State Funding Announced for Local Watersheds, Parks and Open Space

state grants

WEST CHESTER, PA — Four projects in Chester County to support clean watersheds, conserve land, and expand opportunities for outdoor recreation will receive nearly $1.8 million in total grant funding, announced state Senator Carolyn Comitta and state Reps. Dan Williams, Kristine Howard, and Melissa Shusterman.

“Investments in clean water, open space, and public parks pay dividends in the health, well-being, and overall quality of life in our communities. These funds will support more opportunities for outdoor recreation in Coatesville and Malvern, cleaner streams in Willistown and the surrounding area, and more trees, meadows, and forests across Chester County,” said Comitta, who serves as minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.

The grants, which come through the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2), are funded through a variety of state and federal sources, including the federal American Rescue Plan Act, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, and the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program.

  • The City of Coatesville will receive $1,136,400 for the rehabilitation of Ash Park, including renovation of a comfort station, construction of a spray park and pedestrian walkways, installation of filtration and recirculation systems, utilities, and electrical upgrades, ADA access, landscaping, project signage, and other related site improvements.

“I’m very happy to see this much-needed funding for Ash Park.  In order to be beneficial for everyone, plans for the revitalization of Coatesville should consider all aspects of the community, not just those related to business or infrastructure,” said state Rep. Dan Williams.  “The transformation of Ash Park will provide a beautiful recreation area that our children and families will be able to enjoy soon and for generations to come.”

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“The City of Coatesville is honored to be one of the projects funded by the Community Conservation Partnerships Program in this funding round. The recognition given to the Ash Park Master Plan speaks to Senator Comitta’s and Rep. Williams’ awareness to provide safe environments designed to enhance the quality of life and youth development opportunities for park visitors and residents,” said James Logan, Coatesville City Manager. “Ash Park is one of Coatesville’s oldest parks in the City, covering 9.3 acres of open recreational space. According to county records, Ash Park was purchased by the City of Coatesville in 1917. This funding serves as the kick-starter for Phase I of a five-year renovation, preservation, and construction improvement project. The new features will help shape programming, events, and other outreach efforts to bring thousands of people to the park. We are excited about the future of Ash Park and thanks to Sen. Comitta and Rep. Williams we are already making great strides toward the future.”

  • Chester County will receive $70,000 to install approximately 9 acres of riparian forest buffers, 1 acre of meadow, and 700 trees within Chester County. Work will include landowner outreach and engagement, watershed forestry plantings and post-planting establishment, project signage, and other related site improvements.
  • Malvern Borough will receive $324,800 for the rehabilitation and further development of the Randolph Woods Nature Preserve, including renovation of the access drive, installation of a pavilion, fencing and gates, ADA access, landscaping, project signage, and other related site improvements.

“I am so happy to see this wonderful preserve receive this rehabilitation grant,” said state Rep. Kristine Howard said. “The preserve is a tremendous resource for the community.”

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“With this additional grant funding, Malvern Borough is preparing for a $1,151,500 investment in the Randolph Woods Nature Preserve. We are thrilled to preserve and protect this natural setting while enhancing access for all our citizens,” said Malvern Borough Council President Amy Finkbiner.

  • The Willistown Conservation Trust will receive $260,000 to install approximately 50 acres of meadows in the Crum, Darby, and Ridley Creek watersheds. Work will include landowner outreach and engagement, watershed forestry plantings and post-planting establishment, project signage, and other related site improvements.

“The Willistown watershed areas are of significant importance to the health of our communities. These streams play a vital role in providing clean water and habitats for a variety of wildlife,” said state Rep. Melissa Shusterman. “This grant will ensure Willistown, and other streamside communities can continue to be good stewards of these natural resources that improve the quality of life for the entire region.”

DCNR’s C2P2 grants can fund:

  • Planning, acquisition, and development of public parks
  • Recreation areas
  • Motorized and non-motorized trails
  • River conservation and access
  • Conservation of open space
  • Community and Watershed Forestry

Grants also support regional and statewide partnerships that build the capacity to better develop and manage resources.

The 2023 grant round will open on January 17 and close in April. For more information, visit www.dcnr.pa.gov.

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