Steve McKnight is part of a new generation of young professionals bringing fresh energy to the world of economic and community development. In this first installment of a new series, we follow him as he bikes around Blair County, forging connections and spreading the word about the region he loves.
In 1893, Pennsylvania was practically devoid of trees. In 2018, the state boasts 121 state parks encompassing nearly 300,000 acres and a state forest system comprised of 2.2 million acres in 48 counties. These natural assets are invaluable, whether you're talking about the Commonwealth's economy or its health.
Next time you book a stay in the mountains, you'll be helping to preserve the very natural landscape you've traveled to see. In this majestic region, environmentalists have joined forces with the vibrant tourism industry. Funds from hotel stays and drink purchases support conservation efforts, including the successful resurrection of the local bald eagle population. It’s a great way to justify your next vacation.
Packed with assets both natural and historic, Columbia in Lancaster County is a town in transition, rebounding after decades of struggle. Local residents and organizations have put a fresh focus on recreation and infrastructure, revamping downtown, luring a brewpub, launching a new river trail, and spotlighting the town's inherent charm. The key to Columbia's future is also the source of its past prosperity: the Susquehanna River.
The inaugural PA Urban Parks & Recreation Exchange, held in Allentown, spotlighted how Pennsylvania cities large and small can improve their communities through thoughtful design and increased access to parks and playgrounds.
In September, Reading hosted the 2017 PA Greenways and Trails Summit, an opportunity to celebrate and advocate for the state's growing network of trails. These assets not only help Pennsylvanians get out into nature, they also spur economic development in adjacent communities.
If you own a bike and haven't gone for a ride in a while, the excuses just won't cut it anymore. The region is blessed with hundreds of miles of non-motorized, recreational bike paths, including plenty of flat rail trails.
Every year, almost a million people head to the Lehigh Valley for the country's largest free music festival, staged in the shadow of Bethlehem's iconic steel stacks. At this year's event (running August 4 through 13) you can check out performances by Santana, LIVE, Toby Keith and many more. When your ears need a break, there's plenty of hoppy brews, tasty eats, local art and outdoor adventures to be had in this rich PA region.