Parks + Recreation

Rv Parks and campgrounds


Parks and Recreation was identified as a top priority during the formation of the ECED board in 2018 with a long term vision to improve local spaces, positioning Edinboro as a top destination location. From this community input, a committee was formed. 

In April 2019, the ECED Parks and Recreation Committee conducted a series of public input sessions and performed a pro/con audit of the borough’s existing parks. The information collected has helped to inform the decision-making process as Edinboro aims to make improvements and increase overall quality of life for residents and visitors alike. Since its formation, the committee and borough have rebuilt the playground across from Pat Crawford Beach and worked to obtain new docks for the lake, both of which are critical to summer tourism. 

The Opportunity

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen greater interest among people to spend time outdoors. Whether it be due to the better ability to social distance, the need to take a break from your housemates, or simply to shed that ‘cooped-up inside’ feeling, the fact remains that people flocked to the outdoors.

As Edinboro works to redefine itself as a Community for All Seasons, there is a great opportunity to highlight the recreational amenities and nature-filled backdrop of the community. People want to be outdoors and Edinboro is the perfect place to do so. Bonus: people can do this year-round. 

Promoting Edinboro as a destination location is a realistic endeavor. However, there is a critical need to broaden the scope of accommodation in the area. If there aren’t enough places for people to stay, they’ll be limited to day-trips – a missed opportunity for businesses in Edinboro to capture a piece of the $6.4B dollar pie that lodging represents for Pennsylvania. To that end, Atlas recommends developing campgrounds and RV sites for visitors that will put them at the center of all Edinboro has to offer. 

Enhancements at Nature’s Outlet

Nature’s Outlet offers a tree-filled setting, situated along the lake outlet, allowing for quiet relaxation. The park is a treasured asset in Edinboro and is generally regarded as a peaceful place with a lot of potential. Potential for things that align perfectly with the community wish-list for downtown improvements. According to a 2019 Parks Assessment conducted by the ECED’s Parks and Recreation Committee, the addition of signage, lighting, and improved waterfront access would make the park even more attractive to the public.

The experience

The design of a park has a direct impact on the public’s interest and willingness to use it. An unlit, heavily treed park by day offers shade and serenity, but is generally unusable after the sun goes down. Simple shifts in design can transform Nature’s Outlet into a space for social engagement and recreation, while adding another venue to Edinboro’s roster for events.

The opportunity

Nature’s Outlet is already a draw for the community, so there’s an opportunity to use the park to showcase some creative and innovative problem-solving.  Using LED or solar lighting can introduce sustainable energy to park-goers (and open a few more funding doors), while the thoughtful, selective thinning of trees can offer more space (think picnics among the trees) and more direct waterfront access for a kayak launch. 

Mill Street Rendering

Timeline for Implementation


ECED Parks + Recreation Committee and/or Borough of Edinboro


Commit to targeted programming and design concepts (i.e. accessibility, sustainability, recreation, etc) and target appropriate funding resources. This could include grants from national programs, local or state foundations, the PA DEP, and local utility companies. Additional funding sources could include sponsorships from local businesses or private donations.


Q1 / Q2


Borough Leadership


Follow established Borough protocol for soliciting architectural services. Final deliverable should include design documentations, construction documentation (if needed), a “road map” of requirements for each phase, and cost estimates.


Q2 / Q3


If you’re pursuing the idea of LED or solar power or any other sustainable design components, consider applying for a grant from this Fund. Among other things, they support projects that include the development and use of renewable energy and clean energy technologies; energy conservation and efficiency.

Amount: $2,000 to $50,000

Applications due: by midnight on March 15.

Click here to learn more.

This grant could be utilized for planning / capital improvements for parks across Edinboro and could be an opportunity to address needs identified in the 2019 ECED Parks Assessment. Projects should address system-wide park access planning, data collection/analysis, policies and/or capital improvements with a focus on creating climate-ready parks. NRPA will fund

Amount: $300,000 to $500,000

Applications open: March 1st, 2021

Click here to learn more.

The Conservancy has a fund to help watersheds, local governments and community organizations improve or develop canoe access sites on rivers and streams in their communities. For more information contact Eli Long, WPC watershed manager, at or 724-471-7202, ext. 5105.

Amount: ~$4,000

Grant cycles open in the fall.

Click here to learn more.

Grant program provides investment in parks, fields, and trails that can encourage healthy lifestyles, move towards equitable distribution of park opportunities, and even enhance local tourism.

Amount: $25,000 per application

Timeline: Grant cycle opens March 1, 2021; Closes May 15, 2021

Click here to learn more.