I was one of those volunteers. I was there that very first day, and every day thereafter. The camaraderie, the pride, and the joy of building this park is something I will never forget. Most people who visit this park see it for the beauty that it is today. When I look at it, I still see the old farm field that it was and remember the great times I had working with the great people who were dedicated to completing this project. At the time, we had no idea how much it would impact our small community.
It is a trail for everybody. Most any bike will do to ride this rail trail, so there is no need for special equipment, extra gears, or special tires. Just ride. I’ve seen road bikes on the trail and I’ve seen spider bikes. And I’ve seen everything in between, including hybrids, cruisers, and recumbent bikes and trikes. They all work.
The Jersey Shore Borough Public River Access project has been a tremendous success for our community. It has given our residents, visitors to our community, and tourists the opportunity to access the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. We have received a great response from those who use it, such as kayakers, canoers, and fishermen. The overlook has also been a popular area with our residents who enjoy taking in the scenic view in the evenings. They describe it as being such a relaxing place to be.
The Lime Bluff Recreation Area is great place to go birding in Lycoming County. This 65-acre park near Hughesville has a great variety of habitat. One side of the park is a wooded area where all of our common woodpecker species are often seen. Another side is a brushy area with a wet ditch running beneath it. On the other side of the brush is a Christmas tree farm. The park has a small pond as well.
Within six years, the first section of the Pine Creek Rail Trail–a 17 mile stretch–was opened to the public, connecting Ansonia to Blackwell. Since then, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and its partners have added dozens of miles and numerous amenities to the rail trail. With the money from the Keystone Fund, DCNR has rehabilitated bridges to enhance beauty and safety and built parking lots and public restrooms that offer modern conveniences to this rustic path.
Fortunately, ClearWater Conservancy worked with numerous partners and received a Keystone Fund grant to fund the acquisition of the land. In preserving Musser Gap, ClearWater not only protected an important habitat for golden eagles and other wildlife, but also helped to safeguard the drinking water for more than 40,000 residents in the State College region.
With support from the Keystone Fund, volunteers from Muncy Historical Society and Museum of History led community members and other partners in an effort to turn the the donated open land into a public park complete with a trail system, picnic pavilion, educational exhibits, and a model of the lock system once employed by the canal.
With a grant from the Keystone Fund and support from the local community, the Authority renovated the pool, adding water slides, a diving board, a fountain where children can play, and separate pools for babies and toddlers.
Williamsport’s Five Park Master Plan is an excellent example of a master site plan that meets a variety of criteria. During the planning process, outreach efforts included neighborhood input and participation of a variety of key partners in each neighborhood. This project illustrates the importance of working with neighborhoods to meet the needs and address the concerns of the people who live near a facility.
A partnership with Keystone and playground equipment manufacturer Playworld enabled the Lewisburg Area Recreation Authority to successfully renovate the Lewisburg Area Recreation Park. The park now includes $800,000 worth of donated equipment, including active playground areas for ages two to five and five to 12, a climbing wall, a skateboard/BMX facility, and a Life Trail with fitness equipment for older adults.
A Keystone grant to purchase 33 acres of Montandon Marsh began the work to preserve and protect what is a one of the few remaining diverse riparian wetlands ecosystems in central Pennsylvania. The work includes collaborating with a sand and gravel miner in the marsh to protect the marsh so future generations can enjoy it. Education, outreach, and protection the marsh are a vital part of the ongoing effort to preserve Montandon, which offers refuge for migrating waterfowl and critical habitat for wetlands birds.