Young visitors to Mont Alto State Park have a new opportunity to engage in healthy outdoor recreation through the placement of updated playground equipment. Supported through a Franklin County Impact! Grant to the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, the new equipment lends a rustic aesthetic to this Civilian Conservation Corps era park. The oldest park in the Pennsylvania state park system, the playground offers children opportunities to:
- Understand the importance of self-care, i.e., keeping themselves healthy and safe.
- Decrease stress, improve stamina, and develop lifelong exercise habits.
- Builds social skills, while facilitating imagination and creativity.
- Assess risks and tackle new challenges, fostering critical thinking and problem solving.
- Improve confidence and competence in physical and social abilities.
- Build connection.
A new crushed stone pathway from the new playground to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible parking lot to allow ease of access.
“The timing for a new and improved playground and pathway at Mont Alto State Park is good—the Friends of Mont Alto recently paid to add electricity to the nearby dance pavilion, which will increase the appeal for large group rentals, such as for family reunions,” Said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “The playground will thus serve residents of Franklin County, as well as visitors coming to the county to enjoy what the park and surrounding communities have to offer.”
Park Manager Earl Hockenberry added, “We were extremely pleased with how this project turned out. Working with PPFF and the Friends of Mont Alto allowed us to secure the funding to add this playground to Mont Alto State Park and we look forward to seeing the public being able to use it.”
The second phase of the project—restoration to the Civilian Conservation Corps era picnic pavilion—will take place in 2024, as weather permits.
“We’re grateful for the efforts of Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and the Friends of Mont Alto to revitalize our beloved Mont Alto State Park, and we were pleased to award the Impact! Grant this year in support of those efforts,” said Dave Keller, Chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners.
This project is part of a larger, ongoing effort by PPFF to engage the public in healthy outdoor living and environmental protection, all while supporting local economies. To learn more about the role of the outdoors in health and economics, visit our YouTube playlist: https://ppff.online/YouTube-Health-Economic-Playlist
About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation supports 124 state parks and 2.2 million acres of forest by coordinating volunteers, activities, and donations through its 48 chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. To learn more about PPFF, visit https://paparksandforests.org/.