Innovative partnership helps enhance Pennsylvania nature trails

A new video highlights the innovative partnership between Williams and conservation organizations in central and northeastern Pennsylvania, helping support the creation of almost eight miles of new nature trails expected to be used by around 200,000 people annually.

Through its Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program, Williams is voluntarily supporting conservation projects that will benefit natural resources and support communities within the Atlantic Sunrise project area.

Three organizations benefitting from the program will use Williams’ support to enhance and create nature trails in Northumberland, Susquehanna and Columbia counties. These unique projects are being developed by the Northumberland County Conservation District, the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership.

One grantee is using Williams’s support to build an overlook to view the Whaleback, a renowned geological feature in Northumberland County.

“It is extremely important to geology students around the world to preserve this site,” said Dave Porzi, Director of Operations, Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA). “It’s something that needs to be preserved because there is only one other site on the face of the planet that has these features. With the grant money from Williams, we are going to be able to build an overlook in this location so you will be able to view this natural rock formation.”

Another grantee is using funding to address gaps in the development of the 38-mile Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail.

Lynn Conrad of the Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania says the organization purchased an abandoned rail bed and is in the process of turning it into a recreational trail for hiking, biking and outdoor nature study.

“We have a huge gap in our trail because one of the railroad bridges was taken down,” said Conrad. “So, we are going to use the funding from the Atlantic Sunrise stewardship project to build a series of switchbacks down the ravine, across the stream and back up the other side.”

In total, the Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program is supporting 17 conservation projects with more than $2.5 million in funding to not only support the construction of new trails, but also to restore wildlife habitat along streams and prevent thousands of pounds of harmful nutrients from entering waterways.

The Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program is a voluntary program and is not designed to replace traditional compensatory mitigation requirements of state and federal permitting agencies.

Click here to learn more about the Atlantic Sunrise Environmental Stewardship Program.

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