The Riverwalk in Williamsport was made possible with support from the Keystone Fund

Act Now! Keystone Fund Needs Your Voice

Governor Corbett’s proposed 2012-13 budget eliminates all conservation, park, and recreation funding from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund. The budget goes on to propose that the cut be made permanent. This proposed budget would divert the funds to general government operations-$30M in 2012 alone-making this proposal the largest cut to conservation in state history. (Keystone funding for libraries and historic preservation would remain intact.)

The Keystone Fund is funded by the dedication of 15% of the Realty Transfer Tax, and the amount available each year is depended on the number of real estate transactions and values each year.

Learn more about the Keystone Fund here and read about the projects it made possible in the Susquehanna Greenway below.

Act Now!

Impacts
No state funding program has had a more lasting impact on local communities, since these projects help communities help themselves.  Each dollar of Keystone Fund investment in communities leverages on average $2.28 in private and local investments. These investments in turn generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity, including recreational purchases, wages, and increased property values.
As early as 2012, the Keystone Fund as supported approximately:

  • 850 trail projects
  • 120,000 acres of green space for county and municipal parks, greenways and habitat
  • 2,600 community park projects, including ball-fields, playgrounds, and pools
  • State park and forest improvements including construction and rehabilitation of restrooms, parking lots, roads, bridges, and visitors’ centers

The Keystone Fund has been critical in helping to build parks, trails and conserve open space along the Susquehanna Greenway – the state’s largest greenway. Keystone-funded projects include:

  • Susquehanna Riverwalk, Lycoming County:  4-mile paved multi-use trail connects visitors and residents to the waterfront and provides recreational opportunities to the largest urban population along the West Branch of the river
  • Camp Lackawana Easement, Wyoming County:  Over 280 acres have been preserved for public enjoyment and also provide access to the Susquehanna River Water Trail
  • Capital Area Greenbelt, Dauphin County: This “jewel necklace” rings the capital city and provides visitors an opportunity to hike, bike, skate, jog, and appreciate nature
  • River Walk Improvements, Clinton County: Provided a river overlook area, steps to the river walkway, and electricity to the floating stage used for community concerts

Moreover, elimination of the Keystone Fund will be counter-productive for future projects along the Susquehanna Greenway, including:

  • North Branch Canal Trail – a regional trail system to connect Danville with Bloomsburg
  • Shickshinny Riverfront Park – Devastated by the 2011 flood, the town wants to develop a master plan for the park that includes public restrooms, camping, picnic and festival space

Please tell your legislator that the protection of the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund must be a top budget priority and remember that it is Pennsylvania’s only funding source that directs money specifically to community park, recreation grants, and land conservation grants. We simply can’t afford to lose it.

Thank You!