HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Harrisburg officials have announced that the city has received a large series of grants to help beautify and liven up the city.

According to Harrisburg Director of Communications Matt Maisel, the city received $2,325,900 in grant money earmarked for parks and recreation needs over the past summer. More than have come to form the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“This is tremendous, and these grants are going to be a game changer for Harrisburg residents, especially in underserved communities,” said Mayor Wanda R.D. Williams. “I am so proud of our partnership with DCNR, and I cannot thank Secretary (Cindy) Dunn enough for her joint commitment in wanting to make the capital city a center for green space in Pennsylvania.”

As quoted in the press release, projects that the grants will be used for include:

  • $250,000 from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)  Community Conservation Partnership Program (C2P2) for the development of the Chutes and Ladders Playground in Reservoir Park.
  •  $900,000 from the PennDOT Transportation Alternatives Set Aside (TASA) program for the Capital Area Greenbelt- Paxtang Parkway Trail Restoration project.
  • $5,000 from the Giant Heal the Plant program to install a rain garden at the north end of Italian Lake.
  • $275,000 from the DCNR C2P2 program for the rehabilitation and further development of Reservoir Park including renovation of an internal loop trail; construction of ADA-accessible pedestrian walkways, construction of a “green” parking area, stormwater management measures, and installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing.
  • $58,900 from DCNR to prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park, and Open Space Plan for Harrisburg City. 
  • $687,000 from the DCNR Rivers Conservation Program for the rehabilitation of Parkway Creek including rehabilitation of approximately 1.3 miles of trail from Market Street to Derry Street; stream restoration; streambank stabilization; installation of stormwater management measures, riparian forest buffer, and ADA access. 
  • $150,000 from the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Gateways, Trails, and Recreation Program (GTRP) for two tot lots in Reservoir Park (essentially, playgrounds for younger children and toddlers).

“We are really excited about the incredibly positive environmental impact these grants are going to have on the city,” said Dave Baker, Director of Harrisburg’s Parks and Recreation Department. “This will in turn have an impact on residents’ way of life when it comes to their mental health, and being able to enjoy the outdoors.”