: Manage the heritage area and heritage area initiatives; facilitate the façade and signage improvement program in Lackawanna County and the Poconos region; continue to develop the bike tourism program; support tourism promotion and marketing campaign; provide technical assistance to PA Route 6 Heritage Communities; continue to promote the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail while organizing up to 3 PA Route 6 “makers markets.”
  • Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship Inc., $300,000: Coordinate and fund activities of the PA Wilds Conservation Landscape; conduct a diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility analysis; promote regional outdoor recreation, public lands and conservation; build capacity to support 35-year lease agreement with DCNR.
  • The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, $299,500: Fund and coordinate activities of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership including management of the West Branch and Lower North Branch Susquehanna River Water Trails; implement the 2024 greenway mini-grant program and Volunteer Ambassador program; conduct volunteer service programs and special events; coordinate implementation of the Middle Susquehanna Bicycle Pedestrian Transportation Plan and Phase 3 of the Wayfinding Program; align operational policies and procedures with PANO guidelines.
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.

You can email Kat at katbolus@wvia.org