Allegheny County, PA – November 19, 2019 – Today, Senator Pam Iovino (D-37) announced the award of $872,750 in state Community Parks and Recreation Grants and Land Conservation Grants to the 37th Senatorial District. The funds will support community recreation in South Fayette Township and Whitehall Borough, and land conservation in Moon Township, Robinson Township, South Fayette Township, and the Municipality of Bethel Park.
“These grants to the 37th Senatorial District will preserve and enhance park areas and greenspace that are easily accessible and that provide great recreational opportunities,” said Senator Pam Iovino. “These investments will protect our air and water, improve quality of life, and make our area an even more attractive place to live, work, and play.”
“This state funding support is critical to permanently protecting important greenspace across the Greater Pittsburgh region,” said Christopher Beichner, President and CEO of the Allegheny Land Trust, a non-profit conservation organization that is a recipient of several of today’s grant awards. “The projects supported by these grants will conserve outdoor recreation for residents while also helping to address regional challenges such as flooding, landslides, and air and water quality.”
“This funding will help us update community playgrounds to provide fun, safe and accessible facilities for families in South Fayette,” said Andrea Iglar, Director of Communications and Community Development for South Fayette Township.
“Whitehall Borough has many plans to improve the recreational facilities in Prospect Park,” said Jim Nowalk, Mayor of Whitehall. “It would have been financially difficult to begin without the assistance of state grant funds.”
Specific grants awarded in the 37th District as part of today’s announcement include the following:
Allegheny Land Trust (ALT) received $35,000 in Community Parks and Recreation Grants to prepare a Master Site Development Plan for the 43.2-acre Meyer Farm in South Fayette Township. The site was recently bequeathed to ALT by the property owner, Harry Meyer, to ensure its permanent protection as a conservation area, working farm, technical vocational educational center, and a place to honor past farming traditions. Under ALT’s stewardship, the land will be permanently protected from development, and portions of the farm will be brought back to a variety of productive uses to support Mr. Meyer’s multifaceted vision.
ALT also received Land Conservation Grant funding for open space protection and passive recreation: $89,750 to support the acquisition of 38.5 acres in Moon and Robinson Townships along the Montour Trail and Montour Run, and $363,000 for the acquisition of 40.5 acres in the Municipality of Bethel Park to create the Bethel Green Conservation Area. The award to the Bethel Green project follows the recent award of $100,000 in Allegheny County Gaming and Economic Development Fund grants and $175,000 in Pennsylvania Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program grants.
South Fayette Township received $300,000 for the rehabilitation of both the Fairview Park and Boys Home Park. The funded work at both parks will include construction of a pedestrian walkway, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing, ADA access, landscaping, project signs, and related site improvements. Boys’ Home Park will also see the construction of a parking area.
Whitehall Borough received $85,000 to support the rehabilitation and further development of Prospect Park. Funded work will include construction of a pavilion, pedestrian walkway, and parking area, installation of utilities, ADA access, landscaping, project signage, and related site improvements.
The Community Parks and Recreation Grants Program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and aims to build connections between citizens and the outdoors by providing funding and technical assistance support for local recreation and park improvement projects. The Land Conservation, Acquisition, and Stewardship Grant Program is also administered by DCNR, and helps communities and nonprofit organizations across Pennsylvania acquire land for public parks and open space to be enjoyed by all for generations to come.