In Monroe County, Keystone Fund grants have been instrumental in helping Stroudsburg Borough, East Stroudsburg Borough, and Stroud Township prioritize outdoor recreation and land conservation in one of the fastest growing counties in the Commonwealth.
Support from the Keystone Fund enabled the Stroud Region to create a county open space and recreation Plan, a regional open space and recreation plan, a countywide greenway plan, and the Stroud Regional Greenway Plan. Keystone grants played a crucial role in the development of an intergovernmental cooperative agreement between the three municipalities for the purpose of conservation and recreation. This agreement has led to the development of a new recreation commission, which now employs two full time staff who serve a population of more than 35,000 residents. The result of the agreement and the plans supported by the Keystone Fund? Hundreds of acres of land were identified and have been preserved, a new 10-mile trail system is in the works, and two new 150-acre regional parks are being developed.
“No other county in the state even those in the southeast have had such a complete and positive response to an open space and recreation program,” said Jeff Evans, chairperson of the Open Space Board. “The approval of open space and recreation plans will allow each municipality to access the county open space acquisition and development funds. An adopted plan will also give the municipalities a greater advantage in leveraging state and federal acquisition and development funds, particularly if the projects can demonstrate regional planning and development efforts.”