Event to recognize 25 years of Keystone Fund partnerships

LOCK HAVEN – Clinton County has been fortunate to receive over $6,890,663 from the Keystone Fund, which is turning 25 years old, thus prompting the Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy to hold a celebration here on Thursday.

The NPC has planned a presentation from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Ulmer Hall on the campus of Lock Haven University at the street level lobby (a building renovated in part with the Keystone Fund), said Renee Carey, agency executive director. Light refreshments will be served.

Those attending please use the Glennon Parking Area (area 2 on the map). The lot will be reserved for this event. When you exit your vehicle, walk along the macadam towards Fairview Street, and make your way to Ulmer Hall.The University will have signs to help direct you.

Questions can be directed to rcarey@npcweb.org

A little history, in 1993, the Pennsylvania General Assembly, in a nearly unanimous vote, and the general public, in an overwhelming referendum vote, established the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund (Act 50 of 1993). The Keystone Fund is a dedicated and permanent funding source for making investments in recreation, parks, conservation, libraries, historical preservation, and education.

The Keystone Fund is supported with a 15% share of the state’s realty transfer tax. There are four state agencies charged with distributing portions of the Keystone Fund.

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) receives 65%:

– 30% (of the 15% of the realty tax) goes to both the Bureau of State Parks and Bureau of Forestry, primarily to rehabilitate and upgrade state park and forestry infrastructure. However, up to 10% of this amount may be directed towards rails-to-trails projects, and up to 10% may also be directed towards rivers protection and conservation projects

– 25% is provided as grants for local recreation initiatives, such as ballparks and playgrounds

– No less than 10% is to be provided to land trusts for natural areas and open space planning and acquisition

DCNR has awarded $1,898,200 in Keystone Funds to Clinton County projects.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission (PHMC) receives 13%:

– Approximately 20-25% of the Keystone Fund money that PHMC receives is distributed in the form of grants.

– Approximately 75-80%, the remaining funds, are used internally to maintain and repair museums and sites owned and operated by the state.

PHMC has awarded $134,618 in Keystone Funds to Clinton County’s museums.

Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) receives 4%:

PDE uses a competitive grant process to distribute the library funding. Grants are available to public libraries and municipalities for structural improvements, accessibility projects, and new construction or renovation projects.

PDE has awarded $140,275 in Keystone Funds to Clinton County’s libraries.

State System of Higher Education receives 18%

The Keystone Fund money that SSHE distributes to the 14 state-owned universities is not in the form of grants. The money is provided based on a formula set by the Board of Regents which takes into account enrollment, number of buildings, total amount of deferred maintenance at each campus, and more. The 14 universities are the only recipients of this money.

Lock Haven University has received $4,717,570 of Keystone Funds from SSHE.

For more information on the Keystone Fund, please visit www.keystonefund.org.

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