Accomplishments of the LERC

Since 2005, LERC has led the efforts to protect over 1,200 acres of open space in Erie County which includes over 4 miles of lake front and stream frontage at a cost of over $10 million.  These properties are protected forever for public use which adds to our quality of life.

LERC completed a Rivers Conservation Plan in January, 2008 for the Lake Erie watershed with a grant from DCNR in the amount of $175,000.

LERC has successfully brokered a land acquisition of 570 acres of undeveloped lakefront property with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pennsylvania DCNR, and the owner, Reliant Energy.  This property is now known as Erie Bluffs State Park.

LERC received a $5,000 grant in 2005 from the Erie Community Foundation as part of the site planning process for the above mentioned State Park.

LERC was awarded in 2005 a $20,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forestry Council for planning and tree planting in the City of Erie.

LERC  got the City of Erie to agree to re-adopt a shade tree ordinance and appoint a shade tree commission and will work with the City and others to appoint the commission, conduct a tree inventory, create a community tree plan, and help guide the entire process.

LERC  wrote a Planning and Technical Assistance grant in 2005 to DCNR on behalf of the City of Erie and Erie County for a specific linear corridor of open space that has been identified as a greenway and open space network.

LERC has organized a city neighborhood to work with the City of Erie in taking steps to develop a 60 acre parcel known as McClelland Park into a useful recreational asset. The park has gone unattended for 40 years and has been considered for residential/commercial development. It will become part of the above mentioned greenway. Activities led by LERC in this effort included a petition drive, a major cleanup that included 50 college students, and several meetings with the Mayor.  In 2010 a Master Plan was completed for McClelland Park.

LERC was an organizer and major participant in the first local International Coastal Cleanup which had about 600 participants on September 20, 2003.

LERC is collaborating with several institutions to establish a regional Environmental Resource Center that would focus on the integration of conservation with social and economic development through three major programs: Land Stewardship, Municipal Assistance and Conservation Design. Major partners are the four area colleges, the City of Erie and Erie County.

LERC is an active member in the Erie County Environmental Coalition which was requested by Erie City Council to be its advisor on environmental issues.

LERC partnered with the City of Erie to do a restoration demonstration in a city park that replaced non-native trees with native trees and plants to stabilize bank erosion of a stream. This work was done under a Growing Greener grant from DEP.

LERC played a vital role in getting community leadership to take the sport fishing industry seriously and to get them to undertake a comprehensive assessment of its real economic value.

LERC has taken a lead role in coordinating Pennsylvania’s efforts in organizing for Great Lakes Restoration issues as a member of Great Lakes United.

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