The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-PA), through its Great Places in PA Program, annually designates Great Places. For 2021, the Great Places categories were Greenways/Trails, Public Spaces, and Streets. Eight nominations achieved a Great Places designation, bringing the total Great Places in PA to 46. Great Places have a sustainable vision for the future and serve as a model for other communities. Having high quality examples of successful planning efforts throughout the Commonwealth to share and promote helps to achieve the Chapter’s mission and vision.
APA-PA is proud to announce designation of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, which connects more than 30 communities in Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Wayne Counties, as a 2021 Great Greenway/Trail in Pennsylvania. The Trail stretches more than 70 miles through the heart of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley State and National Heritage Area. It travels along the Lackawanna River and through the Northeastern PA mountains showcasing the areas culture,
history, architecture, and natural landscapes. The trail also provides connections to parks, neighborhoods, and community amenities, such as restaurants, shops, and lodging. Thousands of people annually use the trail for walking, biking, hiking, running, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. Additionally, the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Association works with communities to implement trail improvements and with planning committees to host marathons, festivals, bike tours, and other events that attract people from all areas of the country. It also partners with the Lackawanna River Conservation Association to sustain the trail and engage local communities to participate in service days. The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail is an asset to the entire region that is helping to sustain local communities and promote healthy lifestyles.
The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, together with the Cherry Creek Crossing Trail Network/Monroe County, Lehigh Parkway/Lehigh County, Phoenixville Portion of the Schuylkill River Trail/Chester County, and Warwick to Ephrata Rail Trail/Lancaster County, comprise the slate of 2021 Great Places in PA in the Greenways/Trails category. Additionally, one Great Street and two Great Public Spaces were designated. These Great Places demonstrate the rewarding results that occur through community partnerships, planning, and dedication. In recognizing the 2021 Great Places in PA, the Chapter also celebrates the many community leaders and officials, professionals, and residents who contribute to making the designated places “great.” For information on previously designated Great Places, please visit http://www.planningpa.org.