Greenway and Open Space Plan
Draft Plan Now Available!
A draft of the Union County Greenway and Open Space Plan is now available for public review. A copy of the plan can be found at the three public libraries in Laurelton, Lewisburg, and Mifflinburg, the Union County Government Center on N. 15th Street in Lewisburg or viewed on the county website at www.ucgreenway.org. The plan and its recommendations reflect nearly two years of work by the volunteer steering committee which attempted to balance the desires of the public with future fiscal and political realities.
The plan goals are to:
· Preserve high-quality open space;
· Establish and expand greenway and multi-modal trail systems to improve quality of life and transportation options;
· Increase the quality and quantity of riparian buffers in the county;
· Improve access, use, and connection to the Susquehanna River and other waterways;
· Conserve the county’s natural resources and ecosystem functions; and
· Facilitate healthy lifestyles for County residents and visitors by providing opportunities to enjoy greenways, parks, trails, and other open space.
The purpose the plan is to establish specific priorities for conserving open spaces such as farms, forests, community parks and waterbodies and for creating future greenway corridors which are a specific type of open space that follow linear landscape features like old rail lines, rivers, streams or ridgetops.
The Greenway and Open Space plan is organized into five chapters that provide an introduction, overview of Union County, a description of greenway and open space resources, a proposed framework for greenways and open space conservation, and 54 specific actions to implement the plan goals. The plan contains recommendations on conservation measures, education and outreach, land preservation, parks and recreation, and trails/non-motorized transportation. Also identified are 15 implementation priorities along with five early demonstration projects.
The plan is required by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and was funded in part by a grant from the Community Partnerships Program, Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund under the administration of DCNR’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation.
Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted through Friday, October 21st, 2016 and can be submitted by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to Union County Planning Commission, 155. N. 15th Street, Lewisburg, PA 17837.
photo by Nicholas Tonelli
The Union County Greenway and Open Space Plan will provide a blueprint and set priorities for future greenway development and open space conservation. A network of greenways and open space linking the County’s diverse natural areas, cultural and historic resources, recreation opportunities, and local population centers will conserve the County’s natural systems, working farms, scenic qualities, and unique character while providing valuable recreation, community health, and economic opportunities for residents.
What are Greenways and Open Space?
Open space is undeveloped land that is publicly or privately owned. It includes farmland, community parks, forests, wetlands, and floodplains.
Greenways are a form of open space and are corridors that follow linear landscape features such as a river, ridge line, utility corridor, canal, or abandoned railroad. Typically greenways link natural, cultural, and historic resources as well as entire communities. Examples locally are the Susquehanna River corridor, Buffalo Valley Rail Trail, and the mountain ridges.
Greenways are often associated with recreational trails, but they can have many purposes, including being exclusively for environmental protection and resource conservation.
How do I get involved?
Union County and its conservation partners have limited resources; therefore part of this planning effort is to establish priorities for future greenway and open space preservation and development. Your input is needed to ensure the plan and its recommendations reflect community needs.
You can help set these priorities and stay involved by participating in the plan in the following ways:
- Attend public meetings
- Email or call and speak with a project planner