Pa. to develop statewide network of greenways

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania has created an aggressive plan to develop a network of greenways, connecting corridors of open space, natural landscape features and recreational sites statewide.

Successful examples of greenways projects can be found in communities throughout the state. Many groups have created miles of recreational trails and protecting acres of natural open space.

Many advantages. These local greenways are good for the environment, and also have a positive impact on a region’s economic climate and quality of life.

The system of greenways throughout Pennsylvania will be a statewide network connecting existing local greenways with new ones to form a unique, large-scale environmental and recreational asset.

Through an executive order signed Aug. 16, Gov. Tom Ridge named DCNR as the lead state agency for the greenways initiative.

The 80-page plan, Pennsylvania Greenways: An Action Plan for Creating Connections, charts a set of specific strategies and actions for building Pennsylvania’s greenways network by 2020.

About the network. The greenways network will connect Pennsylvania’s open space; natural landscape features; scenic, cultural, historic and recreational sites; and urban and rural community centers.

The network will ultimately be comprised of “hubs,” such as parks, forests, game lands, lakes and other destination areas, and “spokes,” greenways connecting natural and recreational areas.

Tracking progress. Notable targets of the plan include: mapping statewide greenways by 2002; completing 1,000 miles of water trails by 2005; having greenways plans for all counties by 2007; constructing or enhancing 100 miles of bicycle and pedestrian facilities annually; and establishing a local greenway in every community by 2020.

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