Spring Grove Borough will move forward with plans for a new dog park, thanks in part to state grants.

Gov. Tom Corbett recently announced a $26.5 million investment for 198 projects in Pennsylvania.

Three groups in York County were among the recipients of the grants from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources' Community Conservation Partnerships Program.

Spring Grove was awarded $135,000 to cover phase two of the Spring Grove Community Park, said Kate Werntz, executive director, Spring Grove Regional Parks and Recreation Center.

Phase two will include construction of a dog park, basketball court, volleyball court, internal park walkway, parking area upgrades and a rain garden. The grant will also be used toward installation of fencing and utilities, ADA access, landscaping, project sign and other site improvements.

Bids for construction on the project will begin in 2013 with construction set to start and finish in 2014, said Werntz.

The dog park is more than an acre and will include picnic tables, dog waste stations, water and a split rail fence with wire mesh, she said.

The community park idea and planning began in 2005 and the park was built in 2010, Werntz said.

Plans for a second phase to the park were made because of popular demand for more, she said.

Other grants: York County received $23,000, which it will use to make a master site development plan for Richard M. Nixon County Park in Springfield Township and Jacobus.

"It will encompass the new land that we recently added to the park, but it is also going to look at the connection of the Hollow Creek Greenway and connections from Nixon Park to the Heritage Rail Trail," said Tammy Klunk, parks director.

The county will also be looking at potential improvements for the Nixon County Park Nature Center, said Klunk.

"When we get it from the state we hope to get moving immediately," Klunk said.

The Susquehanna Heritage Corp. received $100,000 in grant money to complete work on the Zimmerman Center for Heritage and to support river tourism marketing through developing signs, guides, digital media and special events.

"Our parks are among the things that tie us all together - a place to meet for leisure, for entertainment, for recreation and for tourism," Corbett said.

"Many of the projects being funded - improvements to local parks, trails and river access - bring these amenities closer to home, requiring less driving and expense to experience," Corbett said.

The grants will protect 3,238 acres of open space and support 49 trail projects in the state and 79 projects to develop or rehabilitate recreation, park and conservation areas and facilities.

- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com