Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

PA Municipalities Consider Using ARPA Funds for Outdoor Recreation


Thursday, January 27, 2022   

As local municipalities consider ways to use an influx of funds from the American Rescue Plan, some communities see it as an opportunity to support conservation and outdoor-recreation projects.

Pennsylvania's 67 counties are receiving direct allocations totaling $2.8 billion, while municipalities will receive approximately $3.3 billion.

Silas Chamberlin, vice president of economic and community development for the York County Economic Alliance, said while some counties and towns may choose to use the rescue-plan dollars to balance their budget, making investments in conservation or parks and trails can play an important role in a community's pandemic recovery.

"During the pandemic, when other sources of tourism were shut down, our outdoor recreation facilities set record numbers for use," Chamberlin recounted. "It just sort of proved that not only are these kinds of assets important to our tourism economy, but they're incredibly resilient."

Outdoor recreation is one of Pennsylvania's largest industries, generating more than $29 billion annually in consumer spending. Municipalities with fewer than 50,000 residents have received their federal allocation of funds through the state.

A priority highlighted in the American Rescue Plan is ensuring the funds reach historically underserved communities. Chamberlin said York County is using $100,000 from its allocation to plan for and begin development of the South Mountain Trolley Greenway, which runs eight miles between Dillsburg and Mechanicsburg, two towns with limited public trail access.

"In part because they were the places where, if somebody wanted to get on a trail during the pandemic, they had to hop in their car and drive 30 minutes to get to a trailhead," Chamberlin pointed out. "Recognizing that that's not sustainable and not equitable, we tried to pick some projects that sort of rose to the top that would meet those needs but also bring tourists into the community."

Silas added York County saw trail use go up 300% during the pandemic. A majority of municipalities in Pennsylvania have received about 50% of their rescue-plan dollars and should expect to receive the other half by the end of this year.

get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021