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Woman on bike centered on a park trail. Other park visitors in background.The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has just announced grants for its Community Conservation Partnerships. This round of funding supports projects in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. The array of local projects also aim to improve recreational spaces, stormwater management, safety surfacing, pedestrian walkways, greenways and bike trails.

BUCKS county will be receiving over $320,000 in grant funds for area projects. In Bristol Township $41,000 will be awarded to prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park, Open Space and Greenway Plan. The New Britain Civic Association was granted $30,300 to Prepare a Master Site Development Plan for the 14-acre Covered Bridge Park in the New Britain Borough and the abutting 5.8-acre Orchard Park in Doylestown Township, Delaware County. A Pedestrian walkway, stormwater management measures and other installations for site improvement will be constructed at Lenape Park in the Sellersville Borough of Bucks County with a grant of $122,500. 

CHESTER county was also awarded over $315,000 in funds for area projects. Notably, East Whiteland Township was awarded $200,000 for the development in Bacton Hill Park that includes construction of a pavilion, pedestrian walkway, stormwater management measures and other related site improvements. East Coventry Township will be rehabbing Ellis Woods Park in Chester with a $75,900 grant for site improvements. $40,000 has been allocated to the Parkesburg Borough for the rehabilitation of Minch Park, which will include renovation of a comfort station, pedestrian walkways, landscaping and other related site improvements.

An $80,000 grant was awarded to the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art to support Chester and Delaware through the coordination and funding of the 2020 Brandywine Creek Greenway mini-grant program. The projects will benefit participating area municipalities and encourage connection to trails through outreach support, planning and technical assistance. Project partnerships aim to promote and improve open space, trail planning, public park enhancement, and trail facilities along the Brandywine Creek.  

DELAWARE county was awarded over $885,000 in grant funds for area projects. Chadds Ford Township was granted $138,300 for the development of Municipal Complex Playground that will include installation of play equipment and the construction of pavilions, a gazebo, stormwater management measures and pedestrian walkways among other site improvements. The Rose Tree County Park in Upper Providence Township (awarded $200,000), the Upland County Park in Upland Borough (awarded $57,800) and Veterans Memorial Park in Marple Township (awarded $200,000) will all be receiving funds for construction and park site improvements. Site work to be conducted in all parks include installation of play equipment, landscaping, stormwater management measures and construction of pedestrian walkways.

The Rose Tree County Park will also construct a comfort station and seating walls. Upland County Park will also include construction of seating walls and installation of fitness stations. Rehabilitation and further development of Meadowgreen Park in Springfield Township will use the $250,000 in grant funding to renovate a baseball field, construct a multi-purpose field and other site improvements that include development of pedestrian walkways. Upper Chichester Township was also awarded $40,000 for preparation of a Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan. 

MONTGOMERY county was granted over $2, 200,000 for area park projects, site plans and further development of recreational spaces. A Master Site Development Plan for the 10.9-acre Veterans Memorial Park in Towamencin Township will be developed with $25,000 in funds from DCNR. Lower Providence Township was also awarded funds for the development of a Comprehensive Recreation, Park, and Open Space Plan in the amount of $50,000. 

Speelhoffer Dog Park in Upper Frederick Township was awarded $40,000 for the construction of a pedestrian walkway, installation of shade structures, landscaping and other site improvements. The Briar Bush Nature Center in Abington Township was awarded $117,400 for the renovation of a pavilion, a pedestrian walkway, landscaping and site improvements. Jenkintown Borough was also awarded $139,200 in funds for the development of Cedar Street Park. Work will include the construction of a pedestrian walkway, installation of a pavilion and nature play equipment. Installation of play equipment and walkways have also been included in the rehabilitation plan of Victory Park in Royersford Borough with $200,000 in awarded funds. 

Several parks in Montgomery county have received funding for increased walkability and sports based recreational spaces. The Twining Valley property in Upper Dublin Township was awarded $200,000 for development that will include renovation and construction of pedestrian walkways, a mountain bike trail, boardwalk, a pedestrian bridge and other site improvements. The Wissahickon Park in Whitpain Township was awarded $1,429,784 for development. Site improvements will include installation of playground equipment, construction of a pavilion, comfort station and walkways as well as volleyball, bocce and horseshoe courts.

PHILADELPHIA county received over $2,430,000 in DCNR Recreation and Conservation grant funds. Two Philadelphia City Treasurer departments were awarded $250,000 each for construction of comfort stations, pedestrian walkways and stormwater management measures in local parks. The Department of Parks and Recreation was awarded funds for the Bridesburg Riverfront Park and the Managing Directors Office for further development of West Fairmount Park. The Department of Parks and Recreation was also awarded $250,000 for further construction and installation work of play equipment, stormwater management measures and other site improvements at FDR Park. 

Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Inc. was awarded $242,000 to manage the North Branch Susquehanna River Water trail, create educational programming tools and to manage other heritage area initiatives; including the 2020 mini-grant program. The Schuylkill River Greenway Association was awarded $275,000 to manage heritage area initiatives, implement the Heritage Conservation Corp program in Schuylkill County, further design and develop the Schuylkill River Trail in Berks and Schuylkill counties, and to support other programs and events; including the 2020 Schuylkill Watershed Congress. 

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc. was awarded $230,000 to manage the heritage area initiatives, facilitate the closing of gaps on the D&L Trail, install trail amenities, conduct trail user surveys and host outreach programs. It was also awarded $180,000 to coordinate and fund activities of the of the Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape including the 2020 mini-grant program. Project activities include prioritization of trail gaps and facilitation of key gap closures, expanding the Green Retail Program, hosting the 2020 PA Conservation Landscape meeting, coordinating and funding THE LINK Trail Network and Coalition and implementation of the three-year marketing plan.

The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association was awarded $120,000 for continued funding of the Conservation Easement Assistance Program grants to assist with the establishment of baseline documentation, acquisition of conservation, recreation and trail easements and amendments of old easements. It was also awarded $380,000 to provide technical assistance to conservation organizations and local government, develop conservation guidance materials and to further manage the Conservation Easement Assistance Program. 

Four notable sites were awarded funding for Master Site Development Plans. The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education was awarded $25,000 and the Philadelphia City Treasurer Department of Parks and Recreation was awarded funding for three Philadelphia based parks. The Tacony Creek Park ($100,000), Bristol Street/Frankford Creek Park ($52,000) and the East Fairmount Park Discovery Center ($80,000). 

Naida Montes

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