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Recreation for all.

Featured Project: Preserving an Underground Railroad Site

Aerial view of the Mifflin House
A 19th-century farm and house that played key roles in the Underground Railroad are now permanently protected with help from a DCNR grant.
The Mifflin House and 87-acre farmstead in Hellam Township, York County, had been under threat of demolition and development before The Conservation Fund acquired them in 2022.
DCNR provided more than $2 million from the Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund to help the organization purchase the property. The Conservation Fund matched the grant dollar-for-dollar.
At the end of 2023, the organization officially transferred the property to its new long-term owner, the Susquehanna National Heritage Area.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Mifflin House into the Susquehanna National Heritage Area family,” said Mark Platts, President of Susquehanna National Heritage Area. “This acquisition aligns seamlessly with our mission to connect the people and communities of Lancaster and York Counties to one another and to the nation through stories about this nationally important place.”
The Mifflin House was a key stop on the Underground Railroad. It provided a haven for freedom seekers passing through central Pennsylvania. With assistance from the Mifflin family, their fellow Quakers, and other locals, those escaping slavery found a safe place to rest and cross the Susquehanna River on their journeys north.
With acquisition now complete, Susquehanna National Heritage Area will begin a multi-year effort with the community to transform the site into The Susquehanna Discovery Center and Heritage Park.
Aerial View of the Mifflin Farm
Photo credits: Susquehanna National Heritage Area

When Planting Trees, Volunteers Can Make the Difference

April is tree planting season in Pennsylvania, and DCNR grants are making many riparian buffer and urban tree plantings possible across the commonwealth this year.
While these grants often support small business contractors for plantings, many grantees rely on volunteers to get the work done.
Volunteers do more than just get trees in the ground. Their work provides match to grant funds, which helps grantees meet their requirements while reserving available cash for project materials.
The current value of volunteer time, based on Independent Sector’s “Value of Volunteer Time,” is almost $30 per hour for Pennsylvania. At that rate, thirty volunteers planting trees for four hours would result in more than $3,500 of in-kind match.
Beyond meeting match requirements, volunteers themselves benefit. Tree planting is something families can do together, even with young children. It contributes to healthier communities, brings people together, and provides valuable and practical environmental education.
Do you want to help with a tree planting project, or take care of trees after they’re planted? Check out these upcoming volunteer opportunities from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy.
Volunteers planting trees Volunteers planting trees
Photo credits: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program

Grant Portal Alert: Make Sure Your Links Are Up to Date

Alex Tatanish portrait photo
The DCNR Grants Customer Service Portal is located at But it wasn’t always that way. If you’ve been using the portal for a while, you may have a link to an old portal address, such as or
DCNR had been maintaining these old links and redirecting users automatically to the new page, but those redirects expire this year.
If you’re finding that your links to the portal aren’t working, make sure you change them to the latest version:

Dates to Remember

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