Topton Park Barry Isett

Six Clients Win More Than $787,000 In Grant Funding

Isett’s grants team is proud to have assisted municipalities in Luzerne, Berks, Lehigh, and Carbon counties in preparing projects and grant applications for six of the recent 280 Pennsylvania projects that were awarded $50 million of Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (DCNR) funding—to “create new recreational opportunities, conserve natural resources, and help revitalize local communities.”

Our municipal clients were awarded a combined $699,000 in park development grants and $88,500 in recreational planning grants. Isett prides itself on guiding our municipalities from project conception through to implementation, and as such—have donated hours of time to preparing DCNR and other grant applications so our community’s visions can become a reality. Years of our team’s commitment to the development of quality recreation projects and dedication to our clients’ park and trail needs have strengthened our relationships with DCNR; local department representatives know they can trust our Landscape Architecture staff to work with them and our clients to effectively design and implement impactful recreational facilities.

Topton Borough received funding to implement phase II of their park site plan: the construction of a new basketball court and pavilion. This grant supplements funding the borough already received to install a new playground, interior paths and pedestrian bridges, and sidewalks to connect the park property to the neighborhood and school; it brings the community closer to their goal of completing a comprehensive $4.5 million park makeover by their 250th anniversary in 2026.

Kingston Township was granted funds to construct a new playground at Center Street Park—the priority project that originated from the township’s recently completed master site park planning process. The completion of that plan was inspired by the evolving popularity of this park as a regional community asset, and a desire to ensure that investment into it will meet the diverse needs of the current and future users of this site for everything from sports and outdoor play, to leisure and summer programming.

Jackson Township was awarded money to enhance Recreation Park: already-popular with athletic teams and families, the improvements are intended to upgrade the site to make it more user-friendly for all generations—with investments into a new playground, restrooms, grills, stormwater controls, and interior walking path improvements.

Pen Argyl Borough received funds, to match an existing Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) grant, towards completing a feasibility study on its public pool. This study will examine the existing facilities—closed in 2013—as well as the user market: to determine the costs, feasibility, and recommended options in pursuing the construction of a new pool or water feature. The study will analyze value versus investment.

Jim Thorpe Borough is renowned for its regional recreational and tourism attractions, but Memorial Park—tucked within the borough’s neighborhoods adjacent to the high school and municipal building—is a popular destination intended to serve the Jim Thorpe local community. The facilities on site are aged and some unsafe, and the borough wants to ensure that all future investment into the park is congruent with the needs of the community it serves: they received DCNR funding towards completing a master site plan to develop a phased and prioritized strategy. 

Emmaus Borough was awarded money to match an existing DCED grant to complete a Comprehensive Park & Recreation Plan with a Greenways and Trails Study component. The borough’s park system consists of nine heavily-used parks that are frequented by the regional community; all are outdated and require upgrades. This planning process will evaluate the park system’s resources and delineate a phased priority improvement strategy; the plan will be customized to dually analyze non-motorist connections between these parks and the borough’s many business, cultural, and historic attractions.