DCNR Acquires Tract Adjoining Presque Isle State Park

DCNR Acquires Tract Adjoining Presque Isle State ParkPresque Isle State Park is a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula that arches into Lake Erie. As Pennsylvania's only "seashore," Presque Isle offers its visitors a beautiful coastline and many recreational activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, bicycling and in-line skating. A National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a favorite spot for migrating birds.

HARRISBURG, PA — Department of Conservation and Natural Resource (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn recently announced the acquisition of the 18.45-acre BAC Inc. property in Millcreek Township, Erie County. The property adjoins Presque Isle State Park and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center.

“The efforts over nearly 20 years to acquire the BAC property were extraordinary,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “Acquisitions like this take hard work, dedication, and cooperation among many of our partners in Erie. To that end, the department appreciates the support and efforts of our external partners in this lengthy process. Presque Isle State Park is one of the most visited parks in the system; this acquisition will help conserve the Scott Run corridor as well as enhance the visitor experience.”

Since 2002, DCNR shared a vision of a Greenway along the eastern side of Peninsula Drive from West Sixth Street to Presque Isle State Park. This project will advance plans to restore the property to a natural environment, and as an appropriate “gateway” to Presque Isle State Park. Additionally, important greenway development, visitor connections, and environmental issue mitigation will be attained and made through this acquisition.

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“I’m pleased to see this tremendous property come to state parks,” said Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas. “The patience of BAC and the assistance of our partners cleared the way for this important project to finally come to fruition. Much work remains ahead of us as we plan for a new and welcoming gateway to the peninsula. But once complete, we envision a plan that will enhance the recreational and conservational value of the park, as well as advance the comprehensive plan of Millcreek Township — creating a gateway to the Presque Isle State Park, Millcreek Township’s Scott Run Park, and to the City of Erie.

“What’s more, the conservation of the Scott Run corridor will help ensure long-term conservation of Presque Isle Bay and the park. The work ahead of us is exciting, to say the least.”

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The project is also viewed as an important green link for the Great Lakes Seaway Trail system — a 518-mile scenic driving route that follows the shores of Lake Erie, the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, and the St. Lawrence River in New York and Pennsylvania.

From a resource standpoint, the property will allow the department to address the partial restoration and stabilization of Scott Run, a tributary to Presque Isle Bay that traverses this property. Scott Run is included in the DEP list of impaired waters whose deeply-cut banks erode further with each rain event, washing of thousands of pounds of sediment each year into Presque Isle Bay and harming its fisheries.

BAC has always been supportive of efforts to preserve and promote Presque Isle State Park and supports a transaction that will ensure the local community benefits from this parcel of land in perpetuity.

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For more information on Presque Isle State Park call 1-888-PA-PARKS from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Saturday.

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