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JT, heritage trail earn state grants

Published December 06. 2013 05:01PM

State Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne/Carbon/Monroe) announced this week that four projects in Carbon and Luzerne counties will receive $704,300 in Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants.

The grants, administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, are part of a $38 million investment in the planning, acquisition and development of park, recreation, conservation and greenway projects by DCNR.

Yudichak said. "Locally, these four projects continue the development of important economic and environmental community assets."

In Carbon County, Jim Thorpe Borough will receive $365,000 for further development of the Delaware & Lehigh Trail including the construction of nearly a mile of trail along the east bank of the Lehigh River from the future pedestrian trail bridge to Packerton Junction.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor will also receive $296,000 to coordinate the Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape; provide technical services to complete key gaps on the D&L Trail; coordinate fund the 2014 mini-grant program; and fund many other programs and initiatives.

"We're eager to get started on this work and honored that the Commonwealth and DCNR finds our organization worthy of continued support," said Elissa Garofalo, president of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. "The D&L Trail attracts some 282,000 visitors each year with $19 million economic impact. Our work affects neighborhoods and downtowns alike; providing an easy connection to nature, main streets, history and recreation."

The Wildlife Information Center, also in Carbon County, will receive $13,300 to acquire approximately one acre along Vanman Road and adjacent to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center in East Penn Township to develop a trailhead that will service the trail system connecting the D&L Heritage Corridor Trail and the Appalachian Trail.

In Luzerne County, White Haven borough will receive $30,000 to install playground equipment with required safety surfacing, update ADA access and make other site improvements at Hemlock Street Park.

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