The Keystone Fund is a great deal for state government because it helps communities help themselves. Each dollar of Keystone Fund investment typically leverages $3.13 in direct local investments in our parks, trails, community green spaces, and libraries. Since 1993, the Keystone Fund has invested $1.02 billion in over 4,500 projects, creating real and lasting improvements that make Pennsylvania a better place to live, work, and play.
The Keystone Fund has supported:
- 300+ trail projects for walking, bicycling, and other recreation uses
- Conservation of approximately 117,400 acres of green space for county and municipal parks, greenways, wildlife habitat, and other open space uses
- 2,400+ community park development projects including ballfields, playgrounds, pools, picnic areas and recreation centers
- Hundreds of State Park and Forest improvements including construction and rehabilitation of restrooms, parking lots, roads, bridges, visitors’ centers, water fountains, sewage treatment, and other facilities
- 570 historic preservation projects in 65 counties
- 212 library projects to build new facilities, renovate older buildings, and improve accessibility and safety
The Keystone Fund has helped make Pennsylvania:
- A national leader in trails (and helped leverage $45 million in federal funding for trail, bicycle, and pedestrian related projects)
- Successfully administer and manage an 120-state park system totaling about 300,000 acres (the 3rd largest in the nation) which was awarded the top honor as the 2009 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association
- The first state to adopt Sustainable Sites (LEED for nonbuilt environments)
- Hold the honor of being independently certified as having a sustainably managed State Forest
- Rank 6th in the nation in receipt of federal Land and Water Conservation Fund dollars for outdoor recreation
- An attractive place for businesses to grow and people to live!
The economic benefits springing from Keystone Fund investments are immense. Examples include:
- A 2012 report by Trust for Public Land found that every $1 invested in land conservation through the Keystone Fund returned $7 in natural goods and services to the Pennsylvania economy.
- A 2009 report determined that the Great Allegheny Passage trail generates over $40 million in annual direct spending and another $7.5 million in wages for communities along the trail.
- A 2009 report by Trust for Public Land Philadelphia concluded that community parks generate $40.3 million in expenditures from out-of-town visitors and $688 million in increased value for properties around the parks.
- A 2012 report from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources indicated that state parks serve as economic generators in the communities that surround them. According to the report, visitors to state parks spent $859 million on their trips, an increase in spending from a 2008 study.
*Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources administered Keystone project figures may include other funding streams that fall under the Department’s Community Conservation Partnerships Program.