With its portion of the Keystone Fund, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission established the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program for preservation projects at historic buildings that operate for a public benefit.
Due to the high demand and need for historic preservation funding support, only 30% of the grant applications annually received by the PA Historical and Museum Commission can be funded. In fiscal year 2008-2009, the PHMC received 76 applications requesting $5,110,447; only 25 projects were funded. The program was put in hiatus for fiscal year 2009-2010.
Communities often struggle to find resources to protect or restore local historical landmarks; these landmarks add character to the community and can help to define the community, revitalize downtowns, and act as catalysts for tourism, community pride and economic development. Keystone funding provides communities with the financial support that makes historic preservation and restoration a reality. Without the Keystone fund, nonprofit groups and local municipalities may be unable to continue preservation efforts of the Commonwealth’s treasures.
*Some information for this section is quoted from “Honoring the Past, Planning for the Future: Pennsylvania’s Historic Preservation Plan 2006-2011”
“The Greater Hazleton Rails to Trails is a tremendous asset to the Greater Hazleton Area community and areas outside of the immediate Hazleton Area. What was once an abandoned old rail bed for half a century, used for illegal dumping and other activities, is now a hub of activity."