Miles of Smiles: Lackawanna Heritage Valley marks 25 years

BY PETER CAMERON, STAFF WRITER / PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 6, 2016

James and Joan Kryzanowski bike the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Trail as often as four times per week.

“It just gives us a such a wonderful feeling,” said the 60-year-old Mrs. Kryzanowski, who has lived in Scranton her entire life. “It’s very therapeutic.”

The slim and tan couple have always been very active, but since the Scranton portion of the trail opened, they use it so frequently they often recognize fellow regulars. Recently, they were pleasantly surprised to pass a couple using motorized wheelchairs on the paved path.

“It’s a big asset,” said Mr. Kryzanowski, 62, as he and his wife sat on their bikes on a trail section near Elm Street in South Scranton.

The trail, while the most well-known, is just one part of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area.

It includes educational efforts and plans to transform places like the monstrous Iron Furnaces in downtown Scranton, where the city churned out the essential metal 150 years ago, and the once-crumbling Olyphant High School, reborn as housing for seniors, some of whom had attended classes there decades ago.

The Lackawanna Heritage Valley touts itself as an organization that tells the region’s stories through restored land, historic buildings and the trail, which runs along the rail line and the Lackawanna River — the essential arteries which once brought life here.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, the organization has transformed Lackawanna County and has plans to do much more.

‘Exploded like popcorn’

The idea for a heritage sites program had been kicked around for awhile within the now-defunct state Department of Community Affairs.

In the early 1990s, Midvalley native and the deputy secretary of the department Ray Angeli and his staff shifted the idea from a tourist program to a development one, which the area could use to promote and improve itself.

Gov. Robert P. Casey greenlighted the project, creating the state’s heritage parks program. Now, 12 different areas like the Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor have sprouted and grown across the state.

Read the full article, HERE.

 

National Road Heritage Corridor’s 11th Annual Frontier Dinner It’s all about buying local!

Wednesday, 17 August, 2016 Uniontown, PA – The National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) announces plans for its 11th Annual Frontier Dinner, to be held on Friday, September 9th at the Christian Klay Winery, just off the Historic National Road in Chalk Hill, PA.

To purchase tickets, click HERE

“We moved the dinner into September this year and are hoping for a beautiful, early Fall evening that will, of course include, a delectable menu of locally sourced food prepared by Chef Joe Carei, guaranteed to delight every foodie from vegetarians to those who enjoy a taste of the wild!” said Sandy Mansmann, the NRHC Board Chair. “A 5 course gourmet meal, the Christian Klay Winery’s historic barn, free flowing wine and beer, a nice cigar (if you care to indulge), great acoustic music
by Shelly McCombie, historic whiskey tasting with the 1st Virginia Regiment at their Bloody Dirk 18th Century Tavern and a bonfire – all in a setting that will leave you speechless. It can’t get much better than that!”

Donna Holdorf, the executive director of the NRHC explained, “The Frontier Dinner is the National Road Heritage Corridor’s signature event and its only major, annual fund raiser. As a non-profit engaged in education and community development, every dollar we raise is important to help us fulfill that mission. It’s an enjoyable night and a great way to support the NRHC’s work. We have many “Friends of the Road” that come out every year.” Holdorf stated that the NRHC is pleased this year to have several sponsors supporting the event including: First Niagara Bank, and Somerset Trust. “We are gathering quite an eclectic selection of auction items – something for everyone for sure including an amazing sword honed by board member Clay Kilgore who is a third
generation blacksmith!”

“The NRHC’s Frontier Dinner continues to be one of my favorite events”, commented Chef Joe. “The NRHC is committed to a focus on ‘farm to table’ resources from the region, as am I – a celebration of the economic backbone of Pennsylvania – agriculture. From the fruit and vegetables, to the cheese and breads, entrees to dessert, everything served that evening will be PA grown or raised.” Guests can also indulge in a tasting of the Ridge Runner Distilleries selection of spirits and a fine cigar from Leaning House Cigars if they so desire. NRHC board member and owner of the Christian Klay Winery, Sharon Klay commented, “We have several events at the winery throughout the year, but we really enjoy this one because of its focus on the Historic National Road. At the winery, we’ve made an effort to acknowledge the important history of this area by choosing names for our wines that reflect historic events such as Fort Necessity, Jumonville Glen Red, Summit Mist, Stone House Red, Chestnut Ridge Sunset and Washington Tavern Red.” The evening begins at 6:00 p.m. with the starters and dinner begins at 6:45 p.m. and, of course, includes wine & beer. All tickets must be purchased in advance and this year there will be reserved seating.

