– Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chester and Delaware) announced more than $1.1 million in grants to the district from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Community Conservation Partnerships Program.
“As I said when running for this office, preservation of space, repurposing space and enhancing our outdoor recreational areas is one of my top priorities,” said Williams. “My open space aspiration is be able to walk, run or bike the length of the 160th District. That starts with smaller municipal projects that we will later bring together for a regional project. I am proud to have supported and advanced the funding requests for these local projects.”
Chadds Ford Township will receive a grant of $500,000 for development of the Walkable Chadds Ford Trail. The trail will include almost 1.5 miles of trail from Fairville Road to the Brandywine Battlefield Park along with intersection improvements. Consistent with our regional planning approach, this trail will be an important connector for the planned Octoraro Rail Trial.
Bethel Township will receive a grant of $243,800 for the acquisition of approximately 20 acres along Bethel Road for passive recreation. This project will preserve the former Shaffer property, including a 17th century log cabin and an 18th century farmhouse. The buildings are historically relevant to the area and are used to tell the story of Bethel Township’s rural past.
The Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art will receive a grant of $85,000 for outreach and technical assistance for the Brandywine Creek Greenway. The project will repurpose an inactive SEPTA rail line into a paved, multi-use public trail. Consistent with the regional approach, the trail will also serve as a section of the Octoraro Rail Trail with future plans to build one continuous trail from Chadds Ford through Concord Township to Chester Heights.
The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County will receive a grant for $315,000 toward a conservation and trail easement on approximately 100 acres in Kennett Township for open space and trail connections. These trails are in addition to the 14-mile trail project funded earlier this year in Kennett Township and Kennett Borough. Once these projects are complete, the greater Kennett area will be significantly improved in terms of usable outdoor recreational space, further enhancing its destination status.
Funding for these grants comes from the Keystone Fund, generated from a portion of the realty transfer tax, the Environmental Stewardship Fund, fees for ATV and snowmobile licenses, and federal money.
“I am grateful that DCNR recognized the value of our projects,” said Williams. “These grants are a big step toward a walkable 160th District and will preserve and enhance some of our precious open and recreational space for many years to come.”