Greenway Funding for Erie County

by Lindsey Douglass

Erie has a greener future ahead. Non-profits, educational institutes, and government agencies have been awarded grants by the Erie County Greenway Program to improve local greenways. Our County has formed the Greenway Program to improve greenways, which encompasses nature conservation, aesthetic beauty, and outdoor recreation in the area. The 2016 recipients will use the funds to complete projects such as development and improvement of trails, gardens, and parks. Below is the full list of recipients and their respective projects. 

Albion Borough - $35,000 for the Albion Area Community Garden

City of Erie - $45,000 for Roessler Park Recreation Improvements

McKean Township - $20,000 for McKean Conservation Area Improvements

Penn State University - $35,000 for Wintergreen Gorge Trail Improvements

Penn Soil Resource Conservation and Development Council in Cooperation with DCNR - $22,000 for Erie Bluffs State Park Trail Development

Asbury Woods Partnership, Inc. - $25,000 for the Asbury Woods Land Acquisition

Erie County Conservation District- $15,000 for Headwaters Park Improvements

Erie County Department of Health - $2,400 for Lyme Disease and Tick Awareness

Sierra Club, Lake Erie Group c/o Environment Erie – $1,500 for McClelland Park Trail Accessibility Improvements

These nine projects are being funded with over $200,000 the county has received from the Marcellus Legacy Fund. The Marcellus Legacy Fund comes from the Commonwealth. Any unconventional gas well producers in Pennsylvania must pay drilling impact fees. These fees are put into two funds: the Unconventional Gas Well Fund and Marcellus Legacy Fund. Erie County only qualifies for the latter. These funds are allocated each year to counties and municipalities. It is with the Marcellus Legacy Fund that our county can run the Erie County Greenway Program.

The completion of these developments will prove to be positive for our community. Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive, commented, "We are lucky to live in a region with beautiful natural resources, and it is important that we are proactive in conserving these assets. I'm proud to announce the recipients of this year's Greenway grant funding – these nine projects are excellent examples of the ways Erie County is moving forward." The future is certainly looking green for our Erie County.