It is time to have a Launch Meeting to raise awareness of our projects and to ask our community to support our efforts to provide access for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, birding, and outdoor recreation.
Over the last several years we have been building the foundations to open the Upper Reservoir for use by the public. The property is owned by the Ebensburg Municipal Authority (EMA) and the water is used to supply drinking water for Ebensburg and the surrounding townships. Nathan’s Divide Watershed Education Center (Nathan’s Divide) was formed in 2016 as a 501-c-3 non-profit corporation to promote environmental education, outdoor recreation, and wellness. We have a long term lease agreement with the EMA to use the land and water for the above stated purposes and promising that there will be no harm to the drinking water supply.
With the generous help from our early supporters we had contracted with CJL Engineering of Johnstown, PA to provide preliminary plans and cost estimates for the next phase of development. The access road from North Center Street needs to be upgraded and a parking lot will be built for cars and boat trailers. Plans call for a boat launch for kayaks, canoes, and fishing boats (no gas outboard motors) and an ADA floating dock for handicapped access. Since the site has no running water or sewer service we have planned on having composting toilets and we will build a pavilion for shelter. To access more of the trail network we will have a footbridge to cross the headwater stream at the inlet.
Estimated costs are near $300,000 for general construction and the surveying, design work, engineering, and permits will cost about $45,000. I have been working with several state and local agencies getting information about grants and our project will definitely qualify for funding. All of the applications require that a “cash match” be provided to qualify for consideration for funding. “Shovel Ready” is the terminology that will make our project more likely to get funding, but we will need to have the site work and permits in place to be shovel ready.