Corman, Benninghoff Announce $200,000 in Recreation, Environmental Grants Awarded for Area Projects

Two Centre County projects have been awarded $200,000 in state funding to enhance recreational opportunities for area residents and protect the environment, according to Senator Jake Corman (R-34) and state Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-171).

“When it comes to the natural beauty of Central Pennsylvania, our area is unrivaled,” Senator Corman said. “These projects are crucial to protecting our natural resources and providing area residents with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. I’m pleased that this funding will help to give way to a greater appreciation of our surroundings.”

“It’s important that we preserve our outdoor areas so we all have the opportunities to step away from our hectic lives and enjoy our region’s beautiful natural resources,” Rep. Benninghoff said. “This grant is a strategic investment in preserving the local environment and providing a chance for families to enjoy being outside.”

The grants were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) under its Watershed and Restoration Program and Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program. The program is funded with money assessed by the Commonwealth through the state’s Impact Fee, which is paid by the state’s unconventional natural gas producers.

Rush Township in Philipsburg received $66,328 to rehabilitate Rush Township Municipal Park.

The grant will be used to replace deteriorated equipment, improve safety, and correct ADA accessibility issues.

The project will include the installation of new accessible play equipment units, picnic tables, bike racks, benches, grills, trash receptacles, signage and fencing. The project will also include the replacement of rubber surfacing under play equipment, repair of basketball equipment and play area, planting of two shade trees and construction of accessible parking spaces with adjacent walkways, and a walking trail. The project will provide a safe and accessible facility for the residents of the township and surrounding areas. The total project cost is $78,033.

ClearWater Conservancy of Central Pennsylvania received $133,672 to acquire a conservation easement on Pasquinelli property located in Ferguson Township, Centre County.

ClearWater plans to acquire a 22.85-acre perpetual conservation easement on the property, known as Windy Hill Farm, as part of a landscape-scale conservation effort to protect source water known as the Slab Cabin Run initiative. Several important natural areas, critical wildlife habitat and open space buffer to the Musser Gap Greenway are the basis for the project.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) was established in 2004 as an independent agency of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) to administer Pennsylvania’s economic stimulus packages. The CFA holds fiduciary responsibility over the funding of programs and investments in Pennsylvania’s economic growth.