A popular mini-grant program that helps communities in the Pennsylvania Wilds region pay for new welcome signage has re-opened and is accepting applications through June 22.
The PA Wilds Community Signage Grant Program is designed to encourage a cohesive, welcoming spirit across the region by helping communities design and construct new welcome signage that incorporates suggestions set forth in the Pennsylvania Wilds Design Guide: A Design Guide for Community Character Stewardship.
The Design Guide is a voluntary planning document that highlights how communities in the region can protect or enhance their rural character as they grow – whether that growth is due to tourism, resource extraction or other industries. It promotes such things as using natural materials or themes the region is known for – wood, stone, water, wildlife – in construction, design or landscaping.
“The region’s rural and historic character and strong sense of place is part of what makes the Pennsylvania Wilds attractive to visitors and residents, so it is important for us to be good stewards of these characteristics as we grow,” said PA Wilds Planning Team Chair Dan Glotz, of Warren County. “Part of our job as the Planning Team is to give our communities tools to accomplish this. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Design Guide and our related grant programs.”
Local governments, community development organizations, chambers, local TPAs, school districts and other entities that represent their communities in a substantial way are eligible to participate in the 2012 PA Wilds Community Signage Grant program.
Grant assistance may not exceed $3,000 per applicant for a new community welcome sign or $1,500 to add the PA Wilds logo to an existing welcome sign. Associated natural landscaping can be submitted for consideration. Match dollars are not required for this program but applicants must commit to an in-kind match that includes installing the sign and maintaining it long-term. Grant awards will be made in mid-July and applicants will have until December 2012 to complete their projects and turn in all necessary paperwork.
Download application and guidelines by clicking on the Community Signage Grants link under “News” on the homepage of the PA Wilds Resource Center at www.PAwildsResources.org. A free copy of the Design Guide can also be downloaded or ordered from the site; just go to the “Resources” tab. Questions on the program can be directed to Val Shelley, Project Coordinator, at (814) 486-0213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program is funded through DCED Shared Municipal Services, DCNR Environmental Stewardship Fund and coordinated for the Pennsylvania Wilds Planning Team by the Clearfield County Planning Commission, Lumber Heritage Region and the PA Wilds Small Business Ombudsman.