“The Frontier Dinner is an annual event which raises funds that are reinvested in the region as the NRHC works to accomplish its mission,” commented NRHC past board chair Ben Moyer. “Our guests always have a great time, from the food and the wine, to the bidding wars over much sought after Silent and Chinese Auction items, to sitting around the bonfire and devouring a gooey s’more! It’s truly a great way to celebrate the end of summer.”

Advanced ticket purchase is required

To purchase tickets, click HERE. For more info call 724-437-9877 or email
debbies@nationalroadpa.org

Celebrate the National Park’s Centennial with Six Sites on 6

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this August by taking a trip across US Route 6 in Pennsylvania, a designated National Recreational Trail.

The National Park Service has been inviting travelers to “find your park” in celebration of the centennial for the National Park Service in 2016. Their goal is to create a “movement to spread the word about the amazing places managed by the NPS, the inspirational stories that the national parks tell, our country’s natural resources, and our diverse cultural heritage.”

According to the NPS website, “Find Your Park is about more than just national parks! It’s about the National Park Service working in your community through educational programs, community assistance projects, and more. It’s about state parks, local parks, trails, museums, historic sites, and the many ways that the American public can connect with history and culture, enjoy nature, and make new discoveries.”

Along the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, travelers can “Do 6” sites or areas that celebrate the goals and work of the NPS. Make sure to visit everyone of them. From west to east they are:

1.) The Oil Heritage Region is a national and state designated heritage area, celebrating the discovery of oil in northwestern PA with historical and recreational sites throughout Venango and Crawford Counties. Visit the Drake Well Museum, take a ride on the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad or explore Titusville, nicknamed “the Queen City.” www.oilregion.org

2.) North Country Trail runs from New York to North Dakota and intersects Route 6 in the Allegheny National Forest between Ludlow and Kane. The trail links scenic, natural, historic, and cultural areas across seven states allowing visitors to experience a variety of northern landscapes. https://northcountrytrail.org/trail/states/pennsylvania

3.) Steamtown National Park Site is a tribute to the steam locomotive and the people who worked on them located in Scranton. Learn the history of this mode of transportation, explore the roundhouse and maybe take a train ride. https://www.nps.gov/STEA/index.htm

4.) Lackawanna Valley Heritage Area is a national and state designated heritage area, celebrating the raw materials and industries from northeastern Pennsylvania that helped fuel the growth of America. Take a ride down into a coal mine, hike the Lackawanna Heritage Trail,  or  experience an ethnic smorgasbord of the area’s many immigrants. http://www.lhva.org/

5.) Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River offers lots of water based recreation on the last major undammed river in the eastern United States. Joseph Brandt, John Roebling, and Zane Grey have all left a mark on this area, visit the sites that honor these man. https://www.nps.gov/UPDE/index.htm

6.) Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area covers 40 miles of the Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River. The northern part of the area is accessible from Milford and includes hiking and biking trails, waterfalls and spectacular views. https://www.nps.gov/dewa/planyourvisit/index.htm

For more information on the National Parks 100th Anniversary, go to https://www.nps.gov/subjects/centennial/. For more information other parks and public lands across PA Route 6, go to www.paroute6.com

Volunteers Needed! Bring History to Life as a Volunteer Educator in Freemansburg

EASTON (July 27) – The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is seeking volunteer educators for its annual Tales of the Towpath student field trips at the Freemansburg Canal Education Center in Freemansburg, Northampton County. Field trips take place on weekdays from September 19 through October 14.

Docents provide hands-on lessons to fourth-grade students from the Bethlehem Area School District who are learning about life along the Lehigh Canal through the D&L’s Tales of the Towpath classroom curriculum. Volunteers receive complete training and are provided with resource materials and 19th-century costumes. Lessons focus on the everyday life of a canal locktender’s family.

Volunteers are not required to work the full four weeks. For more information, contact D&L Director of Education, Dennis Scholl, at 610-923-3548 x225 or dennis@delawareandlehigh.org.

Exploring The Past And The Present In Pennsylvania’s Oil Heritage Region

UncoveringPA –  Jim Cheney, July 8th 2016

Pennsylvania has been home to many world-changing events over the years, from the Declaration of Independence, to the discovery of the polio vaccine, to the creation of the Big Mac. However, you could argue that few, if any, of these had as large an impact as what occurred in northwestern Pennsylvania in late August of 1859.

