Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has officially opened its grant application round for 2024, aimed at bolstering community parks, recreation, and conservation projects across the state.
Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced the commencement of the Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants, a pivotal move in line with the Shapiro administration’s commitment to public health, safety, and wellness through outdoor initiatives.
The grant program, which began this week, will accept applications until 4:00 P.M. on April 3. Reflecting on the previous year, the DCNR allocated over $52 million to more than 225 local and community projects.
These funds were instrumental in developing and renovating over 80 local parks, constructing 23 miles of trails, and securing 6,000 acres of land for public recreation.
Eligibility for the grants extends to local governments and non-profit organizations focusing on recreation and conservation.
The funding encompasses a broad spectrum of projects, including the rehabilitation and development of parks and recreational areas, planning for recreation and conservation, trail planning and construction, land acquisition, river access, community tree planting, and fostering regional and statewide partnerships for resource management.
Applications are to be submitted exclusively through the DCNR’s Grants Customer Service Portal.
Deputy Secretary Claire Jantz underscored the grants’ significance in supporting vital community conservation projects and furthering DCNR’s mission to conserve Pennsylvania’s natural resources for current and future generations’ enjoyment.
The funding sources for these grants are diverse, including the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, Environmental Stewardship Fund, Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program, Keystone Tree Fund, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Recreational Trails Program.
The Community Conservation Partnerships Program has played a crucial role in protecting over 435,000 acres across Pennsylvania for outdoor recreation, wildlife habitat, and water quality preservation. Remarkably, more than 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s 6,200 local parks have received support from a DCNR grant.