The Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund delivers real and lasting benefits to Pennsylvania. These benefits are enjoyed today, and will still be enjoyed decades in the future. Each year, the Keystone Fund helps Pennsylvanians protect the land necessary for:
- Bicycle, walking, and other recreational trails, including long multi-state trails like the Great Allegheny Passage, multi-county trails like the Pine Creek Rail Trail, and county/municipal trails
- New and expanded municipal/county parks and greenways
- Expanded hunting and fishing opportunities
- Wildlife and natural areas for public enjoyment
- Improving recreational experiences in state parks and forests
- Community green spaces, whether for aesthetics, recreation, historic battlefield preservation, flood prevention, community identify, or other conservation purposes.
Since 1993, the Keystone Fund* has helped:
- Protect 161,000+ acres of green space for county and municipal parks, greenways, wildlife habitat, and other open space uses
- Establish Pennsylvania as a national leader in trails. The Keystone Fund has helped communities acquire land and easements to develop thousands of miles of land and water trails
- Complete county natural heritage inventories in 66 of 67 counties to enable local governments, developers, and conservationists make better decisions regarding the use, development, and conservation of land
Walking, biking, and skiing. Fishing and hunting. Playing sports. Picnicking. Simply enjoying the quiet and peace of nature. Any type of outdoor recreation requires land. The Keystone Fund helps people acquire the green spaces needed to experience the outdoors, whether they are narrow ribbons of land for trails or wide open spaces for hunting.
A BROAD RANGE
Once the land is secured, the Keystone Fund helps people develop the land as appropriate to the activity. The Keystone Fund supports construction and installation of a wide range of recreational facilities that reflect the broad and varying needs of communities, including:
- Trails and paths
- Picnic areas
- Boat launches
- Recreation centers
As of 2019, the Keystone Fund* has supported:
- 3,700+ community park development projects, including ballfields, playgrounds, pools, picnic areas, and recreation centers
- 645+ trail projects for walking, bicycling, and other recreation uses
Each dollar of Keystone Fund support typically leverages $3.13 in direct local and county investments in local recreation and park projects.
STATE PARKS & FORESTS
Pennsylvania state parks and forests protect our water supplies, provide a reliable source of timber to the wood products industry, support critical wildlife habitat, and offer tremendous opportunities for outdoor recreation. Each year, tens of millions of visitors explore Pennsylvania’s natural beauty in state parks and forests.
The Keystone Fund provides funding critical for rehabilitating and upgrading park and forest infrastructure, which helps conserve these resources and ensure a safe and healthy setting for public recreation and environmental education—since 1993, the Keystone Fund has invested over $191 million in maintenance and improvement projects. This funding is critical, especially considering the $1 billion maintenance backlog facing Pennsylvania state parks and forests.
Click here for maps showing relative spending amounts of the Keystone Fund in state parks and forests.
TYPES OF PROJECTS
- Campsites and cottages
- Campground and campsite rehabilitation and electrification
- Purchase of fire-rings, grills, and playground equipment
- Resource management
- Reforestation, park rehabilitation, reforestation, and removal of hazard tress
- Stream liming, stream bank stabilization, and construction of riparian buffers
- Wildlife habitat work and invasive control and pest control projects
- Beach rehabilitation
- Flood and emergency
- Repair damage to hiking and snowmobile trails
- Stream bank restoration
- Debris removal
- Park and forest buildings
- Classroom and museum repairs and additions
- Improvements to and construction of visitors’ centers
- ADA building upgrades
- Swimming pool repairs
- Comfort stations and shower houses
- Construction of restroom facilities and pool showers
- Construction and rehabilitation of dams on state park land
- Structural and storm damage repairs
- Roads and bridges
- Park and forest road rehabilitation
- Installation and replacement of guide rails on bridges
- Trails and outdoor recreation
- Playground equipment and picnic tables
- Construction of ADA fishing piers
- Trail construction and rehabilitation
- Water and sewer projects
- Water systems rehabilitation and emergency water line repairs
- Installation of water fountains
Keystone Fund grants are used to help public libraries build new facilities, renovate older buildings, and make services more accessible. These projects include ramps, automatic doors, and elevators for the disabled, as well as vital structural, energy-savings, and safety. Grants are limited to $500,000.
As of 2019, more than $56 million in Keystone Fund grants have been awarded to support nearly 400 projects in 48 different counties across Pennsylvania.
The Keystone Fund is a vital tool for preserving Pennsylvania’s heritage. Keystone Fund grants support projects that identify, preserve, promote, and protect the historic and archaeological resources of Pennsylvania for the benefit of the public and the revitalization of communities. In addition to providing communities with opportunities to preserve important landmarks and historic structures, historic preservation helps them revitalize downtowns, increase tourism, and promote community development.
Since 1993, Keystone Fund historic preservation grants have invested $36 million in over 720 brick-and-mortar projects in 65 counties, leveraging millions of private and public dollars. Grantees ensure they will continue maintenance and preservation of the historic building and ensure public accessibility for at least 15 years after the grant is received.