The Capital Area Greenbelt Association (CAGA) was recently awarded two grants from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania totaling more than $280K to facilitate environmental infrastructure projects vital to the continued well-being of the Greenbelt, a 24-mile, century-old system of picturesque natural areas, parks, and open areas, as well as surrounding nature spaces.
“We’re extremely grateful to have been selected to receive this grant funding and look forward to the important and long-lasting benefits it will bring to our community through the completion of two key environmental projects,” said CAGA Board President Mike Shaull.
A $230,150 Environmental Stewardship and Watershed Protection (Growing Greener) grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be used to restore 500 feet of streambank on Lower Spring Creek near the Ivey Lane Apartment complex. Additional funding from CAGA and Skelly & Loy, Inc. compliment the grant, bringing the total project spend to $300K.
“There were over 200 eligible applications received by DEP for review and consideration. We were very pleased to see such an interest in watershed restoration and protection. Selecting among the many excellent project proposals was very difficult,” DEP noted in its award letter.
A second grant of $54,600 from the Community Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) was also awarded. The funding, coupled with an annual maintenance grant from the City of Harrisburg and CAGA contributions, will be used to restore the riparian buffer on Lower Spring Creek from 19th to 28th Streets. The project, which will include the removal of invasive species and the planting of 1,800 trees and shrubs, will have a total cost of $150,000.
“The Department is committed to building community conservation partnerships with local governments and nonprofit organizations to protect critical natural areas and open space, develop greenways and trails, provide quality park, recreation and conservation opportunities, and to improve the quality of life in Pennsylvania’s communities,” the department stated. “Your DCNR grant award is a recognition of outstanding recreation and conservation work that should be shared with your community.”
CAGA is a volunteer-run, non-profit community organization whose goal is to maintain the Greenbelt trail and foster access to green space for all residents of the capital region. To learn more about supporting the organization through volunteerism or financial contribution, visit caga.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.