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Politics & Government

Governor Corbett Concludes River Kayaking Trip in Pittsburgh, Tours Point State Park

Governor Tom Corbett called Point State Park unique, and said there aren't too many cities with a state park in their heart. After wrapping up a three day kayaking trip on the Allegheny and Conemaugh Rivers, the governor toured the park and under-construction fountain at the point, which is slated to be completed next summer.

"As we restore this fountain along with Riverlife Project, working in conjunction with DCNR, we planted trees along the greenway, the new lights — I was told we're going to have LED lights here soon that in the long run aren't going to cost us anything because they'll save us on energy — we revitalized the focal point for the city of Pittsburgh," said Corbett.

Riverlife Project and the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) have continued to collaborate with other groups to improve Point State Park.

"This is typical of what DCNR does," said Secretary Rick Allen. "We work with our partners. It's a collaboration of public, private, and fundraising to bring in the money that we need to do this kind of work and do this with all of the groups that have been here in the area and have been interested in helping restore Point Park."

Corbett said he wanted to take a kayaking trip, in part, to bring awareness to the state's rivers as a recreation source. He said he believes the environment and the state's natural gas boom can both be successful, without either harming the other.

"We can prosper from our new energy sector, but we cannot take shortcuts that will endanger what we have here," he said. "We need our rivers for transportation, but we also need them for recreation. We need a balance."

Riverlife's President and CEO Lisa Schroeder said the park is the best kind of civic achievement, having been in the works for more than three decades. "With the creation of Point State Park, Pittsburgh sent a message around the world that it was reversing a century of environment degradation and taking back the quality of life in this city," Schroeder said.

During his tour, Governor Corbett kayaked on the Allegheny and Conemaugh rivers and visited Forest, Venango, and Warren counties, as well as Johnstown and Pittsburgh.