HARRISBURG – Creation of a new recreational opportunity in Indiana County and maintenance on another that crosses into Westmoreland County are being made possible thanks to the awarding of state grants, according to Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-Indiana) and state Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41). The two grants are among more than 330 statewide that are part of a $90 million investment by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
In Indiana County, the ICCD (Indiana County Conservation District) is in receipt of a more than $91,000 grant to be used for the development of Canopy Walk in White Township.
“When completed, the Canopy Walk is going to be a unique regional asset and opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreation and benefit from environmental education,” Struzzi said. “The project also creates a partnership between the ICCD, the Indiana County Technology Center (ICTC) and the newly-constructed Westmoreland County Community College Indiana Education Center.”
“This project will enable the district to provide everyone, regardless of circumstance, access to the outdoors, while educating our visitors about the importance of conserving natural resources. This ADA-accessible trail will feature pervious pavement that leads to a raised walkway where users can gain a unique view into the canopies of trees,” said ICCD Executive Director Doug Beri. “In an effort to blend our skilled trades with conservation, carpentry students from the ICTC will construct the raised walkway. This project is an important component in the overall educational programming of our new facility that currently features rain barrels, rain gardens, community gardens, and a demonstration hop farm.”
A second grant, in the amount of $250,000, will support rehabilitation of the existing Westmoreland Heritage Trail, which stretches from the West Penn Trail in Saltsburg Borough, Indiana County, through Loyalhanna Township, Westmoreland County to the Rangos Trailhead in Salem Township.
“With the increased number of people who have taken to the outdoors for recreation as a result of the pandemic, these grants serve as true investments in our communities,” Pittman added. “They help attract to our area outdoor enthusiasts who are frequently looking for a new challenge, who in turn tell their friends, which translates into increased benefits for local tourism.”
Representative Jim Struzzi
62nd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Scott Little
717.260.6137 (office), 717.497.5937 (cell)