WPA canoe kayak access

Courtesy of Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

PITTSBURGH — The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is seeking grant applicants for its Canoe Access Development Fund, which supports projects that will improve canoe and kayak access to the region’s waterways.

Founded in 2008 by WPC donors and outdoor enthusiasts Roy Weil and Mary Shaw, WPC’s Canoe Access Development Fund provides grants to watershed organizations and other community groups to make the region’s rivers and streams more accessible for outdoor recreation by developing and improving access sites for canoeists, kayakers and anglers. Currently, 81 CADF-supported projects are completed and open to the public along 34 different waterways in 20 counties.

New access sites proposed for grant funding should be located along a stream or river featured in Weil and Shaw’s “Canoeing Guide to Western Pennsylvania and Northern West Virginia” (located online at canoedraft.shaw-weil.com) or a similar resource, or be recognized as a paddling waterway in Western Pennsylvania.

Kelly Williams, watershed specialist with the Clearfield County Conservation District, said her organization received funding from WPC to construct an access to Chest Creek in Westover in 2020.

“The application process was simple, funds were awarded quickly and staff were always available if I had a question or concern,” Kelly said, adding. “I hope an increase in recreational activities on the creek will lead to more visitors to the Westover area and a greater appreciation of all Clearfield County waterways.”

Qualified grant recipients will receive up to $4,000 per site for the construction and enhancement of canoe and kayak access locations. Grant funding could be used to stabilize access areas to rivers or streams, add nearby parking areas, purchase riverside access or for other improvements.

A downloadable application, including a complete list of requirements, is available beginning Oct. 12 at WaterLandLife.org/canoe-access-development-fund-cadf/. Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 13, 2020 and grant recipients will be notified by Dec. 11, 2020.

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