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Local communities benefit from $44 million in state grants for parks

Mary Ann Thomas
| Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, 5:15 p.m.
Tree climber Greg Fischer, in Hays Woods, which was awarded $800,000 Tuesday from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media
Tree climber Greg Fischer, in Hays Woods, which was awarded $800,000 Tuesday from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Pennsylvania's Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announced Tuesday awards of $44 million for 266 projects across the state for new recreational projects, the conservation of natural resources, and revitalization of local communities.

DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn joined officials from the City of Pittsburgh and the Urban Redevelopment Authority Tuesday near Hays Woods in Baldwin to highlight the grants in Allegheny County. The agency awarded $800,000 to the URA towards the purchase price of Hays Woods, which will be the city's second largest park.

Allegheny Count DCNR grants

• Allegheny County, $175,000, for the rehabilitation of South Park

• Allegheny Land Trust, $148,600, development of Dead Man's Hollow trail system in Dead Man's Hollow Conservation Area

• Allegheny Land Trust, $273,450, payment toward the acquisition of approximately 76.87 acres in Bell Acres, Franklin Park and Sewickley Heights boroughs, Allegheny County and Economy Borough, Beaver County

• Bell Acres Borough, $50,000, prepare a conservation and stewardship plan for the Big Sewickley Creek Watershed

• Brentwood Borough, $100,000, rehabilitation of Brentwood Pool, Brentwood Borough

• Coraopolis Borough, $55,000, rehabilitation of Shelley Y. Jones Memorial Park

• Duquesne City, $17,800, prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan

• Emsworth Borough, $99,000, rehabilitation of Marmo Park

• Friends of the Pittsburgh Urban Forest, $50,000, construction of approximately 16 acres of riparian forest buffers along waterways in the Saw Mill Run Watershed

• Hollow Oak Land Trust, $265,800, development of the Montour Woods Greenway in Moon Township

• Pittsburgh City, $80,000, prepare Master Site Development Plans for the approximately 257-acre Emerald View Park

• Pittsburgh City, $500,000, rehabilitation and further development of Wightman Park

• Richland Township, $250,000, rehabilitation and further development of Richland Park

• Ross Township, $125,000, rehabilitation of Denny Park

• Upper St. Clair Township, $300,000, development of Morton Complex/Community Gardens Connection Perimeter Trail in Boyce Mayview Park

• West Mifflin Borough, $20,000, prepare a comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan

• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, $53,650, payment toward acquisition of approximately 61.8 acres in Kilbuck Township, for an addition to Toms Run Nature Reserve and open space protection

• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, $75,000, development of Toms Run Nature Reserve Trail System in Kilbuck and Ohio townships

• Whitehall Borough, $30,000, prepare an update to the Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space and Greenway Plan

Armstrong County

• East Franklin Township, $40,000, development of Johnston Landing community park

• Ford City Borough, $40,000, rehabilitation of Boulder Park

• Sugarcreek Township, $40,000, rehabilitation of Sugarcreek Township community park

Butler County

• Connoquenessing Borough, $40,000, rehabilitation of Connoquenessing Park

• Cranberry Township, $75,000, rehabilitation of North Boundary Park

• Jackson Township, $150,000, development of Jackson Township Park

• Petrolia Borough, $40,000, further development of Petrolia Park

• Winfield Township, $70,000, further development of Winfield Community Park

Westmoreland

• Murrysville, rehabilitation and further development of Murrysville Community Park

• Salem Township, $75,000, rehabilitation and further development of Seanor Farm Park

• Westmoreland County, $640,000, rehabilitation and further development of two sites within Cedar Creek

Park

• Westmoreland County, $108,100, payment toward the acquisition of approximately 41 acres located in

• Hempfield Township for an addition to the Twin Lakes Park and passive recreation.

• Westmoreland County, $124,300, rehabilitation and further development of Twin Lakes Park

Additionally, DCNR awarded more than $2.36 million to Heritage Areas for projects including advancing river and trail towns, closing gaps in Pennsylvanian's destination trails, developing heritage tourism initiatives, improving educational and interpretative signage, and planning and marketing heritage tourism events.

The grants are administered by DCNR through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Additional investments include: 49 trail projects; protecting nearly 8,000 acres of open space; nine projects for planting riparian buffers along streams; 14 projects for rivers conservation; and over 100 projects to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park and conservation areas and facilities.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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