Pa. gives $400,000 to Delco playground, parks and trail projects

A Delco playground, a park and a trail will each be getting an allotment of the funding via the state’s Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program.

Hikers in Ridley State Park in Media, Pa.

Hikers in Ridley State Park in Media, Pa. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is awarding nearly $400,000 to three Delaware County parks and trail projects.

More than $225,000 will go to the Delaware County Planning Department’s work on phase two of the Darby Creek Trail design work.

Lansdowne Borough will receive $85,000 to install lighting at the Hoffman Park field. The Community’s Foundation will get nearly $60,000 in assistance for Edgewood Elementary School’s Inclusive Playground. The money comes by way of the state’s Greenways, Trails, and Recreation Program.

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“We really support green space and people using our green space, so what this grant will do is enable us to have lighting in Hoffman Park and in particular, we have a baseball diamond that we have there,” Lansdowne Borough Councilmember Carol Martsolf said. “Especially now when it gets dark so early but people still want to hang out in the park, it’s really important that we have lighting there for people to feel safe going in and using our parks.”

At roughly one square mile, Hoffman is the borough’s largest park.

Martsolf, who also serves as co-chair of the Delaware County Sustainability Commission, said the funding helps bridge the money gap for much-needed infrastructure projects.

“It’s really good that we have these funds in order to perform some upgrades that we otherwise we’re not would not be able to do,” Martsof said. “The more people can be out on trails and in our parks and appreciate green space, it actually makes you realize how much climate change is affecting us and how much we need to protect the environment.”

These projects all fall within the boundaries of the 26th Senatorial District — state Sen. Tim Kearney’s jurisdiction.

“We’re constantly at a point where we’re trying to keep up our open space. We’re certainly trying to act upon lessons that we learned during the pandemic that people really do demand outdoor activity and things to say not only in shape but healthy — and it’s good for our society moving forward,” Kearney said.

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Kearney said the grant funding for Darby Creek Trail also compliments the goals of Delaware County’s celebration of America’s 250th anniversary.

“Things are still being planned and sorted out, but the idea as I understand it is that there were literally all these trails that went through Delaware County as part of the the Revolutionary War … where the soldiers’ path that they actually took and they’re trying to sort of roughly approximate how we can move people on the same way 250 years later,” Kearney said.

In 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s passage of Act 13 to help deliver funds to municipalities for the purpose of planning, land development, trail repair, and greenway projects.

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