Featured Image: Photo by Larry Laird – Mont Alto State Park
March 13, 2023, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For additional information, contact Marci Mowery at 717-236-7644 or [email protected].
Camp Hill, PA: The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), which is the official nonprofit partner of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests, recently received a grant through the Franklin County IMPACT! Grant Program for recreational enhancements at Mont Alto State Park.
The benefits of outdoor play cannot be overstated. It decreases the risk of obesity and chronic illness, creates emotional and social bonds among children, and helps them “let off steam.” However, there are very few public playgrounds within a 10-mile radius of Mont Alto State Park that provide opportunities for this healthy play. With this grant funding, PPFF will work with staff at Mont Alto State Park and the Friends of Mont Alto State Park to add new play equipment to the park’s existing playground.
Grant funds will also be used to create a crushed stone pathway to the playground, which will provide better access, particularly for those who need a more level surface. Funds will also help to restore the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) era bank pavilion within the park, which when completed, will be available for families and small groups to have picnics and other events.
“Mont Alto State Park is the oldest state park in the Pennsylvania state park system,” said Marci Mowery, President of PPFF. “Through the generous support of the Franklin County Commissioners, we can preserve, restore, and share the historical significance of the park while also providing much-needed recreational amenities to our youngest park visitors.”
Funding through Franklin County’s IMPACT! Grant Program was available to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and municipal authorities located within Franklin County to support local recovery efforts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Franklin County Commissioners distributed grants for 127 projects across Franklin County. The IMPACT! Grant Program was made possible through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
“We appreciate the foundation’s initiative to enhance Mont Alto State Park, and we’re glad we could help the Mont Alto community with this grant funding,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller.
This project is part of a larger, ongoing effort by PPFF to engage the public in healthy outdoor living and environmental protection. PPFF has the goal of replacing, updating, or placing new playground systems and equipment in state parks. PPFF is raising awareness of the physical, mental, and emotional health benefits of outdoor recreation through various means, including a video series on these benefits, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/c/PAParksandForests.
“We are grateful to the Franklin County Commissioners for this grant that will preserve an important part of Pennsylvania history and support healthy outdoor play for children across Franklin County and beyond,” added Mowery.
About the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation
Founded in 1999, 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 47 chapters. The mission of the foundation is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests. More at https://paparksandforests.org