Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape Mini Grant Program awarded $225,130 to partners to improve recreational opportunities within the landscape, water quality, park planning, signage and conservation projects that advance the partnerships goals.
Since the grant program was initiated twelve years ago, the Schuylkill Highlands Mini Grant Fund has supported more than $3.5 million in projects which have resulted in making significant impacts throughout Berks, Montgomery, Chester and Bucks Counties for residents and visitors. Carol De Wolf, director of Schuylkill Highlands at Natural Lands mentions, “29 applications were received from partners and reviewed by the selection committee and 18 projects were able to be funded―really fantastic work being done by partners throughout the landscape”.
The SHCL Mini Grant Program is funded by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and administered by Natural Lands. Grant rounds are held annually and 501c3 non-profit, watershed associations, and Friends Groups can apply for funding as well as municipalities with projects that advance the goals of the Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape. PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Regional Advisor, Drew Gilchrist mentions that, “DCNR is pleased to be able to assist our local partners in making these projects possible and achieve their conservation and recreation goals.”
The 2019 Schuylkill Highlands Conservation Landscape Mini Grant Program awarded funds to the following recipients:
- $10,800 to Appalachian Mountain Club to complete the Unami Creek Feasibility Study to the east and south of connecting to the Pa Highlands Trail network for a total project cost of $23,600 in Montgomery County.
- $25,000 to Berks Area Mountain Bike Association to complete the Union Canal Trail Assessment for extension for a total project cost of $50,000 in Berks County.
- $15,800 to Berks Nature for the Greater Reading Area Signage at five preserves for a total project cost of 31,753.
- $10,800 to Berks Nature for a farm agricultural restoration best management practices on a 78.56 acre site to protect the high quality tributary to the Beaver Run in the Hay Creek Watershed for a total project cost of $21,650 in Berks County.
- $19,300 to Birdsboro Borough to reconstruct a parking lot at the Schuylkill River Trailhead in Birdsboro, create connectivity to the side walk system on Rte 724, complete a rain garden, wayfinding signage, and place a tri-panel kiosk for visitors.
- $20,000 to the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust to place rail bikes on the Secret Valley Railroad for a total project cost of $40,000 in Montgomery County.
- $20,000 to East Coventry Township wayfinding and signage design, fabrication and installation throughout the township’s parks, open space and cultural sites for a total project cost of $67,000 in Chester County.
- $20,000 to East Pikeland Township for the Crouse Property Master Park Plan for a total of $40,283 in Chester County.
- $1,500 to Friends of Hopewell Furnace for an update and printing to the Iron and Steel Heritage driving tours brochure for a total project cost of $3,000 in Chester County.
- $9,130 to Hawk Mountain for restoration of the Golden Eagle Trail from the Boulder field to the escarpment at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary for a total project cost of $18,260 in Berks County.
- $14,600 to Heritage Conservancy to create two monarch waystations at Quakertown Swamp Preserve and create a riparian buffer for a total project cost of $29,262.00 in Bucks County.
- $5,000 to North Coventry Township to complete a new dock and boat ramp at Riverside Park for kayaks on the southside of the river with a gangplank for a total project cost of $40,000 in Chester County.
- $2,350 to Our Town Foundation to complete a Historic Hamburg visitation brochure for a total of $4,707 in Berks County.
- $8,000 to Olivet Blue Mountain Camp to remediate soil erosion and restore damage to the trail to access the Appalachian Trail at Blue Mountain Camp for a total project cost of $16,000 in Berks County.
- $15,000 to the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy to create a paddling guide, an interactive webpage and coordinate the stewardship for public use along the creek corridor for a total project cost of $30,000 in Montgomery County.
- $1,850 to Quakertown Alive for a bicycle pump station and public works stand for bikes for a total project cost of $3,700 in Montgomery County.
- $16,000 to Royersford Borough to complete wayfinding signage design and installation for Main Street for a total project cost of $32,150 in Montgomery County.
- $10,000 to the Schuylkill Canal Association to assess and plan for the dredging of Lock 60 for a total project cost of $35,000 in Montgomery County.
For future grant program information see schuylkillhighlands.org.