Pennsylvania announced that $967,672 in new grant funding was approved to assist projects aimed at expanding access to the Lackawaxen River in Wayne County.
“I am pleased to join the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today to announce this significant investment in outdoor recreation in a wonderful Pennsylvania community,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) Deputy Secretary Lauren Imgrund said. “We are excited for the new opportunities these projects will provide boaters, anglers and others who want to take in nature. These projects don’t happen without collaboration and dedication and I thank everyone who partnered on expanding river access in this area.”
DCNR and PFBC funded two projects to expand access to the Lackawaxen River: Development of Industrial Point River Access Park along the Lackawaxen River in Honesdale and development of White Mills River Access Park along the Lackawaxen River in Texas Township. Both projects include construction of boat launches, comfort stations, pedestrian walkways, ADA access, landscaping, and parking. The Industrial Point Project will also include a new pavilion and the White Mills project will also include a new fishing pier. DCNR dedicated $408,000 to these projects.
“Communities that embrace conservation and lay out the welcome mat for anglers and boaters through expanded access to the water realize tremendous recreational, social, and economic benefits,” said Tim Schaeffer, PFBC Executive Director. “The addition of these access points along the Lackawaxen River is a major step in establishing a water trail through this region that will only enhance Wayne County’s reputation as a destination region for outdoor enthusiasts.”
In addition to the Industrial Point and White Mills projects, the PFBC provided funding to establish a third river access at Indian Orchard, which will serve as the midpoint of the approximately 10-mile water trail from Honesdale to Hawley. When awarding funding through its Boating Facility Grant Program in 2021 and 2022, the PFBC placed special emphasis on projects within the Delaware River Watershed.
Thanks to additional grant funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Delaware Watershed Conservation Fund, a combined $559,672 was dedicated to the three projects in Wayne County.
“Investing in impactful projects like the access points that will form the Lackawaxen River water trail is what collaborative conservation is all about,” said Wendi Weber, North Atlantic-Appalachian Regional Director for the USFWS. “This successful effort is yet another example of how we can have a greater conservation impact when we work together.”
“We are extremely happy to be able to work with both DCNR and the Fish and Boat Commission to secure funding for this very worthwhile project,” Wayne County Board of Commissioners Chairman Brian Smith said. “It’s a great improvement to our area and ultimately will allow boat access and handicapped accessibility to one of the county’s nicest waterways in a long-underutilized spot.”
DCNR provides grants to myriad projects across the commonwealth annually, including a $70 million investment during the 2021-22 fiscal year. Its Community Conservation Partnerships Program grants can fund:
- Planning, acquisition, and development of public parks and recreation areas
- Motorized and non-motorized trails
- River conservation and access
- Heritage areas and facilities
- Conservation of critical habitat, natural areas and open space