BETHLEHEM (October 5, 2023) – Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton) joined Governor Josh Shapiro today at the South Bethlehem Greenway to announce this year’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Community Conservation Partnerships Program (C2P2) grants totaling more than $52 million for over 220 important park, trail and conservation projects, including six grants for Northampton County projects in the amount of $1,413,000, including $500,000 for the South Bethlehem Greenway.
“The South Bethlehem Greenway project is a perfect example of the benefits of state government investing in communities, Boscola stated. “What once was a divider in this City is now a connector. This old rail line transformed into a city park now connects the neighbors of the southside together and is a gathering place for everyone in the City. Soon with the help of this grant it will become a community connector; connecting Bethlehem with Hellertown and other communities.”
Governor Shapiro stated the Commonwealth has recognized the importance of the South Bethlehem Greenway through investing more than $2.2 million in the project with today’s additional funding. The Governor also noted how these investments will improve the public health and spur our economy.
“I look forward when we can all meet back here and hop on our bikes and peddle down to meet the Mayor of Hellertown. Let’s get this done!” Boscola said.
Five additional grants through the C2P2 program were awarded to Northampton County projects. The following grants were also awarded:
- Bethlehem City, $250,000, Rehabilitation of Friendship Park in Bethlehem City, Northampton County. Work to include construction of pedestrian walkways, plaza, pavilion, basketball court and splash pad; installation of fencing and utilities; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
- Bushkill Stream Conservancy, $114,000, Further restoration of approximately 1,500 feet of Bushkill Creek within Binney and Smith Preserve in Palmer Township, Northampton County. Work to include streambank stabilization; installation of instream habitat structures, riparian forest buffer, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
- Hellertown Borough, $219,000, Rehabilitation and further development of Reinhard’s Park in Hellertown Borough, Northampton County. Work to include renovation of baseball field; construction of pedestrian walkways, gazebo and stormwater management measures; installation of fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
- Northampton County, $80,000, Installation of approximately 20 acres of meadows at public parks in Northampton County. Work to include landowner outreach and engagement; watershed forestry plantings and post-planting establishment; project sign and other related site improvements.
- Wilson Borough, $250,000, Rehabilitation of Meuser Park in Wilson Borough, Northampton County. Work to include renovation of tennis courts and parking area; construction of pedestrian walkways; installation of fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
“Community parks, trails and open space play an invaluable role in the quality of life of a community. Through the Community Conservation Partnerships Program, the Commonwealth is able to partner with local governments to improve community parks, trails to enhance open space and thus improve the quality of life of our region,” Boscola said.
The C2P2 program is administered by DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation to provide financial and technical assistance to local governments, rail and trail organizations, land trusts and other non-profits for park, recreation, conservation and greenway projects. The grant program is funded with a variety of state and federal funding sources including the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Key); the Environmental Stewardship Fund (ESF); the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) subject to National Park Service approval; the federal Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program (PRT), and the Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program (HA).