Thanks to the Keystone Fund, this route is a beautiful destination for outdoor enthusiasts and boasts one of the most impressive rail-trails in Pennsylvania. The 165-mile trail cuts through 4,500 acres of river gorge parkland along the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers, weaving past stunning landscapes, historic towns, dramatic waterfalls, and the remnants of the Lehigh and Delaware canals.
The 21-acre Island Park, nestled between the Schuylkill River and the Reading and Blue Mountain Railroads, is Schuylkill Haven’s only remaining open recreational space. Before the flood, the area accommodated a few softball and soccer fields. The community had considered improvements to the park over the years. But the flood damage forced them to start from scratch.
Although Columbia has always been technically on the map, the community is now a destination. Instead of stumbling upon it, visitors seek out its recreational opportunities. These visitors are not just spending their time in the borough–they’re spending their money.
Long Swamp, a relic of the last ice age, is now a permanently protected haven that provides a unique outdoor experience for children from all around the world. 15,000 years ago Pennsylvania was covered in glaciers. As the climate warmed and the glaciers receded, massive melting formed a boreal bog. Over time this bog became […]
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.
Once an unsightly and polluted lot in an economically depressed neighborhood, John O. Green Memorial Park is now a lively public park and vital community resource. It is also the only park in the Borough of West Chester that offers a water play feature. When the weather gets warm, people from all over the borough gather at the park to keep their children cool.
The sweeping meadows are planted with drought-resistant native species to manage stormwater. The greenway and its amenities, including a paved riverfront esplanade, seating areas, and interpretive signs detailing the history and ecology of the area, are ADA accessible.
When the canal system became obsolete in the late 1850s, the canal basin was deserted, and eventually a portion was drained and filled with cinders. Later it became a utility company’s junkyard, littered with creosote-soaked poles. Support from the Keystone Fund enabled officials, community members, and local organizations to join forces to restore the canal basin, reclaiming the historical asset and turning it into a popular park. The Hollidaysburg Women’s Club played an integral role in the project.
Come summer, there’s nothing to compare to the relief afforded by a dip in the water – be it a stream, a lake, or a swimming pool. Thanks to the Keystone Fund, improved beach and pool access for swimmers of all abilities is now possible in locations as diverse as the lakefront at Poe Valley and the swimming pool at Ryerson Station.
Pleasing children, teenagers, adults, and seniors throughout the entire year in one location isn’t an easy feat. But White Township Recreation Complex in Indiana County has managed to do just that. The Keystone Fund has supported the township’s efforts to provide an array of facilities in the park.
Rice’s Landing Borough is a community of 450 residents situated along the Monongahela River in northeastern Greene County. The Borough cultivated support for the construction of boat docks from a diverse contingent of citizens, elected officials, nonprofit groups, and local businesses.
This project evolved into truly a community effort. Approximately 20 residents volunteered their time to construct the playground area, and township employees also contributed extensive labor. Bankson Engineers donated their professional services to design the space. Furthermore, the community raised approximately $5,000 in cash donations. With all of these in-kind, volunteer, professional services, and cash donations in place, the township was awarded a Keystone grant of $47,000 in 2002 and an additional $5,000 was amended to the contract in 2003. By 2004, the playground was completed.
The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) is a 150-mile trail between Pittsburgh PA and Cumberland MD, where it joins the 184-mile C & O Canal Towpath, extending the off-road experience all the way to Washington, DC. The trail provides a safe, clean and motor traffic free expedition through spectacular water gaps and historic tunnels and over breathtaking viaducts, taking full advantage of the railroad engineering expertise to find the easiest grade. It is bringing hope, pride and opportunity to economically depressed towns. New businesses are springing up in these “Trail Towns” catering to visitors and the local residents.
The Ghost Town Trail is designated as a National Trail by the U. S. Department of the Interior and offers many interpretive opportunities. Trail users can learn about the importance of riparian areas and see the impacts of acid mine drainage, and explore historical sites like the Eliza Iron Furnace, which supplied crude iron to southwestern Pennsylvania communities in the mid-1800s.
Allegheny Commons Park is a short walk from major churches, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the National Aviary, a public school, and several daycare centers. Thousands of children take advantage of the space on a regular basis. However, the park’s aging playground had become unsafe over the years. The City of Pittsburgh led a community engagement process to provide the public with the opportunity to help design a new playground, including input from neighborhood children. Thousands of children ages 2-12 now enjoy a safe, up-to code place to play, including safe, age appropriate equipment for 2-5 year olds.
Over 400,000 people, including commuters, annually use the Schuylkill River Trail, a 22-mile regional trail that links Valley Forge National Historical Park in Montgomery County to Center City Philadelphia. A 2.5-mile section of trail was widened to accommodate the wide variety of trail users and correct drainage problems that were causing standing water along the entire eastern edge of the trail that required constant maintenance.
West Penn Park in York City received a make-over and new equipment as part of a multi-phase plan to improve the park and offer new activities for the City residents. Originally designed by William Penn, the park has hosted Revolutionary War camps and a Civil War hospital, and was also used as a drop-off point for freed slaves after the Civil War ended.
Residents of all ages need places in the community to enjoy, and young children are no exception. Alexandria, a small borough in Huntingdon County, needed to replace its antiquated and unsafe playground equipment in the community’s only park. With Keystone funding, the borough was able to provide young residents with a safe place to play that was within walking distance of their homes.
The Special Kids Zone in Butler County provides a playground for children with special needs, a group that has been underserved for years. The playground was planned by a committee of professionals who work with children with special needs daily. Families and organizations now come from throughout the county and region to use this facility.
The recreational trail is one of the major developments identified in the multi-municipal comprehensive plan that was adopted in 2002 by Foxburg, St. Petersburg, and Richland Townships. The project will not only provide recreation opportunities for local citizens, but also for travelers to the region. Because the trail follows the former railroad right-of-ways, it offers a flat, scenic walking or biking experience for users of all ages.