Sunday, June 26, 2016

Public Input Sought for the Future Direction of the Schuylkill River Heritage Area

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN—The Schuylkill River Heritage Area is inviting community partners and residents to a public meeting to help shape the future of the Schuylkill River National Heritage Area, including its signature project, the Schuylkill River Trail.
The meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon on Thursday, June 30 at the Walk In Art Center, 220 Parkway Avenue in Schuylkill Haven.

Participants will discuss the priorities the heritage area will focus on over the next five to ten years. Feedback will be used to shape the Heritage Area’s new Management Action Plan, which is currently under development.

Two other public meetings are planned in other Heritage Area communities. Those are slated for July 6, 10-11:30 a.m. at the Manayunk Brewery in Manayunk , and for July 12, 10-11:30 a.m. at the Reading Public Museum in Reading.

Over the past six months, a committee of Heritage Area board members has been working with consultants Schultz & Williams to develop the plan, which will update the organization’s mission, vision, goals and priority areas. It includes goals for developing the Schuylkill River Trail, restoring the quality of the Schuylkill River, promoting economic development in riverside communities and connecting residents and visitors to the historic and natural resources of the region.

“This is a unique opportunity for our partners and members of the public to help shape the direction of our organization which has, for many years, worked to improve the quality of life and create new economic opportunities throughout the Schuylkill River region,” said Schuylkill River Heritage Area Executive Director Silas Chamberlin.

The meetings will include an overview of the plan from consultant Jill Macauley, of Schultz & Williams. Afterwards, participants will have an opportunity to provide input and offer ideas as part of a facilitated discussion.

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area encompasses the Schuylkill River watershed through five counties: Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Berks, and Schuylkill. It is one of only 49 national heritage areas in the country. National heritage areas work to revitalize and restore the region through natural and cultural resource preservation, education, recreation, community revitalization, and heritage tourism.

The new Management Action Plan builds off an earlier plan that was completed in 2003 that set out goals, strategies and priorities that has led the Heritage Area board and staff since that time.

For more information call the Heritage Area at 484-945-0200.