The Damascus Township Park and the Watres Environmental Education Center at Lacawac Sanctuary will undergo rehabilitation and upgrades thanks to state grants awarded by DCNR, Sen. Lisa Baker, R-20th, and Rep. Mike Peifer, R-139th, announced.
The funding is through the Community Parks and Partnerships program and the two Wayne County projects are among the dozens of statewide recipients.
In Damascus Township, $200,000 has been awarded for the rehabilitation and further development of Damascus Township Park. Work will include the renovation of a baseball field; construction of dugouts, parking area, pedestrian walkways, and stormwater management measures; installation of play equipment with required safety surfacing, backstop, and fencing; ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other related site improvements.
Damascus Township Supervisors Joe Canfield, Daniel Rutledge, and Steve Adams jointly said the board “would like to thank, on behalf of the township the hard work of DNCR Northeast Regional Advisor Christine Dettore and DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and the support of Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Lisa Baker, Representative Mike Peifer, Wayne County Department of Planning Director Craig Rickard, the Wayne County Commissioners, Barry Isett and Associates staff, and Damascus Township Parks and Recreation Committee. This grant is a giant step forward in the advancement of our Master Plan for Damascus Township. This grant will provide enhancement to parking, a new amphitheater, playground expansion, baseball field improvements and access to the existing trail network. Great things happen when we all work together.”
At the non-profit Lacawac Sanctuary in Paupack Township, $198,400 will be used for renovations and upgrades at the Watres Environmental Education Center. Restroom and garage renovations; construction of a classroom; installation of a solar panel system and utilities; ADA access, landscaping, and other related site improvements will be completed with the funds.
Lacawac Sanctuary President Craig Lukatch said the organization “is extremely honored to have received a DCNR C2P2 grant to support the addition and renovation of our new environmental education center. This funding will help us educate more students by providing them classroom space to explore nature and STEM (science technology engineering math) education opportunities. The new center will be the heart of environmental education for both students and the public at Lacawac.”
Both Baker and Peifer lauded the funding and the benefits to community members and visitors.
“As our municipal parks expand and add recreational activities, they become even more popular with residents. They are safe and relaxing centers for people young and old,” Baker said. “We are becoming more aware of their environmental significance, in terms of green space provided and the capacity for helping absorb storm water. The communities receiving state funding deserve credit for good planning and generating local support.”
Peifer noted that “these grants give our townships the opportunity to enhance our community’s recreational opportunities as well as provide an area for residents and tourists to engage in educational activities.”