The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC) awarded $115, 568 in grant funding to local communities throughout the six-county region. This funding was provided through the Southern Alleghenies Regional Greenways Mini-Grant Program, which aims to provide funding for projects that support implementation of the overall purpose and goals identified in the Southern Alleghenies Greenways and Open Space Network Plan and the Southern Alleghenies Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. This is the 7th round of the Mini-Grant Program. It was financed in part by a grant from the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, using Environmental Stewardship Funds under the administration of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
The Mini-Grant Program accepted projects pertaining to planning, technical assistance, and development projects located within the region. Eligible projects were required to support the goals of the region’s 2007 Greenways and Open Space Network Plan and the 2016 Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Any municipality, council of government, conservation district, land trust, non-profit organization, designated heritage area, or redevelopment authority was eligible to submit an application. Applications for proposed projects were received through March 2021.
Awards were granted to projects within Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Huntingdon, and Somerset Counties. The selected projects will create additional recreation opportunities in the region to plan for and design community parks and expand tourist activities and amenities that highlight the region.
The Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC) will be presenting checks to the awarded mini-grant projects for the 7th round of the Greenways Mini-Grant Program. The presentations will take place on June 10th and 11th. Details can be found below. Check presentation ceremonies will be open to the public signifying the awarded funding of the projects listed below.
NatureWorks Park Trail Additions – $4,000: Blair County Conservation District, Blair County. The check presentation will take place at 10 Bedford Street in Hollidaysburg on 6/10 at 9:30 a.m. Members of the Blair County Conservation District and SAP&DC will be in attendance. With this funding, the Conservation District hopes to increase pedestrian mobility by adding two new trail sections. The new extensions will be with gravel-base for the first 35 feet to create a welcoming entrance. The remaining trail transitions into hard packed natural surface to meet ADA accessibility guidelines. The trail extension will be mowed and maintained by Conservation District staff. The extensions 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 check presentation will take place at The Arc of Blair County’s main office at 431 Jackson Avenue in Altoona on 6/10 at 10:30 a.m. Members of The Arc of Blair County, P. Joseph Lehman, Inc. Consulting Engineers, and SAP&DC will be in attendance. For this grant, a feasibility study will be 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 trail upgrades to ADA standards westward to the soccer field area. 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 & First Frontier Trails – $30,000: Antis Township, Blair County: The check presentation will take place at the Pedestrian Bridge near 400 North 1st Street in Bellwood, on 6/10 at 11:30 a.m. Members of Antis Township and SAP&DC will be in attendance. In order 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 an approximate span length of 85 feet. The proposed bridge design includes a steel substructure with a prefabricated fiberglass superstructure, which can be constructed using volunteers. A Chapter 105 permit is required for the bridge, which can be done jointly with the permit for the trail. The trail 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 check presentation will take place at the Logan Township Municipal Building at the beginning of the Board meeting at 100 Chief Logan Circle, Altoona, PA on 6/10 at 6 p.m. Members of the Logan Township Board and staff and SAP&DC will be in attendance. Logan Township is requesting a Mini-Grant to help with some of the costs to make Leopold Park a better park. A train viewing area, installation of benches, and installation of a riparian buffer are parts of a larger project that can easily 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 check presentation will take place at the parking lot at the bottom of the Inclined Plane, across from the Memorial Baptist Church in Johnstown on 6/11 at 10:30 a.m. Members of the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy, Cambria County, City of Johnstown, and SAP&DC will be in attendance. Conemaugh Valley Conservancy and the City of Johnstown need to complete the permitting, engineering, and construction drawings to build Phase I of the Inclined Plane Riverside Park, including 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 caused a budget shortfall.
Somerset Lake Nature Park: Phase 2A Trail Development Project – $30,000: County of Somerset, Somerset County: The check presentation will take place at Somerset Lake at the intersection of Wooduck and Gilmour Road in Somerset, PA on 6/11 at 12:30 p.m. Somerset County Commissioners, Lindsay Pyle, Parks and Trails Director, Somerset, Inc., and SAP&DC will be in attendance. This project will be phase 2A of the trail and is one of the top priorities in the counties Regional Comprehensive Plan. If awarded, 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 does not sink. The top layer of trail will be crushed limestone, which creates a perfect surface for all activities.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this announcement, please contact Stacy LoCastro, SAP&DC’s Grants Coordinator, at (814) 949-6510 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Greenways and Open Space Network Plan or Greenways Mini-Grant Program, please visit www.sapdc.org.