Oil was known to exist in northwestern Pennsylvania for hundreds of years. Over that time, Native Americans had been collecting oil from seeps in the ground along Oil Creek and passed that knowledge onto settlers to the area. Oil had even been discovered in the drilling of salt water wells. However, prior to the summer of 1859, no one had actually drilled with the purpose of finding oil. That is until Colonel Edwin Drake struck oil on a small parcel of land just south of Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Within days, oil prospectors lined the banks of Oil Creek searching for oil and creating the world’s first oil boom. This oil boom drew tens of thousands of people to the area around Drake’s Well, made many millionaires (and even more destitute), and changed both the world and northwestern Pennsylvania forever.

Today, the Oil Heritage Region works to preserve this world-changing area, and offers a chance to visitors to explore the region’s small towns, museums, and outdoor beauty, each of which offers a unique look at the region’s history.

To read the full article based of UncoveringPA’s travel experience to the region, click here.

 

Rider to Bike 284 Miles on D&L Trail in 24 Hours

EASTON (June 16, 2016) – On June 25, 2016, Lincoln Steward, a supporter of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor from Nazareth, will ride 284 miles in 24 hours. The ride was inspired by Steward’s goal of raising awareness of the D&L Trail as an important regional resource.

Steward will ride from his home and begin his ride in Easton at the D&L Forks of the Delaware Trailhead on June 25.  He will finish at the same place at noon or earlier on June 26. Steward stated, “Besides my own personal limit-pushing, goal-achieving agenda, another one of the big reasons for this ride is to help raise awareness about the valuable asset we possess in the D&L Trail. I feel it would be advantageous for municipalities to do anything they can to help maintain the trails, and re-connect the sections where there are gaps that the trail does not exist.”

In addition to highlighting the D&L Trail as a regional asset, Steward aims to emphasize how beneficial the D&L Trail is to local businesses. Steward stated, “It amazes me how many restaurants, coffee shops, brew pubs, ice cream stands, convenience stores, and public parks are easily accessible just a short distance from, if not right adjacent to the trail.”

A full itinerary of his trip can be found below, however the best time to cover Steward’s ride will be on June 25 at 11:30 am, at the D&L Forks of the Delaware Trailhead. GPS directions to the trailhead, located on Route 611 where the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers meet in Easton, can be found here: https://www.google.com/maps/dir//40.687671000%2C-75.205653000

Itinerary for Lincoln Steward’s 284-Mile Trip on the D&L Trail:

June 25

Start in Easton……..12:00p

Easton to Bristol……59 miles…5 hours…5:00 pm

Bristol to Easton……59 miles…5 hours…10:00 pm

June 26

Easton to Jim Thorpe…48 miles…4 hours…2:00am

Jim Thorpe to Glen Summit…35 miles…3 hours….5:00 am

Glen Summit to Jim Thorpe…35 miles…3 hours….8:00 am

Jim Thorpe to Easton…48 miles…4 hours…12:00 pm

 

Total…………………………………284 miles…24 hours

Reading selected to host 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit

June 17, 2016
by Berks Nature

Come fall 2017, Reading and Berks County will welcome hundreds of trail professionals, volunteers and advocates, after the announcement this week that the city has been selected to host the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit.

Seven organizations from across Pennsylvania submitted proposals to host the biannual summit, organized every other year by the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) and the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), along with a host in the chosen city. Reading was selected from a joint proposal submitted by Schuylkill River National Heritage Area and Berks Nature, who will now join PRPS and the DCNR in planning the 2017 Summit.

Official dates for the 2.5 day event have yet to be announced. Much of the summit will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Reading, including education and networking sessions and keynote presentations focused on greenways and trails. Additional off-site tours and mobile workshops will be held throughout Berks County and on its many miles of trailway.

PRPS Grants and Training Coordinator Emily Gates praised the winning proposal penned by Silas Chamberlin, executive director of the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, and Berks Nature President Kimberly J. Murphy, who together will co-chair the event.

To read the full article, click here.

PA’s picturesque Route 6 plans for bikes (and pedestrians)

By Elise Vider on June 14, 2016

From Keystone Edge.com

More than four million people travel Pennsylvania’s picturesque Route 6 every year. An overwhelmingly majority are on four wheels. Now a serious effort is underway to make the iconic roadway — named by National Geographic as “one of America’s most scenic drives” — friendly to those on two wheels or two feet.

