Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

PA Municipalities Consider Using ARPA Funds for Outdoor Recreation

Play

Thursday, January 27, 2022   

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support conservation and outdoor-recreation projects.

Pennsylvania's 67 counties are receiving direct allocations totaling $2.8 billion, while municipalities will receive approximately $3.3 billion.

Silas Chamberlin, vice president of economic and community development for the York County Economic Alliance, said while some counties and towns may choose to use the rescue-plan dollars to balance their budget, making investments in conservation or parks and trails can play an important role in a community's pandemic recovery.

"During the pandemic, when other sources of tourism were shut down, our outdoor recreation facilities set record numbers for use," Chamberlin recounted. "It just sort of proved that not only are these kinds of assets important to our tourism economy, but they're incredibly resilient."

Outdoor recreation is one of Pennsylvania's largest industries, generating more than $29 billion annually in consumer spending. Municipalities with fewer than 50,000 residents have received their federal allocation of funds through the state.

A priority highlighted in the American Rescue Plan is ensuring the funds reach historically underserved communities. Chamberlin said York County is using $100,000 from its allocation to plan for and begin development of the South Mountain Trolley Greenway, which runs eight miles between Dillsburg and Mechanicsburg, two towns with limited public trail access.

"In part because they were the places where, if somebody wanted to get on a trail during the pandemic, they had to hop in their car and drive 30 minutes to get to a trailhead," Chamberlin pointed out. "Recognizing that that's not sustainable and not equitable, we tried to pick some projects that sort of rose to the top that would meet those needs but also bring tourists into the community."

Silas added York County saw trail use go up 300% during the pandemic. A majority of municipalities in Pennsylvania have received about 50% of their rescue-plan dollars and should expect to receive the other half by the end of this year.


get more stories like this via email
Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Social Issues

Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …

Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …


There's been a roughly 38% drop in drowning deaths over the past two decades. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

A 2019 report from the Economic Policy Institute found teacher shortages were especially acute in higher-poverty schools. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021