$115k grant funds recreation projects across Blair, Cambria, Somerset

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(WTAJ) — The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC) awarded $115,568 in grant funding for projects to create recreation opportunities, such as parks, tourist activities and other amenities.

The funding was provided through the Southern Alleghenies Regional Greenways Mini-Grant Program, according to the SAP&DC website. The program aims to provide funding for projects that support the implementation of the purpose and goals identified in the Southern Alleghenies Greenways and Open Space Network Plan and the Southern Alleghenies Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.

The check presentations took place June 10 and 11, and funding was distributed as follows:

NatureWorks Park Trail Additions – $4,000: Blair County Conservation District, Blair County

The funding will help the conservation district increase pedestrian mobility by adding two new trail sections.

The new extensions will be gravel-based for the first 35 feet to create a welcoming entrance. The remaining will transition into hard-packed natural surfaces to meet ADA accessibility guidelines, the website said. They will lead visitors off the main trail and into the multi-functional riparian buffer.

The Arc of Blair County: Trail Feasibility Study – $11,651: The Arc of Blair County, Blair County

The grant will fund a feasibility study conducted for an ADA accessible trail from The Arc of Blair County facility to an existing woods trail in Valley View County Park. The connection point is near the southeast corner of the soccer field area.

The study will address the existing Valley View County Park upgrades to ADA standards westward to the soccer field area, the site said. The trail will follow along the perimeter of the field on the west side and continue to the pavilion area in the park at the north end of the soccer field area.

Logan Valley Streetcar & Frontier Trails – $30,000: Antis Township, Blair County

To connect to Bellwood Antis Park, a bridge over Bells Gap Run is required. The preferred location is south of the pedestrian ramp, which requires a length of around 85 feet.

The proposed bridge design includes a steel substructure with a prefabricated fiberglass superstructure, according to the website.

A Chapter 105 permit is required for the bridge, which can be done jointly with the permit for the trail. It will connect to the existing pathway to the pedestrian bridge over the railroad.

Leopold Park Train Viewing Area – $14,917: Logan Township, Blair County

The grant will help with the costs to upgrade Leopold Park.

It’s reported that a train viewing area, installation of benches and installation of a riparian buffer are parts of a larger project that can be completed as a separate project and would provide benefit even without the larger project being completed.

Inclined Plane Riverside Park Phase 1 Final Design – $25,000: Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, Cambria County

The Conemaugh Valley Conservancy and the City of Johnstown need to complete the permitting, engineering and construction drawings to build Phase 1 of the Inclined Plane Riverside Park. It will include ADA access from the middle of downtown and a connection to the September 11th National Memorial Trail loop through downtown.

Construction is fully funded, but cost overruns in permitting, design and engineering, which caused a budget shortfall.

Somerset Lake Nature Park: Phase 2A Trail Development Project – $30,000: County of Somerset, Somerset County

The project will be phase 2A of the trail and is one of the top priorities in the county’s Regional Comprehensive Plan.

Somerset County plans to develop 0.39 miles of ADA accessible multi-use trail. This trail will be composed of several different grades of stone to ensure the trail doesn’t sink. The top layer will be crushed limestone.

This is the 7th round of the Mini-Grant Program, and it was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnership Program using Environmental Stewardship Funds under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.

Any municipality, council of government, conservation district, land trust, non-profit organization, designated heritage area or redevelopment authority was eligible to submit an application.

For more information on the Greenways and Open Space Network Plan or Greenways Mini-Grant Program, visit SAP&DC’s website.

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