More than 2,400 community park development projects including ball fields, playgrounds, pools, picnic areas, and recreation centers have been made possible by Keystone Fund grants.
The Keystone Fund has helped to preserve more than 117,000 acres of green space for county and municipal parks, greenways, wildlife habitat, and open space uses.
The Keystone Fund was created in 1993 with overwhelming support in the Pennsylvania legislature. In November 1993, 67% of Pennsylvanians voted to supplement the Keystone Fund’s permanent funding stream with $50 million in bond revenues.
The Keystone Fund helps communities help themselves — a great deal for state government. Each dollar of Keystone Fund investment typically leverages $3.13 in direct local investments in our parks, trails, community green spaces, and libraries.
In my time at High School Park, I have seen its wildlife diversity and habitat value markedly increase because of this work. Resident birders have reported almost four times the amount of migratory birds using the park now. Fox have been seen roaming the meadow trails and resident hawks are a near-constant presence. This past spring, I spotted a bald eagle in the creek while walking my dog. All this points to greater diversity and better stormwater management in our community.
For a quarter-century, I have been censusing the birds that nest and breed in a 40-acre woods in the Pennypack Preserve. On eight mornings at the end of May and beginning of June, I have awoken at the crack of dawn, wolfed down a quick snack, power-walked 20 minutes to the tract, and then begun censusing. For the next three hours and ten minutes, I have scanned the trees with my binoculars and pricked up my ears to catch the slightest hint of birdsong.