The summer season brings the best conditions to enjoy what nature has to provide. Pennsylvania hopes to bring more residents outdoors by providing more access to the Lackawaxen River in Wayne County. Residents will be able to enjoy more activities outdoors as development is rolled out, just in time for the warm summer days.
The following press release from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources talks in-depth on the funding project:
The Wolf Administration today announced that $967,672 in new grant funding was approved to assist projects aimed at expanding access to the Lackawaxen River in Wayne County.
“I am pleased to join the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today to announce this significant investment in outdoor recreation in a wonderful Pennsylvania community,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund said. “We are excited for the new opportunities these projects will provide boaters, anglers and others who want to take in nature. These projects don’t happen without collaboration and dedication and I thank everyone who partnered on expanding river access in this area.”
DCNR and PFBC funded two projects to expand access to the Lackawaxen River: Development of Industrial Point River Access Park along the Lackawaxen River in Honesdale and development of White Mills River Access Park along the Lackawaxen River in Texas Township. Both projects include construction of boat launches, comfort stations, pedestrian walkways, ADA access, landscaping, and parking. The Industrial Point Project will also include a new pavilion and the White Mills project will also include a new fishing pier. DCNR dedicated $408,000 to these projects.
“Communities that embrace conservation and lay out the welcome mat for anglers and boaters through expanded access to the water realize tremendous recreational, social, and economic benefits,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “The addition of these access points along the Lackawaxen River is a major step in establishing a water trail through this region that will only enhance Wayne County’s reputation as a destination region for outdoor enthusiasts.”
In addition to the Industrial Point and White Mills projects, the PFBC provided funding to establish a third river access at Indian Orchard, which will serve as the midpoint of the approximately 10-mile water trail from Honesdale to Hawley. When awarding funding through its Boating Facility Grant Program in 2021 and 2022, the PFBC placed special emphasis on projects within the Delaware River Watershed.
Thanks to additional grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund, a combined $559,672 was dedicated to the three projects in Wayne County.
“Investing in impactful projects like the access points that will form the Lackawaxen River water trail is what collaborative conservation is all about,” said Wendi Weber, North Atlantic-Appalachian Regional Director for the USFWS. “This successful effort is yet another example of how we can have a greater conservation impact when we work together.”
“We are extremely happy to be able to work with both DCNR and the Fish and Boat Commission to secure funding for this very worthwhile project,” Wayne County Board of Commissioners Chairman Brian Smith said. “It’s a great improvement to our area and ultimately will allow boat access and handicapped accessibility to one of the county’s nicest waterways in a long-underutilized spot.”
DCNR provides grants to myriad projects across the commonwealth annually, including a $70 million investment during the 2021-22 fiscal year. Its Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants can fund:
- Planning, acquisition, and development of public parks and recreation areas
- Motorized and non-motorized trails
- River conservation and access
- Heritage areas and facilities
- Conservation of critical habitat, natural areas and open space
Eligible applicants for these grants include counties, municipalities, municipal agencies, nonprofit organizations, state heritage areas, prequalified land trusts, and for-profit enterprises. Grant funding for the program comes from a variety of state funding sources including Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, ATV and Snowmobile Management Restricted Accounts, Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program, and federal sources including the Recreational Trails Program and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. DCNR selects the most appropriate funding source based on the applicant and proposed project.
Pennsylvania has more than 6,100 local parks. Under the administration of Governor Tom Wolf, DCNR has awarded more than $342 million in grants to 1,965 projects across the commonwealth.
Learn more about DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnership Program grants on the DCNR website.
DCNR and PFBC work to boost public recreation access through agency grants that include programs to restore local waterways, provide water-based outdoor recreation opportunities and inspire personal stewardship.
The PFBC’s Boating Facility Grant Program is open to qualified applicants including townships, boroughs, municipal and county governments; and nonprofit groups (501c3) including land trusts, conservancies, and watershed associations seeking grants for the following purposes:
- Site acquisition, development, or expansion
- Prevention of the spread of aquatic invasive species
- Rehabilitation of recreational boat access facilities
Eligible construction projects may include, boat ramps, courtesy floats, restrooms, access roads, parking areas and signs. Funds may also be used to make facilities ADA compliant. Funding requests require a 50 percent match. Since 2005, the PFBC has awarded approximately $8,496,000 through this program.
Additional funding for projects specific to the Lake Erie region is available through the PFBC’s Erie Access Improvement Grant Program.
The conservation landscape covers two distinct areas in Pike, Monroe, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, and Carbon counties and includes 54,536 acres of state parks, 85,239 acres of state forests, hundreds of miles of recreation trails, and 4,700 miles of streams and around 75 square miles of lakes and ponds.
The PA Route 6 Corridor includes 11 counties and serves to enhance and promote one of the nation’s first transcontinental highways while also sustaining and enhancing small rural communities connected to the highway.
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