Merski, Harkins: More than $500,000 to improve, expand Erie natural attractions

ERIE, Sept. 6 – Erie parks, greenspaces and other natural attractions will receive a boost from more than $500,000 in state funding, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the funding was approved by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and will be used to rehabilitate and expand parkland and improve area attractions.

“The investments we make in our natural attractions can be as important as the ones we make in concrete,” Merski said. “Expanding our parks and greenspaces makes our communities more livable – it brings more places for families to play and exercise together, for kids to learn and discover nature, and for visitors to enjoy our unique attractions. That’s a win for residents and for tourism, as well.”

Harkins said, “Erie has an abundance of natural beauty and one-of-a-kind attractions. The funding we helped secure today is going to help restore or expand attractions folks visit to gather together and enjoy free time. I’m delighted we were able to help secure funding for the special places that improve quality of life for residents.”

The projects approved include: 

  • $92,500 to Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for acquisition of 108.5 acres for addition to State Game Lands (for Erie/Warren counties).
  • $91,240 to Union City Borough for rehabilitation of Devereaux Park, including construction of walkways, gazebo and fishing dock.
  • $70,000 to Wesleyville Borough for rehabilitation of Hinkler Park including installation of utilities and site improvements.
  • $65,000 to Union City Borough for rehabilitation of Southwest Park, including installation of play equipment and pedestrian walkways.
  • $54,300 to Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for acquisition of 40.7 acres in Union Township for addition to South Branch French Creek Conservation Area.
  • $50,000 to Erie City to prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Greenway Plan for the city of Erie and Erie County.
  • $40,000 to North East Borough to prepare a Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Open Space Plan for the borough, Erie County and Master Site Development Plan for Freeport Beach-Halli Reed Park.
  • $37,400 to Washington Township to prepare a multi-municipal Comprehensive Recreation, Park and Green Plan.
  • $35,000 to Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Erie Bird Observatory to coordinate community bird safe monitoring assessments.

More about the projects is available here: