Longietti, Brooks: More than $425,000 awarded for Mercer County revitalization, wetland restoration projects

HERMITAGE, Nov. 19 State Rep. Mark Longietti and state Sen. Michele Brooks announced today that the Commonwealth Financing Authority has awarded $426,067 in grants to fund expansions to the Hermitage Athletic Complex and improvements to Greenville’s Riverside Park and Hermitage’s Bobby Run stream.

The Hermitage Athletic Complex was awarded $183,167, helping to advance a planned expansion that would include open play fields, softball and baseball fields, parking facilities, playgrounds, access drives, sidewalks and amenities related to the recreation complex.

“From the day it opened, the Hermitage Athletic Complex has been tremendously popular with the community, both as a venue for local sports teams and their supporters and as a green space for folks looking to get outside and exercise,” Longietti said. “Now, the city will have the funds needed to acquire nearly 20 more acres to expand the complex and accommodate the growing demand for recreational opportunities.”

“The impact of this award will extend far beyond the city of Hermitage,” Brooks said. “Residents from surrounding municipalities – including the cities of Sharon and Farrell and the boroughs of Sharpsville, Wheatland and West Middlesex – and truly the county as a whole will benefit from this expansion as competitions bring teams and their families into the area.”

In addition to this project, Greenville’s Restore Riverside Park project was awarded $211,857, and the Bobby Run Restoration project will receive $31,043.

“This funding builds on the collective effort to restore Greenville’s historic Riverside Park and its recreational facilities,” Brooks said. “Most of us have great childhood memories of the park, from the amphitheater, playgrounds, ballfields and basketball courts to the fireworks and community events. When this shared vision comes to life, Riverside Park will continue its legacy of being a wonderful family resource for all ages and a community treasure.”

“Riverside Park has served as the hub for outdoor recreation and entertainment in the Greenville area for decades,” Longietti said. “This grant will allow a group of committed volunteers to further revitalize the park by removing dead trees and replacing them with new plantings, addressing drainage issues, and constructing new pickleball courts and a basketball court.”

The lawmakers said the Hermitage waterway project involves the restoration of a section of Bobby Run, a few hundred feet west of the PA Route 18 and 518 intersection, which the Department of Environmental Protection has identified as a stream plagued by erosion and water quality issues. A mixture of wood and rock materials will aid in both stream channel and bank restoration.

“The Bobby Run Restoration Project will enhance the ecological value of this important stream while meeting pollution reduction requirements identified by the Department of Environmental Protection,” Longietti said. “The grant funds awarded will provide important seed money to help accomplish this project.”

Brooks added, “These three investments will help our residents enjoy the outdoors, bolster tourism, and enhance our natural resources for families to enjoy for generations to come. It has been a pleasure to work with local leaders, community organizations and residents on these projects, and I look forward to other groups contacting me to see how we can work together on other community improvements.”