Oct. 16, 2020

HARRISBURG – Wildlands Conservancy Inc. has been awarded state funding to conduct a feasibility study for a new recreational trail in Carbon and Monroe counties, according to Reps. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Jack Rader (R-Monroe).

Specifically, the Emmaus-based nonprofit organization received a $40,000 grant to prepare a study for the development of about 9 miles of the Chestnut Ridge Greenway in Palmerton Borough and Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County, and Eldred Township, Monroe County.

“We have all seen how the success of the D&L Trail has contributed to the regional tourism industry and our quality of life,” said Heffley. “I believe it is important to look at every opportunity available to boost economic development along our trail system. I am pleased funding was awarded for this study to do just that.”

Wildlands Conservancy purchased a section of the former railroad bed more than 30 years ago.

“Wildlands Conservancy is very excited about the grant award to fund the Chestnut Ridge Greenway Feasibility Study, which will investigate the opportunity to convert portions of a former railbed into a multiuse trail, connecting Kunkletown to Blue Mountain Resort and the Borough of Palmerton,” said Christopher Strohler, Wildlands Conservancy senior conservation planner. “This plan will focus on the preservation of the Buckwha Creek and Aquashicola Creek corridors, while creating opportunities for economic development and recreational-based tourism in these communities.”

“Our region is well-known statewide and nationally as a recreational destination with a wide variety of options, including an excellent trail system,” Rader said. “I welcome the possible addition of this new trail, along with the economic vitality it is certain to create for the communities along its path.”

The funding was made available through the 2020 Community Conservation Partnerships Program administered by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

DCNR awarded 41 grants totaling approximately $7.6 million for trail projects statewide, including planning, construction and rehabilitation.

Representative Doyle Heffley
122nd Legislative District
Representative Jack Rader
176th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
RepHeffley.com / Facebook.com/RepHeffley
RepRader.com / Facebook.com/RepJackRader