DCNR Secretary Allan Visits Northampton County to Highlight New Opportunities for Recreation, Conservation

Apr 12, 2013, 14:23 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Pa., April 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan today visited Hugh Moore Park in Easton to highlight the importance of local parks and trails to communities and economies.

The secretary announced a $175,000 grant to the City of Easton for improvements to Hugh Moore Park and the completion of the approximately three-mile PPL Trail that starts at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center and travels north to the trailhead in Bushkill Township.

"Hugh Moore Park along the Lehigh River is in need of a facelift, and we are pleased to partner with the City of Easton to improve the park so it can again be a destination and a keystone along the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor," Allan said. "Governor Corbett understands the important connection between recreation and conservation and the economic health of our communities, and through DCNR, is happy to make these investments that assist our municipalities in protecting and improving our outdoor assets."

Allan was joined at the park by Easton Mayor Sal Panto and D&L Corridor Executive Director Elissa Garofalo.

In addition to offering outdoor recreation, the 260-acre park helps protect the industrial and transportation heritage of the region and features an operating mule-drawn canal boat.

The Hugh Moore Park grant will support improvements including an outdoor classroom/pavilion; play equipment; signage; lighting; walkways; and landscaping.

The PPL trail project was aided by a $200,000 grant that supported the installation of a crushed-stone trail starting at Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center. PPL donated the right-of-way in the utility corridor in Bushkill Township.

"This is a key section of a trail that is part of a larger vision for a string of connections from Easton, to Jacobsburg, and north to the Appalachian Trail, all of which helps us get closer to this goal," Allan said.

L.L. Bean recently donated 10 bikes to Jacobsburg for the Get Outdoors PA program designed to introduce visitors to opportunities for being active outdoors.

Both of the projects supported by the Corbett administration help meet the goals of the Lehigh Valley Greenway conservation landscape effort to link communities to greenways, trails and outdoor experiences for stronger economies, improved public health and conservation of natural resources.

In 2012, the D&L Trail, the cornerstone of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and the Lehigh Valley Greenway effort, drew 283,000 visitors who spent an estimated $19 million for activities related to the trail, according to a recent user survey.

The grants were awarded through DCNR's Community Conservation Partnerships Program that supports new recreational opportunities and conservation of natural resources, announced in December by Governor Corbett.  For more information visit the DCNR website at www.dcnr.state.pa.us and choose "Recreation and Conservation" under "Quick Links."

Media contact:  Christina Novak, DCNR 717-772-9104

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources