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Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Shelters Restoration Project Honored By Western PA Environmental Awards

A unique partnership lead by the PA Parks and Forests Foundation to restore shelters along the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail will receive a Western PA Environmental Award and $5,000 from Dominion Energy and the PA Environmental Council.

The Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail Shelters Restoration Project is among five projects and groups chosen by independent judges, environmental experts, and PEC staff in response to a call for entries earlier this year.

For the 40 three-sided Adirondack shelters of the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail, the passage of time and harsh ridge winters had taken their toll on the masonry and stonework of the chimneys that are the shelters’ best feature. The mortar began to crumble and the stones to shift.

The shelters are not only an important feature of the trail but they are in essence also historic structures.

A mason with a heightened appreciation for the work had to be located. He photographed each stone and disassembled each chimney, numbering the pieces of stone as they were removed, then cleaned and scraped them and put them back together in order.

An initial REI grant of $3,000 to the project was matched by the Friends of Laurel Hill. Thanks to the overwhelming support of REI, the R.K. Mellon Foundation, and individual donors from nine states, funding was secured to complete the project.

The winners will be honored at the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Dinner and Awards Ceremony on May 24 at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh.

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the PA Parks & Forests Foundation website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Foundation,  Like them on Facebook or Follow them on TwitterClick Here to become a member of the Foundation.


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[Posted: March 29, 2018]


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