Running for 427 miles across Pennsylvania’s northern tier, Route 6 links dozens of small towns, historic sites, recreational areas and natural landscapes. The PA Route 6 Alliance, which manages the state-designated Heritage Corridor and heritage areas in the adjoining 11 counties, has identified pedestrian and bicycle accessibility and safety as key components of its recently-enacted management action plan. According to Terri Dennison, the Alliance’s executive director, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) “recognizes [Route 6] has potential as a major bike route.”

PennDot is currently working on a bicycle plan for the first 100 miles of the road, from the Ohio border to mid-McKean County, focusing on road conditions, saSteve C at MM 187 – no 10fety, accessibility and connectivity to trails and other attractions. Dennison expects the plan to be completed by late fall, and implemented within two years, while planning continues for the next section of road moving east.

There are already marked bike trails along some sections of Route 6, adds Dennison, and many of the small towns along the way have traffic calming and other pedestrian-friendly features. More bike and pedestrian infrastructure has great potential to yield new business and recreational opportunities such as bike repair shops, cafes and overnight accommodations.

The history of the road is traceable to 1807, when the state mandated a road through the Moosic Mountains to points west. In 1925, it became a part of U.S. Route 6. Stretching from Cape Cod to California, the thoroughfare was one of the first transcontinental roads and remains one of the longest highways in the nation. But in 1957, the road was denied entry to the interstate highway program. (That designation went to I-80 to the south.) Then-Governor Ed Rendell designated Route 6 a Pennsylvania Heritage Area in 2005.

Route 6 remains a working road, carrying truck and other commercial traffic. Ironically, the slowdown in the shale industry has had an unexpected upside, says Dennison, with the marked drop in truck traffic a boon to bike and pedestrian safety along the mostly two-lane road.

To read the original article, click here.

Celebrating National Trails Day Along the D&L Trail

EASTON, PA May 13, 2016 – The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) will be celebrating National Trails Day at various locations on Saturday, June 4, 2016.   American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day is the country’s largest celebration of trails with events taking place in every state across the country. Regionally, events are planned in every county that composes the D&L Corridor: Bucks, Northampton, Lehigh, Carbon and Luzerne.

The National Canal Museum, an affiliate of the D&L that is located along the 165-mile D&L Trail in Easton, will offer a free boat rides to D&L Members on National Trails Day weekend, June 4 and 5, 2016. 

Event Schedule: 

June 4:

Bucks County – National Trails Day at the Sol & Rose Preserve, Washington Crossing, PA – Join the Delaware Canal State Park, Heritage Conservancy and Landmark Towns of Bucks County, a program of the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, for activities in honor of National Trails Day. Start the day with a guided hike along the Delaware Canal Section of the D&L Trail departing from Washington Crossing. Then, volunteer at Heritage Conservancy’s Sol & Rose Preserve to clear the trail of winter debris, remove nonnative plants and improve the trail for an enjoyable detour off the towpath through an old growth forest. Contact Shannon Fredebaugh to register: sfredebaugh@heritageconservancy.org or 215-345-7020 ext. 104 by May 31st.

Lehigh County – National Trails Day at Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Slatington, PA – Lehigh Gap Nature Center will host National Trails Day events, including: Birding for Families Workshop: 9 am – 9:59 am; Life in a Drop of Pond Water: 10 am – 10:50 am; Life in the Lehigh: 11 am – 11:50 am; Photo Hike Along the D&L Trail and Lehigh River: 10 am – 11:30 am; Amphibian and Reptile Display: 10 am – 1 pm; Bug Safari Along the D&L Trail: 1 pm – 1:50 pm; Biking for Kids on the D&L Trail: 2 pm – 2:50 pm; and a Whip-poor-will Hike: 7 pm – 10 pm. For more information: http://lgnc.org/

National Trails Day at the D&L Trail Slatington Trailhead, Slatington, PA – Lehigh Township Rails to Trails and the D&L will hand out trail mix and trail maps from all Lehigh County trails at the D&L Slatington Trailhead. Stop by for a display on trails in Lehigh County.

Luzerne CountyNational Trails Day with Keystone Active Zone, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Hike the D&L Trail with Keystone Active Zone with a 10 am hike from Seven Tubs Natural Area to Oliver Mills.  Wear sturdy footwear, bring water and a snack. To participate, meet at the Seven Tubs parking lot off Route 115. For more information: http://www.kazpassport.com/passport-stops/#events

Northampton County – National Trails Day at the National Canal Museum, Easton, PA. The National Canal Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, and the newly restored Josiah White II canal boat open their summer season in Hugh Moore Park. The museum features a variety of hands-on activities and displays for children and adults. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission for the museum and canal boat ride is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors and military veterans, $9 for children ages 3 – 15, and free for children under three. The canal boat follows the same daily schedule, with rides at 12, 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Canal boat rides will be free to D&L Members on National Trails Day weekend, June 4 and 5 2016.

June 5:

Carbon County – 6th Annual Charity Bike Ride to benefit St. Luke’s Hospice, Lehighton, PA. There is a 15- or 30-mile course option and both will start from the Lehighton Trailhead of the D&L Trail. Visit www.active.com and search St. Luke’s Hospice to register. The $40 entry fee covers participation kits, event shirt, rental bike, and shuttle service, if needed. All proceeds will benefit the St. Luke’s Hospice program.

 

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that preserves historic pathways that carried coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia. Today, the D&L Trail connects people to nature, culture, communities, recreation and our industrial heritage.

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DCNR Secretary Recognized Lehigh Valley Greenways Mini-Grant Recipients

For more information, please contact:
Claire Sadler
Conservation Coordinator
Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
2750 Hugh Moore Park Rd. Easton, PA
610.923.3548 ex: 226 or Claire@delawareandlehigh.org

EASTON (May 10) – Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape announced fifteen local recipients of state mini-grant conservation awards at a ceremony on May 10 at Upper Saucon Township Community Park. The event included remarks by Secretary Cindy Dunn of Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, as well as representatives from Lehigh County and Northampton County.

The mini-grant awards are part of Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape program, administered by D&L and funded by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Environmental Stewardship Fund. The 2016 application round closed in February and attracted a large group of applications requesting just shy of $130,000 total. Lehigh Valley Greenways awarded the available $77,000 to 15 recipients throughout the two-county region to advance the goals of: land conservation, outdoor recreation, community revitalization, and local education.

2016 mini-grant recipients include:
· Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley, $10,000 to support Master Watershed Steward projects constructing rain gardens in Plainfield Township and Pen Argyl Borough, completing a green roof display and workshop with Wildlands Conservancy, and developing an educational display at Illick’s Mill in collaboration with multiple partners
· City of Allentown, $10,000 to complete a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment to advance connection of Cedar Creek Parkway and Little Lehigh Parkway Path
· Lehigh County, $8,000 to update signage and complete stream protection at Trexler Nature Preserve
· Muhlenberg College, $8,000 to provide environmental field trips for urban high school students at Poole Wildlife Sanctuary and Muhlenberg campus
· Bethlehem Township, $7,500 to install signs, fencing and enhancements at the D&L Trail: Farmersville Road Trailhead
· City of Easton, $5,000 to install directional signs along the Two Rivers trail system in partnership with Townships of Forks and Palmer and Boroughs of Tatamy and Wilson
· Upper Mt Bethel Township, $5,000 to enhance the community park entrance with native plants and heritage signage
· Upper Saucon Township, $5,000 to embark on a comprehensive sign replacement and wayfinding project to make signs more uniform to park visitors, provide easier navigation along park trails, and improve wayfinding for the Saucon Rail Trail
· Moore Township, $4,250 to create a stewardship and access plan for 168-acre Appalachian Park
· Bushkill Township, $3,500 to plant a native grass and wildflower meadow at Ballas Tract
· Nurture Nature Center, $2,395 to create an interactive watershed exhibit for ongoing education programs
· Lafayette College, $2,300 to build an educational bioretention area on campus
· Lehigh Gap Nature Center, $2,040 to support a riparian restoration project in Allentown’s Fountain Park led by local students from Roberto Clemente Charter School
· Lehigh Gap Nature Center, $2,015 to coordinate school garden workshops for educators
· Penn State Extension, $2,000 to implement 4-H environmental science workshops

Lehigh Valley Greenways is one of seven Conservation Landscapes supported by Pennsylvania DCNR and includes more than 25 organizations and municipal partners in Lehigh and Northampton Counties dedicated to the conservation of and connection to our natural resources.

For more information on Lehigh Valley Greenways and the mini-grant program, please contact Claire Sadler at 610-923-3548 ext 226.

The Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that preserves historic pathways that carried coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia. Today, the D&L Trail connects people to nature, culture, communities, recreation and our industrial heritage.