MCKEAN COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Kinzua Bridge State Park in Mt. Jewett and the PA Wilds Center will be getting some funds from the state for partnerships, outdoor recreation and conservation.
Governor Josh Shapiro, First Lady Lori Shapiro, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn visited Kinzua Bridge State Park Thursday to announce a nearly $600,000 investment for the Pennsylvania Wilds.
The money will go towards protecting the state’s natural resources and upkeep of outdoor parks such as the Kinzua Bridge State Park. This includes more than 225 recreation and conservation projects involving trails, river conservation, community and watershed forestry, and developing or rehabilitating recreation, park and conservation areas.
“I want more people to recognize that Pennsylvania has some of the most spectacular natural beauty you can find – and that’s why we secured $112 million this year to invest in our state parks,” Governor Shapiro said. “Our local parks and natural spaces are hometown treasures in our neighborhoods – but for our rural towns, they’re also the center of our local economy.”
The announced grants include the following:
- $300,000 for the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., (PA Wilds Center) to promote regional outdoor recreation, public lands, and conservation.
- $179,200 to the Mount Jewett Borough for its Main Street Plaza Park to include walkways and restrooms for the Knox to Kane Rail Trail.
- $112,700 to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy for the restoration of Kinzua Creek in Lafayette Township which runs through the bottom of Kinzua Gorge visible from the skywalk at the state park.
The Kinzua Bridge was built in 1882 and was dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world” as the highest and longest railroad viaduct. A portion of the bridge was destroyed by a tornado in 2003. The remaining structure became the Kinzua Skywalk in 2011.
Kinzua Bridge State Park attracts about 250,000 visitors each year as one of the best destinations to enjoy fall foliage.