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Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure is pleased to announce that, through the Division of Parks & Recreation, applications for the 2019 Livable Landscapes Grant Program will be accepted beginning August 16, 2019 until 3pm, September 26, 2019. The purpose of the grant program is to protect the County’s important natural features by assisting municipalities and organizations to acquire, restore, and enhance permanently protected lands, to provide municipal park acquisition, development and rehabilitation projects, trails and greenway development and park, recreation and open space planning efforts.
Potential applicants are to attend a grant workshop on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 9 am in Room 3 at the County of Northampton Department of Human Services Building, 2801 Emrick Blvd., Bethlehem, PA 18020. Applicants are also encouraged to discuss their project with the Northampton County Conservation Coordinator, Sherry Acevedo. The grant application can be found on the Northampton County Division of Parks & Recreation website.
The Livable Landscapes Grant Program is a succeeding program from the Northampton County Open Space Initiative, originally established in 2004 by a majority voter referendum authorizing the dedication of funds for the purpose of preserving and enhancing the natural environment in Northampton County.
“Our revised grant program supports the commitment by Northampton County to implement the goals in our Livable Landscapes Plan to conserve, restore, and enhance natural resources and a greenways and blueways network, and provide an exemplary park, trail, and recreation network throughout the County”, stated Sherry Acevedo, Conservation Coordinator. “The grant funding will help our partners implement their goals to enhance the quality of life in their communities.”
Grant submission timeline includes:
- Land Preservation projects are on an open grant round monthly throughout the year
- All other projects, application timeline
- Application grant round opens – August 16, 2019
- Grant workshop – August 28, 2019 at 9 am
- Application grant round close – September 26, 2019 by 3 pm
Eligible applicants include: Municipalities and Council of Governments in Northampton County, non-profit organizations, and institutions of Higher Education. Eligible projects need to be consistent with the Action Plan and Goals established in the Livable Landscapes – An Open Space Plan for Northampton County.
Eligible applicants can apply for a grant that falls within any topic area(s) that best fits your project. The categories include:
1) Land Preservation including fee simple acquisition or conservation easement
2) Ecological Restoration of natural areas, critical habitats, and implementation of Best Management Practices
3) Planning, Education, and Outreach to support land conservation, open space, greenways, and environmental regulations
4) Municipal Park Acquisition, Rehabilitation, and Development projects to conserve and improve parks, trails, greenways, and natural areas
“Over the past 15 years the Open Space Initiative, and now the Livable Landscapes Program has helped preserved over 3,000 acres of natural areas, provided over 75 municipal park grants, built trails and provided our community with a wealth of recreational opportunities,” says Bryan Cope, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation. A portion of these significant milestones that have been reached include:
- Northampton County was selected in 2004 by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to pilot a new conservation landscape initiative, which led to the formation of a two-county partnership called Lehigh Valley Greenways
- The 160-acre Gall Farm was acquired by the County and is undergoing a Master Site Plan to develop a County Farm Preserve concept blending passive outdoor recreation, conservation, ecological restoration, and active agricultural production
- 3,165 acres of natural areas were preserved totaling $5.20 million through the Natural Areas and Open Space component of the Open Space Program
- 79 projects were funded through the Municipal Park Acquisition and Development component of the Open Space Program, totaling more than $7.7 million
- Regional trails were constructed such as: Two Rivers Area Trailway, Nor-bath Trail, D&L Trail, Karl Stirner Arts Trail, South Bethlehem Greenway, Stockertown Borough Trail, Tatamy Rail Trail, the Plainfield Township Recreation Trail and connections for the September 11th National Memorial Trail.
- Development of the Wayne A Grube Memorial County Park and improvements at Louise W. Moore, Wy-Hit-Tuk, Frost Hollow and Fry’s Run, Bear Swamp, and Minsi Lake County Parks.
- Large land conservation projects included: 1,300 acres in the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Lands), 180 acres at the Tekening Trails in Lower Mount Bethel Township, and 700 acres in Stoudt’s Valley, Williams Township
Livable Landscapes Grant Program inquiries should be directed to:
Sherry Acevedo, Conservation Coordinator
Northampton County Division of Parks and Recreation
Louise W. Moore County Park
151 Country Club Road
Easton, PA 18045
Information provided to TVL by:
Deputy Director of Administration
Northampton County Government Center
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042