State lawmakers announce $200K grant for city of Reading

READING, Sept. 24 – State Reps. Tom Caltagirone and Mark Rozzi and state Sen. Judy Schwank today announced a $200,000 Recreation and Conservation project grant for the city of Reading. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant program is funded by various state and federal sources. 

The grant will be used to develop a skatepark in Reading. Work will include park construction, stormwater management measures, installation of fencing, landscaping and site improvements.

“I’ve supported the Reading Skatepark Association’s efforts since Day 1, and I couldn’t be happier that the project is coming to fruition,” Rozzi said. “Hats off to J.D. Turner and all the volunteers for all their hard work and persistence. Numerous studies have shown the positive advantages of the creation of parks, including social, economic and environmental benefits. Most importantly, however, a park provides our children a place to interact with their peers, a safe haven close to home where they can be accepted and enjoy themselves.”   

The planned park will be located at 601 Canal St. in South Reading, located across the street from the Canal Street Pub and Restaurant. The total project will cost $400,000 with matching $200,000 funds provided by Reading Skatepark Association.

“During my career, it is always an honor to see state and federal funds used to improve our hometown communities,” Caltagrione said. “One cannot overstate the importance of the creation of a park, a place young people can gather that also acts as a magnet in attracting people from outside the area to experience a part of our city they might have otherwise never discovered.”

“This is an example of local efforts and local support leveraging state funding to bring an important community recreation project together,” Schwank said. “I commend the Wolf administration, stakeholders and partners across the commonwealth for working so diligently and successfully to create a pathway to a healthier and brighter future for all."

Funds for the grant program come from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund, which includes Key-Community and Key-Land Trust, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, Pennsylvania Trails fund, Pennsylvania Heritage Program and the ATV Restricted Management Account Fund.