After more than 15 years since the first Marcellus Shale well was drilled, natural gas development and Washington County feel synonymous. Since 2006, Range has paid more than $2 billion in royalties to leaseholders in Pennsylvania. Those dollars to private lessors have helped improve thousands of lives, farms, and communities.
Washington County is home to some of the most beautiful county parks in the state, which happen to be in Range’s core operating area. Thanks to the advancement of horizontal drilling technology, Range has been able to partner with the Washington County Commissioners to safely develop natural gas from underneath those parks without interfering in the experience of the visitors. Over the years, Range Resources has drilled more than 40 wells under Washington County Parks, which have generated more than $50 million for the County.
The Washington County Commissioners and the Washington County Planning Commission utilized revenue from a non-surface lease with Range Resources to reinvest $1.4 million into Mingo Creek County Park. The Commissioners unveiled the new amenities this summer.
The upgrades include a new shelter, an inclusive playground, a nine-hole disc golf course, and the restoration of the Sumney log home, which is over 200 years old. All of which was paid for by proceeds generated from nearby natural gas wells drilled by Range.
“The resources under our feet have allowed us to develop our public parks in a way we never could have imagined without tapping into tax dollars,” said Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan. “We’re excited about all of the improvements, but especially the new inclusive playground. It’s wheelchair accessible and designed for people of all abilities to enjoy together.”
Across both Mingo Creek and Cross Creek County Parks, the county has been able to fund millions of dollars of upgrades due to natural gas leases with Range Resources. Similar to the new enhancements at Mingo Creek, these dollars have funded other projects at Cross Creek County Park, which include a new walking trail, new boat launch area, pavilions, and playgrounds.
“The Commissioners, the Planning Commission, and the Parks & Recreation Department have been great stewards of the dollars they have received from our development,” said Curt Tipton, Vice President Appalachia Division. “They’ve created family-friendly activities right here in our backyard for everyone to enjoy.”