Last month, Keystone Edge traveled to the Susquehanna Valley, sparking conversation about talent attraction, engaging young professionals in regional economic development, and why the area is such a great place to live and work. Here's a bit about who attended and what they had to say.
In 2011, this city of more than 87,000 people and 28 parks had no active rec centers and zero playgrounds. But that was all about to change with the genesis of the Reading Recreation Commission, an organization that has flourished thanks to creative funding solutions, a whole lot of elbow grease, and one inspiring leader.
When downsizing threatened the Letterkenny Army Depot, an essential institution in Franklin County, the community rallied. Determined not to lose a major employer without a fight, local economic development and county government officials sprang into action, making moves that are still paying dividends 20 years later.
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.
Blight removal in Bethlehem, a redeveloped Allentown Metal Works, a master plan for the envisioned Da Vinci Science City in Easton, an expanded business incubator at Lehigh University – all these and more are moving forward thanks to new grants from the BB&T Economic Growth Fund.