Opportunity Awaits: State Grant Opens Door for Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Projects in Chester County

Comitta Announces DCNR GrantEverhart Park, West Chester, PA

WEST CHESTER, PA — Chester County has been presented with a golden opportunity. State Senator Carolyn Comitta announced that applications are now open for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation Partnerships Program. This program provides financial support to outdoor recreation and conservation projects, presenting a significant boost for municipalities, land trusts, nonprofit organizations, and other eligible agencies.

“Preserving open space, protecting our waterways, and expanding outdoor recreation means more opportunities to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature,” remarked Comitta, who also serves as the minority chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. “These grants can go a long way in supporting parks, open space, and other outdoor projects.”

Last year, the grant program allocated over $52 million to more than 225 local and community projects across Pennsylvania. These funds aided in the construction or renovation of more than 80 local parks, the development of 23 miles of trails, and the protection of 6,000 acres of land for public recreation. Furthermore, Chester County benefited directly from this program, with seven projects receiving a total of over $1.5 million.

The range of eligible projects is broad, encompassing park and recreation rehabilitation, trail planning and construction, land acquisition and conservation, river access and conservation, community and riparian tree planting, and regional and statewide partnerships to better develop and manage resources.

The application process is straightforward, with all submissions accepted through DCNR’s Grants Customer Service Portal. To assist potential applicants, a tutorial video detailing grant requirements and the application interface is available on DCNR’s YouTube channel. Moreover, DCNR staff are on hand to answer questions, visit potential project sites, and help develop competitive grant applications.

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The funding for these grants stems from multiple state and federal sources, including the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program, Keystone Tree Fund, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Recreational Trails Program.

The impact of the Community Conservation Partnerships Program is evident in its track record. The program has helped permanently protect more than 435,000 acres across Pennsylvania for outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and water quality. Over 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s 6,200 local parks have received DCNR grants.

The deadline to apply for this opportunity is 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3. Chester County agencies are being encouraged to seize this chance to further enhance the region’s natural beauty and recreational offerings, contributing to the county’s legacy as a haven for nature enthusiasts.

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