DCNR opens 2022 grant season for park, recreational development projects | Five for the Weekend

One in three parks in Pennsylvania has been the recipient of DCNR grant funding, according to the department

By: - January 22, 2022 6:30 am

(C) Sandra Burm – Stock.Adobe.com

Happy weekend, all.
On Friday, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced the opening of the 2022 grant season for recreational and conservation projects statewide.

The grants, part of DCNR’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program, are open to applicants now through 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, 2022.

“DCNR grants have a tremendous impact in helping communities with local park acquisition and improvements, trails and river access each year and we expect them to have a greater impact as a result of the increased use of the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “We will continue to assist as many worthy projects as we can to ensure that we retain the new users who have turned to parks, forests and trails in the past two years to help maintain their mental and physical health.”

According to a statement from the department, the grant dollars can be used in the “planning, acquisition, and development” of:

  • Public parks
  • Recreation areas
  • Motorized and non-motorized trails
  • River conservation and access
  • Streamside forest buffers
  • Open space conservation
  • Regional and statewide partnerships to better develop and manage resources

Grant funding comes from state and federal sources, including the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program, Snowmobile and ATV Restricted Revenue Accounts, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Recreational Trails Program.

One in three parks in Pennsylvania has been the recipient of DCNR grant funding, according to the department.

Last year alone, $70 million in grants was awarded by the program.

As always, your Top 5 Most-Read Stories of the week start below.

Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Stuart Ulsh, a Republican, testifies during a Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee hearing on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.

1. Government watchdog latest to sue Fulton County over missing 2020 election review documents

A government watchdog organization is the latest group to sue Fulton County over information related to an off-the-books 2020 election review and has asked a court to order the release of all information requested as part of an open records request.

In a lawsuit filed last week, Washington D.C.-based American Oversight says Fulton County has released some information requested as part of a Right-to-Know Law request, but not records of government-related communication conducted by county officials on their personal email accounts.

American Oversight also claims the county has not turned over communications between local officials and Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin, an ally of former President Donald Trump who spread false claims of a stolen election.

©CeHa – stock.adobe.com

2. With a proposed ban in N.Y., Erie lawmaker invites National Fuel Gas to relocate to Pa.

The centerpiece to a New York climate action plan has some Pennsylvania lawmakers eyeing an opportunity to bring a natural gas company’s headquarters to the commonwealth.

Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, has plans to formally invite National Fuel Gas to relocate to Erie County, following New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s backing of a proposed ban on natural gas hookups in new buildings, with state Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, also supporting the move.

“I want to stamp this out and make a statement right now,” Laughlin told the Capital-Star during a Monday phone interview. “Pennsylvania is pro-natural gas, and we’re not going to do these ridiculous mandates like the governor of New York is trying to do.”

The Capitol building in Harrisburg (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

3. Pa.’s bitter, chaotic redistricting cycle likely to reach crescendo in court

Squabbling politicians. Competing hearings. Looming deadlines. Litigation, with more on the horizon. And legislative action threatening to rejigger the whole process.

Pennsylvania’s 2021 redistricting cycle has been convoluted and hard to follow. And now that it has bled into 2022, it’s likely that only further court action will clean up the mess.

Each decade, all 50 states must redraw their congressional and legislative districts to match shifting demographics. This year, all also have faced the same census data  delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a shift between the Trump and Biden administrations on whether or not to count undocumented immigrants.

But as of this week, 26 states already have passed new congressional maps, according to data journalism website FiveThirtyEight, while Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf have yet to implement new lines.

(Pittsburgh City Paper photo).

4. Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant.

Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico. Cases have surged, with more than 780,000 positive tests a day, according to data by the New York Times.

“I know we’re all frustrated as we enter this new year,” Biden said. “The omicron variant is causing millions of cases and record hospitalizations.”

Biden added that 500 million tests, in addition to 500 million promised earlier, will be distributed to Americans who request them, as well as high-quality masks. He said a website where Americans can request a free test will be set up as early as next week.

Pa. House State Government Chairperson Seth Grove, R-York (Facebook/City & State Pa.).

5. Unable to win the battle of ideas, Pa. Republicans are damaging the state Constitution | Opinion

Amending the Constitution of the United States, which has happened only 17 times since the Bill of Rights was enacted in 1791, is a meticulous process with various hurdles designed to ensure any amendment is carefully considered. Amending the Pennsylvania Constitution, on the other hand, is not as arduous.

Since the latest version of the Pennsylvania Constitution was adopted in 1968, it has been amended 46 times. Republicans in the General Assembly are anxious to add on to that number, as they continue to plot how to assert their will upon residents of the Commonwealth when the Party controls only one of the three branches of government.

The purpose of the Pennsylvania Constitution is to establish the rights and responsibilities of the citizens of the Commonwealth and to establish how its governmental and judicial systems will operate.

And that’s the week. See you all back here next week.

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.