Erie County Parks to Receive Thousands in Grants

Category:  News
Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 7:58 PM

The State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation has awarded the Erie County area $775,000 in grants for the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2).

This program is in place to provide financial and technical assistance to local governments, river and trail organizations, land trusts and other nonprofits for planning, acquisition and development of park, recreation, conservation and greenway projects.

Asbury Woods Partnership Inc. has been awarded $412,500 to add on 62 acres of land attached to the park in Millcreek Township. This will add all the land from Walnut Creek to Sterrenttania Road, for recreation purposes and access to Walnut Creek.

State Rep. Ryan A. Bizzarro and Senator Sean D. Wiley, both D-Erie, and Rep. Curt Sooney, R-Erie, supported the passing of the C2P2 program.

“Not only will this award allow for more recreational opportunities in our area, but it will also help improve access to Walnut Creek,” Bizzarro said in a press release.

“We are fortunate to have such beautiful outdoor scenery in Erie County and I am proud my office was able to work closely with Asbury Woods to make this exciting opportunity a reality.”

Greene Township has been awarded $140,000 to rehabilitate Playground Paradise. This will include installing new play equipment with required safety surfacing, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related improvements.

Harborcreek Township has been awarded $32,000 to rehabilitate Whitford Park. Tim May, park superintendent and superintendent of code enforcement and public works, talked about the plan for Whitford Park, which is to upgrade the restrooms and concession stand.

“Our plan is to make accessible restrooms, update all the facilities, and also the concession stand, snack bar area as well,” May said.

This project will also include landscaping, ADA access, project sign and other related improvements.

“We’re extremely excited to be able to do this. It’s a park that gets an immense amount of use, not just on the weekends, but all summer long; it is a very busy park. For us to be able to upgrade the facilities for our residents… we are very thrilled,” May said.

“The timing of it is very unique, in that we actually had our Whitford Park’s manager just pass away last fall; he treated that park like his own home, his own backyard almost. A lot of his dreams were to be able to re-do the concession stand and stuff like that, so he knew we were going for this. We submitted for this grant last spring and to be awarded it now, his family is just thrilled that we’re going to be able to follow through in his dreams a little bit,” May said.

North East Borough has been awarded $150,000 to rehabilitate Gibson Park. The project will include building sidewalks, installing lighting, utilities and electrical upgrades, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other improvements.

And finally, Wesleyville Borough has been awarded $40,000 to rehabilitate Hinkler Park. This will include renovation of the pavilion and parking area, installing utilities and new play equipment with required safety surfaces, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other improvements.

Anna Ashcraft is the Managing Editor of Features for The Spectator.

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