COLUMBIA BOROUGH, PA, Mar. 23, 2009 -- Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis today said the state will invest $500,000 to help develop Riverfront Park in Columbia Borough, Lancaster County.
The funds will help improve access to the Susquehanna River for outdoor recreation by the construction of a boat launch, canoe and kayak access, walkways, rain gardens to help absorb run off into the river, and other site improvements.
"For many years, communities turned their backs to the water, blocking up access and polluting them through industrial practices," said DiBerardinis during a groundbreaking event at the park. "Today we realize that the quality of life for our residents and the things that attract visitors to our communities are the opportunity to get to the water to paddle, take a hike on a trail and to enjoy quality green spaces.
"Riverfront Park will be improved to provide all those things that bring so much value to our communities, and should help give the area a terrific economic boost," DiBerardinis added.
The grant is supported by the Keystone Fund, a DCNR account generated from a portion of the state's realty transfer tax.
Other funding partners include the borough, Lancaster County, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
"Riverfront Park is an important part of a special landscape that stretches along the length of the Susquehanna River in Lancaster and York counties," DiBerardinis said. "Our work to protect and improve the greenway through projects like this help build a foundation for economic development, community sustainability and a conservation stewardship strategy for the Lower Susquehanna region."
Riverfront Park will be the southern trail head of the North West River trail, which runs along the river through Marietta Borough to Falmouth in Conoy Township. It also is the trail head for the Lower Susquehanna's federally designated Water Trail, which is marked and maintained for paddling.