Newsletter of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP)
Summer 2016 In This Issue River Town News Tunkhannock, PA joins as the 10th Susquehanna Greenway River Town. Williamsport, PA takes its first steps towards designation.
Rail Trail; Full Steam Ahead Luzerne County’s Susquehanna Warrior Trail to gain one and a half miles of new trail in 2016.
Rolling Out the Red Carpet Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and the Monarch Red Carpet roll out the red carpet for monarch butterflies. “SUQUEHANNA AT WAPWALLOPEN” BY JOHN CONSIGLIO
RIVER OF THE
Steeped in historical and recreational value, the free flowing North Branch of the Susquehanna River was voted the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year. Thank YOU for voting. The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership and Endless Mountains Heritage Region have partnered to plan River of the Year celebrations to raise public awareness of the river and its river towns communities, increase tourism, and provide additional recreational opportunities for local residents and visitors alike. The River of the Year program is made possible by PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the PA Organization for Watersheds and Rivers. To learn more about the River of the Year program, visit www.pariveroftheyear.org.
HOW DOES THE CHICKEN CROSS THIS ROAD? Just like the fabled chicken, residents of Lewisburg, PA and the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) are wondering, ‘how do we cross the road?’ Four lanes of intimidating asphalt and bustling Route 15 traffic stand between the popular, nine-mile Buffalo Valley Rail Trail and the residents of downtown Lewisburg and the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
RIVER TOWNS WILLIAMSPORT
MAPPING BY SEDA-COG GIS
On July 7, 2016, the City Council of Williamsport, PA took their first steps towards seeing their city named an official “Susquehanna Greenway River Town.” Council Members passed a municipal resolution supporting the goals of the River Towns Program including connecting people to nature and their River; making the community more pedestrian, bike, and boat friendly; and promoting civic pride and stewardship.
TUNKHANNOCK Tunkhannock, PA joined the ranks of the Susquehanna Greenway River Town program as the 10th designated River Town on July 23, 2016. Amid their annual River Day festivities, officials welcomed Executive Director Trish Carothers to help them ring in the designation.
While a 2013 BVRT Final Section Feasibility Study proposed designs, a final decision has yet to be made leaving many questioning the safest way of crossing the road. In response, the Lewisburg River Town Team Connectivity Project hosted two guided tours entitled “How Does the Chicken Cross This Road?” on which they lead residents along interim on-road connections and discussed future planning for the intersection. Once completed the Route 15 connector will provide a valuable link for surrounding residential centers to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.
SEDA-COG and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) have helped secure grant funding for the borough of Renovo, PA from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Competitive Funds and PA DCNR to help revitalize and enliven their river front. CDBG funds will be utilized in the reconstruction of Ontario Avenue to include sidewalks, curbing, tree planting, lighting and more. Funds will also be utilized to remove several structures that have gone into disrepair and are health and safety hazards along the avenue. The removal of the structures and grant funds from DCNR makes possible a new river access, boat ramp, rain garden, and parking area.
PHOTO BY SWTC
RAIL TO TRAIL WORK MOVES FULL STEAM AHEAD New construction is moving forward at full steam ahead along Luzerne County’s Susquehanna Warrior Trail. Thanks to grant funding from the PA DCNR, the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation, and the Marcellus Shale Legacy Fund, the Warrior Trail is adding one and a half miles of new trail. Formerly a railroad bed, the trail currently offers 11 miles of bike/pedestrian paths along the banks of the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. These new additions will help to close several gaps along the trail in Salem township and extend the trail to a new location in Plymouth township. Once all phases are completed the Warrior Trail will run 18.5 miles from Talen Energy Riverlands Park to the Kirby Park trail system in Edwardsville. The Warrior Trail is a critical link in the Susquehanna Greenway along the North Branch.
COURTESY OF CLINTON COUNTY
MATCHING GRANTS HELPING TO REVITALIZE RENOVO
Rolling down the river on the 2016 sojourn
OUTREACH & EDUCATION
WHEN IT RAINS, IT BLOOMS! The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) has continued its partnership with faith-based communities to engage their congregations in environmental stewardship to keep our river towns green and our river healthy.
2016 LOWER NORTH BRANCH SUSQUEHANNA RIVER SOJOURN On the quiet and sunny morning of June 17, 2016, 53 intrepid paddlers took the waters of the Susquehanna River on the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership’s (SGP) 2016 educational sojourn. This year’s theme celebrated the 2016 River of the Year designation of the North Branch. Over the course of the three-day guided paddling and camping sojourn, participants paddled 53 miles of river from Shickshinny to Sunbury, PA. Paddlers tasted local cuisine, explored regional historical sites, and even lent a hand to clean up the river. Presentations from SGP partners including PA DCNR’s Secretary Cindy Dunn, Susquehanna Warrior Trail, Lycoming College Outdoor Leadership & Education program, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, and the Middle Susquehanna River Keeper, helped to educate participants on the area’s history, recreation opportunities, wildlife, and conservation efforts. In all three states were represented and over $5,000 went into the local economy.
With technical assistance from the SGP and grant funding from the Grazia Bella Fund of the Luzerne Foundation, Trinity United Methodist Church (TUMC) of Danville installed their first of two rain gardens earlier this spring. The garden, which was designed with help from Master Gardeners of Montour County, will capture rain from the church parking lot and allow the water to soak back into the ground. This passive process helps to lessen local flooding and improve regional water quality.
Williamsport, PA is rediscovering its heart and soul. Since January, the Heart of Williamsport project team has been hard at work interviewing and surveying residents about their aspirations for their community, and analyzing the results to uncover the common themes, desires, and needs. To date the team members has received over 400 individual responses. The resulting collection of stories and feedback will be used to help guide local decision making.
ROLLING OUT THE RED CARPET FOR MONARCH BUTTERFLIES The Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP) is partnering with the Monarch Red Carpet initiative for Monarch Butterflies. Earlier this Summer, SGP distributed 468 milkweed plants to local towns, gardens, and volunteers along the Susquehanna river to help establish a highway of the butterfly’s host plant. Shifting land management practices have resulted in a loss of milkweed habitat and a 90% reduction in populations along the east coast since 1995. Monarch butterflies are dependent on milkweed plants to survive. Female monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed and the caterpillars need the milkweed to grow and develop. Butterflies, like the monarchs, and bees are responsible for bring us one out of every three bites of food. By planting these milkweed plants, SGP and local partners are helping to insure that the sight of the majestic monarchs cruising down the river corridor does not become a thing of the past.
PHOTO BY KRISTY NEVEL
DISCOVERING THE HEART OF WILLIAMSPORT
SGPâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is to: Envision, create and sustain a greenway along the Susquehanna River to enhance river towns and the lives of current and future generations. Become a member or volunteer today. FOR MORE INFORMATION: CALL 570-522-7244 OR EMAIL INFO@SUSQUEHANNAGREENWAY.ORG
PHOTO BY CHUCK HAUPT
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
w w w.SusquehannaGreenway.org Susquehanna Greenway Partnership 201 Furnace Road Lewisburg, PA 17837