JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Efforts to grow and maintain a 30-mile network of snowmobile trails from Westmoreland County to Cambria County, to enhance a Gallitzin park and to create a new site development plan for Stackhouse Park all landed financial support on Thursday from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Those projects were among six in the region that were funded by the department.
• Stackhouse Park board members received $15,000 to prepare the park’s site development plan. Efforts have been underway in recent years to expand recreation opportunities at the 277-acre park.
• Indiana County officials received $230,000 to add a new pedestrian bridge over U.S. Route 22 and signage for the Hoodlebug Trail, which runs from Indiana to Black Lick and connects to the Ghost Town Trail.
• Gallitzin Borough received $70,000 to further develop Gremlin Park by adding horseshoe pits, fitness equipment and improved stormwater management, as well as improved landscaping and site access.
• Rock Run Recreation Inc. received $46,700 to purchase equipment needed to construct and maintain approximately 140 miles of ATV trails at Rock Run Recreation Area in Chest Township, Cambria County, and Chest Township, Clearfield County.
• Rolling Ridge Motorsports Club received $20,000 for equipment to construct and maintain approximately 30 miles of snowmobile trails in Westmoreland, Somerset and Cambria counties.
• Western Pennsylvania Conservancy received $37,000 to update its 2000 River Conservation Plan for the Juniata River watershed, which spans 12 counties, including Bedford, Cambria and Somerset.
State Rep. Jim Rigby, R-Ferndale, said the funds for Stackhouse Park are a necessary precursor to adding new hiking and biking trails in the park.
“Grants like this are an investment in our communities and an ideal way for our citizens to see their tax dollars at work,” Rigby said.
Rock Run and Gallitzin Borough are both part of State Rep. Frank Burns’ district. He said the funds the projects received will have a broad impact across the area.
“Making these investments not only boosts the economy of our region, but encourages visitors and residents alike to enjoy the wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities available in our area,” the East Taylor Township lawmaker said.
Statewide, 317 projects were funded with $70 million in Community Conservation Partnerships Program funds, according to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.
“Our outdoor places are among the things that tie us all together – a place to meet for our health, for enjoyment, for recreation and a draw for tourists,” Wolf said in a release to media. “Many of the projects being funded – improvements to local parks, trails, and river access – bring these amenities closer to home, requiring less driving and expense to experience at a time during the pandemic when these opportunities are recognized as critical to our well-being.”
Funding comes from the DCNR’s Keystone Fund, which is generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, fees for ATV and snowmobile licenses and federal monies.