Governor Tom Wolf announced on Dec 30, 2021, an “investment of $70 million for 317 projects across Pennsylvania that will revitalize communities, create new recreational opportunities, and conserve natural space”. This grant funding comes through our partner, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation Partnerships Program. “This important $70 million investment in outdoor recreation, infrastructure and conservation will leverage approximately $196 million in local, county and private investments, giving every state dollar more power for the public good,” Gov. Wolf said.
This funding comes from the Keystone Fund, generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, fees for ATV/Snowmobile licenses, and federal monies.
This announcement has special implications for the South Mountain Region, including funding the South Mountain Partnership. As a Conservation Landscape Initiative, we rely on this funding for our Mini-Grant Program, staff salaries, communications, and annual programs like convening partners, organizing events, and the Speakers Series and Science Summit and Research Corps. We are so grateful for the continued support of PA DCNR for these efforts!
We are also glad to report this funding included a total allocation of over $1.7 million in our region alone (see chart below for details) and will fund land acquisition, community parks, and trails across the South Mountain landscape.
As Katie Hess, Director of the South Mountain Partnership shared, “The Environmental Stewardship Fund, part of the Growing Greener initiative, is crucial because it is one of only a few sources available in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, and York counties to conserve and steward farms and farmland, historic places, a healthy environment, and outdoor recreation infrastructures. We need more of this funding because we are seeing loss of farmland, scenic views, and wildlife and habitat, and more flooding events, and increasing traffic. We are seeing major changes in the region and over the next 20 years, the quality of our environment will impact our ability to attract business location and investment, stimulate tourism and recreation, improve public health, and attract wealth because people want to live in and visit beautiful, healthy places.”
If you are interested in supporting the Environmental Stewardship Fund consider supporting the Growing Greener Coalition, a coalition of environmental, conservation, and outdoor recreation organizations in PA working to ensure conservation funding grows in the state. You can learn more about their mission or sign up for their newsletter on their website.
Find a complete list of grants by county on the DCNR website.