Pottstown, PA -- The Wolf Administration today announced that $150,000 in new grant funding was approved to assist Pottstown in repairing a pedestrian bridge at Memorial Park in the borough.
“We are pleased to be here today to announce funding for critical infrastructure at this important Pottstown park,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “DCNR is proud to support local parks and their mission of providing recreation opportunities for millions of visitors each year. I look forward to seeing the impact this project will have in this community and the surrounding region.”
The 78-acre Memorial Park supports passive and active recreation and serves as the borough’s core park that includes several baseball fields, BMX bicycle racing and skateboarding areas, a dog park, picnic areas, and trails. The pedestrian bridge will reconnect two halves of the park that are split by the Manatawny Creek, which flooded in July 2019 during an unusually extreme summer storm, causing serious damage to the park’s infrastructure, including the old bridge.
“Assisting Pottstown with this bridge rehabilitation project will again connect park users to the wonderful array of amenities in the park,” DCNR Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund said. “We at DCNR are thankful the borough prioritized this bridge to ensure park visitors are able to safely enjoy everything the park has to offer, while addressing the environmental concerns that made the old bridge unusable.”
In addition to building a new bridge and restoring the connectivity and function of the park, Pottstown also plans to stabilize 200 feet of stream bank, implement a riparian forest buffer, improve ADA access and make other critical improvements.
“The Memorial Park Bridge Project represents the restoration of a key piece of park infrastructure serving the residents of Pottstown and regional visitors to the park alike,” Pottstown Parks and Recreation Director Michael A. Lenhart said. “Since the destruction of the old bridge in the 2019 flash flood, the function of the park has been severely impaired, effectively sundering the park into two parcels accessible only from opposite ends of the property. Restoration of the route allows both park users wider access to the varied recreation opportunities of Memorial Park and local residents a walkable route from the residential neighborhood north of the park to connections to the retail district of Shoemaker Road. In this way, the park serves many residents and visitors as a connection to the Manatawny Creek waterfront as well as a key walkable route to essential amenities.”
“The Montco 2040 Implementation Grant Program is a critical part of the implementation of Montgomery County’s comprehensive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vision. The program provides grant funding for projects that are priorities for our municipalities and at the same time help achieve progress toward the goals of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “A grant of $200,000 was awarded to build a new pedestrian bridge and support stream bank restoration at Memorial Park in Pottstown. We are proud to join with DCNR and the Borough of Pottstown to help bring this park back to life.”
Pottstown is located in the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape. The Schuylkill Highlands Partnership integrates the inspiration and action of many partners throughout the six-county landscape. The Partnership devotes its attention and expertise to protecting and preserving this critical landscape in a manner that will ensure its vibrant sustainable economic future.
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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wesley Robinson, 717-877-6315
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