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Mercyhurst gets grant to complete Elk Creek Trail Project

Monday, September 22, 2014

Girard High School students do trail cleanup.

Work on the West County Trail System, begun in 2011 by Mercyhurst University in collaboration with Girard Township and Borough, will enter its final phase this fall, thanks to a $15,247 grant. Funds for the “Elk Creek Trail Project” are derived from the 2014 Northwest Greenways Block Grant Program in partnership with the Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Originally underwritten by a $16,900 grant from the Erie Community Foundation, the final phase of the trail system will create three accessible tributary crossings along the recreational trail and include the necessary environmental site restoration and stabilization measures at each location.

Mercyhurst University faculty and students majoring in sustainability studies and biology, who have worked diligently on this initiative in recent years, appreciate the value of Elk Creek as a recreational site in Erie County, which is nationally recognized for its world-class steelhead fishing. The school project is directed by Brittany Prischak and Michael Campbell, Ph.D.

“It has been an amazing project to work on, and the people in Girard Township and Borough have been great collaborators,” Prischak said. “I’m really excited that we are getting closer to finishing the project, especially after so many years. It will be a wonderful recreational resource for the community.”