Shaler, Pine townships awarded grants totaling $600K for park improvements -

Shaler, Pine townships awarded grants totaling $600K for park improvements

Thursday, October 31, 2019 | 12:01 AM

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Bureau of Recreation and Conservation has awarded Shaler and Pine townships grant funding.

The DCNR has granted Shaler $350,000 for stream restoration and trail rehabilitation at Fawcett Fields Park. Currently, the park provides access to Shaler’s Children’s Fishing Area and the Eagle Canyon Nature Trail. The Children’s Fishing Area along Little Pine Creek is a designated area for children 12 and older to fish with an adult. This portion of the creek is stocked in the spring by the Penn’s Woods West Trout Unlimited chapter.

State Rep. Lori Mizgorski contacted the governor’s office and House leadership in support of the project.

“The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is awarding this grant to repair storm damage, stream erosion and install in-stream structures to prevent future erosion. This project will assist Shaler Township in meeting MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer systems) requirements for storm water management programs, as required by the federal Clean Water Act and administered by the Pa. Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, it will connect the Eagle Canyon Trail to Etna, Millvale and the Three Rivers Trail.

Shaler Township engineer Matt Sebastian has said the Fawcett Field work will involve reconstruction similar to, albeit on a smaller scale, the township’s $1 million Fall Run Park improvements. Gateway Engineers also will assist with the new project.

Likewise, the DCNR has given Pine $250,000 for the installation of a 72-foot-by-130-foot handicapped accessible splash pad at Pine Community Park. The splash pad will provide the opportunity for all individuals in the community, including those with limited mobility, sensory issues, developmental delays, or other disabilities, to safely enjoy the water.

“We were pleased to have worked with Pine Township to secure funding for a planned splash pad at the Pine Community Park,” PA House Speaker Mike Turzai said. “The addition of a splash pad will enhance the recreational options available to the residents of Pine and promote play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities.”

Pine Manager Scott Anderson said that the township aims to award a project bid this December, with construction starting in early 2020 and the spray park’s grand opening hopefully around the Fourth of the July.

He said Pine is utilizing the recreation fees it collects from the construction of the township’s new homes to fund the splash pad’s remaining cost after the DCNR grant is applied.

“The projects that Shaler and Pine Townships are undertaking are examples of the creative and impressive work our municipalities are doing,” said State Sen. Lindsey Williams. “Residents are increasingly looking for outdoor recreation spots, especially ones that can be enjoyed by the whole family. The trail rehabilitation and stream restoration at the Children’s Fishing Area in Shaler and installation of a splash pad in Pine will both prove to be wonderful assets to the communities for years to come.”

DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation mission is to build connections between citizens and the outdoors by providing funding and technical assistance support for local recreation and park improvement projects.

“The inclusion of a family-friendly splash pad has been part of our vision for the future of Pine Community Park for several years,” said Joni Patsko, Pine’s Parks and Recreation director, in a news release. “We are excited to be able to move forward with this project and are thankful for the support of Speaker Turzai in securing state grant funding.”