Grants of $1.4 million have been awarded to Erie County in an effort to preserve the region’s natural beauty.
The funding is from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
One organization getting part of the money is Asbury Woods, which will use the money to continue their mission of outdoor recreation and nature appreciation. Asbury Woods received $217,000 for the acquisition of an additional 52 acres in Millcreek Township.
“By Asbury Woods acquiring it, it ensures that it stays open, those trails stay open for public access, and the rest of the acreage provides some additional frontage on West 38th Street and just gives us some options in the future to potentially have additional trail area.” said Jennifer Farrar, Asbury Woods Executive Director.
Other organizations receiving funding include the Erie Zoo. $500,000 will be used to rehab the giraffe exhibit.
State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro says the $1.4 million will be used to not only highlight our region but to attract more people as well.
“We work with DCNR to secure $1.4 million for the region and it’s really to showcase all the great outdoor attractions that Erie County has. We have some of the most beautiful outdoor space in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, 3rd Legislative District.
Bizzarro says legislative leaders work with local officials and it’s a mix of federal and state dollars to decide which projects around the state merit the funding.
“This is really important when we are able to bring these resources back to Erie. People pay taxes here, they deserve a return on that investment. When this money comes back here, they are seeing a return on that investment.’ Rep. Bizzarro said.
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Bizzarro adds the projects that are larger attractions tend to get more funding.
Here is the rundown of all of the organizations receiving money from the grant, according to a news release sent Thursday from Rep. Bizzarro’s office.
- Asbury Woods Partnership Inc.- $271,000 to be used for the acquisition of approximately 52 acres in Millcreek Township for an addition to Asbury Woods Park.
- Corry City – $73,000 for development of the Corry Junction Greenway Trail in Corry City, including approximately 0.4 miles of trail from Route 6 to Elk Street, and a trailhead with ADA access, landscaping, and other related site improvements.
- Erie Zoological Society – $500,000 to rehab the Erie Zoo Giraffe Exhibit, including renovation and construction of the giraffe exhibit and public viewing structures.
- McKean Area Snowmobile Club Inc. – $27,200 for purchasing of equipment to construct and maintain approximately 32 miles of snowmobile trails in Erie County.
- Presque Isle Snowmobile Club Inc. – $27,600 will be used to purchase equipment to construct and maintain approximately 36 miles of snowmobile trails in Millcreek, Greenfield, and Summit townships and Waterford Borough.
- Springfield Township – $70,000 for the rehabilitation of Raccoon Creek Park, including construction of pedestrian walkway, installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing, ADA access, landscaping, and other related site improvements.
- Wales Sno-Drifters Inc. – $38,200 for purchasing equipment to construct and maintain approximately 50 miles of snowmobile trails in Greene Township and Wattsburg Borough.
- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – $105,000 for restoring 558 feet of Elk Creek in Girard Township. This work includes stream bank stabilization, installation of in-stream habitat structure, and other related site improvements.
- Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – $327,000 will be used to pay for a conservation easement on approximately 357 acres in Union Township for critical habitat protection and passive recreation.