DeLissio announces three grants to support local parks, recreation projects

PHILADELPHIA, April 23 – State Rep. Pam DeLissio announced that three state grants were awarded to local organizations this week to support parks and recreation projects.

“These grants support wonderful recreational resources in our community,” said DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila. “The funds will improve safety at Gorgas Park, a much-loved neighborhood asset; help expand the nature playscape at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, establishing the center as a natural play destination for our region; and help advance plans to revitalize the Manayunk Canal Towpath, beautifying a local resource and providing better access between the trail and the Manayunk business community. I was pleased to support these projects and look forward to seeing the plans come to fruition.” 

The three Greenways, Trails, Recreation program grants were approved by the Commonwealth Financing Authority this week.

Friends of Gorgas Park was awarded $101,000 for Gorgas Park streetscape safety improvements. Plans include replacement of sidewalks, widening of a parking lane and safety enhancements at the Ridge Avenue and Acorn Street pedestrian crossing.

“It is reassuring during these pandemic times that our state government cares so much about the safety and health of our Gorgas Park users to award us this important, essential grant,” said John Boyce, president of Friends of Gorgas Park. “Hopefully, this is a harbinger of better things in 2021. We hope to reach herd immunity so people can return to normal living this summer as we envision a better, safer Gorgas Park for the multitudes of people, old and young, who will be utilizing our marvelous neighborhood recreation space in the near future under safer conditions made possible by this grant award.”

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education was awarded $74,570 to renovate and expand the Tall Trees Nature Playscape to encourage interactive play for families. The plans include slides, forts, water play and climbing elements created from natural materials.

"All of us here at the Schuylkill Center are so grateful for the support from Representative DeLissio for this funding of our nature playscape,” said Mike Weilbacher, executive director of Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. “We're busily designing updates and new features for our play area and this grant, plus another from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, will allow us to soon begin building the feature. We see the playscape as helping bring new members of the Roxborough neighborhood and the entire city to our nature center for nature-based play. Additionally, our Nature Preschool and Summer Camp kids will absolutely adore it."


Manayunk Development Corp. was awarded $125,000 for improvements to the Manayunk Towpath, including seating, plantings, signage, fencing, wood railings and site paving.


“It is so rewarding that our vision is acknowledged and aligned with the Commonwealth,” said Gwen McCauley, executive director of the Manayunk Development Corp. “Our trail is what distinguishes us from any other district, and we look forward to using this funding for the betterment of our community. We are incredibly excited to receive this news as we celebrate Opening Day for Trails this Saturday, April 24 in Manayunk. We encourage all to come out and explore the trail right here in our neighborhood. We thank Representative Pam DeLissio for her support of this project."

More information on the Commonwealth Financing Authority and the grant programs is available here.