Monday, July 25, 2011

Apple Tree Alleywalk Meeting scheduled for Monday, August 8th at 10am

Apple Tree AlleyWalk Concept Designs
According to availability via the scheduling poll, the next Apple Tree AlleyWalk subcommittee meeting will be scheduled for 10am on Monday August 8th at the Borough Office (428 N. High St., Duncannon).  A reminder and agenda will be emailed the week prior.  If you have any specific items to be included on the agenda or would like to R.S.V.P., please contact Kim McKee at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Community Partnership" Program through Hershey-Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau

View from the Doyle Hotel
Justin Martsolf, Partnership Director at the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB), just informed me of their "Community Partnership" program which starts at $180/yr to have HHRVB "put you on the map" in promoting events, businesses, etc. through their annual visitors guide, web site and PR department. 

Utilizing the HHRVB Public Relations department (AND Appalachian Trail Conservancy media outlets) to promote a designation event would just be one of many community benefits of such a partnership.  Complete information on partner benefits and services can be viewed here (PDF) and in the link on the sidebar.

Justin seemed very enthusiastic about potentially meeting with the A.T. Advisory Committee to discuss how Duncannon could best utilize HHRVB services to promote itself to a larger tourism market for its attractions, outdoor recreation opportunities, lodging, etc.  Perhaps the A.T. Community Advisory Committee could assist in recruiting tourism-related businesses to the meeting to hear more about these opportunities!  Unsure about the economic impacts of tourism in this region?  Check out the Tourism Stats from the large feeder markets of New York City metro, Philadelphia, Baltimore, NJ, New York, Washington D.C., Pittsburg & Western PA and Maryland within this region.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Updates and Apple Tree Alley subcommittee meeting scheduling

If you are interested in serving on the Apple Tree AlleyWalk subcommittee - please visit the following doodlepoll link to indicate your availability for a meeting in Duncannon during the second week of August.

Since the July 13th Duncannon A.T. Advisory committee meeting there have been a few updates: 
  • Karl King has indicated that Duncannon is identified as a "hub community" and a priority for Main Line Greenway Canal and the organization will support efforts for the Apple Tree AlleyWalk project.  Main Line Canal can provide assistance in developing walking tours and interpretive opportunities and also technical assistance in applying for the DCNR Community Partnerships grant.  Recommendations for sources of funds include the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program which would require support from state legislators.
  • Perry County Commissioner Brenda Benner has provided a letter of support to the Borough for the Appalachian Trail Community program application.
  • Letters of Support have also been pledged from the local trail clubs - Mountain Club of Maryland and Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club.
  • Kim Wheeler at PA DCED noted that it might be possible for a funding application to be considered for in-town streetscape improvements or trail connections to and within the town through the Keystone Communities grant program.  The guidelines have not been finalized yet nor have the deadlines been set.  She will keep the group up-to-date.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes ~ 7/13

July 13th, 2011 ~ Duncannon Borough Office
  • Fred Lauster, Duncannon Borough Council
  • Jerry Bell, Duncannon Borough Council
  • Kim McKee, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • Karen Lutz, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • Kim Williams, Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • Tom Grbenick, SEDA-COG
  • Trish Carothers, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership
  • Gwen Lehman, PA Audubon
  • Mike O’Connor, Mountain Club of Maryland
  • Barb Van Horn, Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club & Keystone Trails Association
  • Robert Peiffer, Perry County Chamber of Commerce
  • Brenda Benner, Perry County Commission
  • Karl King, Main Line Canal Greenway
  • Mike Piaskowski, DCNR
  • Roger Smith, Perry County Council of the Arts & Rt. 15 Byway of the Arts
  • Dave Robinson, Duncannon Church of God
  • Mike Kmiecinksi, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission
  • Will Soper, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission
  • Jason Finnerty, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (Perry County Planning)
  • Paul Smith, Duncannon Resident
  • Mary Parry, Trail Angel and Resident
Other stakeholders engaged that could not attend:
  • Pat Woods, Susquenita Middle School
  • Tanuya Matter, Duncannon Borough Manager
  • Dave Lange, NPS, Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program
  • Jimmy Rosen, Old Sled Works
  • Pat & Vickey Kelly, The Doyle Hotel
  • Doug Gibson, Blue Mountain Outfitters (Marysville)
  • Steve Fehrs, Duncannon Resident
Stakeholders identified to reach out to:
  • Todd Brackovich, Perry County Conservation District
  • Rick Dunlap, Hershey Harrisburg Visitors Bureau
  • Pat Tomes, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
  • Matt Smith, Perry County Rotary/Perry County Chamber
  • Stanley Mutzabaugh, Mutzabaugh’s Market
  • Annette Mullen, Curves
  • John and Corrine Cunningham, Riverfront Campground
  • Susquehanna River Trail Association
Designation Event ideas:
  • (Fred L) First Saturday in June (National Trails Day) or National Night Out in August
  • (Mary) June is when the majority of hikers are coming through Duncannon, hikers could do a hiker presentation/panel
  • (Karen) Event should be about a broad vision of Duncannon as a trail community
  • Involvement of Boy Scouts and School groups (Robert P.: Scouts would be interested)
  • Potential coordination with Susquehanna Sojourn river trips (engage Susquehanna River Trail Association – inquire as to the Sojourn schedule)
  • Communication plan for A.T. Community designation – Engaging Hershey/Harrisburg Visitors Bureau important (work to increase the promotion of event and greater promotion Duncannon as a destination)
  • HHVB – need to be a paying partner, Rick Dunlap is the contact
  • (Barbara) SATC and Keystone Trails Association could lead a hike and float trip
  • (Gwen - PA Audubon) Audubon could lead hikes if scheduled in the fall or spring during migration seasons
Apple Tree AlleyWalk
  • Overview of Apple Tree AlleyWalk project and planning process from Tom G.
  • (Mike K. – Tri-County) Rails-to-Trails Involvement?  (Contact is Pat Tomes)
  • (Mike P. – DCNR) Economic Development is key to making this project significant – projects like this in other communities have seen great impacts in filling downtown storefronts/property values rising
  • April application for DCNR funding – Borough needs to submit an application, motorized portions can’t be funded by DCNR
  • The challenge is local buy-in, a local advocate who keeps close tabs on funding availability and has the project lined up to receive the funding (i.e. funds raised for local match)
  • (Mike K. – Tri-County) Metropolitan Planning Organizations (Tri-County) help program the federal transportation funds – connect with Perry County representatives, the annual Tri-County allotment is roughly $900,000
  • Apple Tree Alley is first in line to receive funding, but the funds are programmed in advance – all funds are programmed until the 2013 fiscal year
  • Transportation Enhancement program’s future is uncertain, the federal highway bill and accompanying funding has expired
  • A 20% match (of non-federal funds) is required, recently the emphasis has been on a lot of small projects
  • Emphasis on the local advocate as well
  • (Robert P.) Can in-kind donations count as a match for TE funding?  Local businesses could contribute materials (trees for planting, gravel, etc) or labor.  Borough could potentially pave and do some construction
  • (Jerry) Want to make sure the ATC/Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM) supports the re-reroute through Apple Tree Alley, Starts with the approval of MCM
  • (Jason – Tri-County/Perry County) What businesses are supportive?
  • (Tom G.) Businesses are in support, Orrstown Bank may agree to participation
  • (Kim M.) Businesses contacted were supported, unsure exactly how to get involved
  • (Mike P.) What role is the ATC going to play?
  • (Karen, Kim W.) ATC can help facilitate, Duncannon should be the driver
  • (Fred & Tom) Would like to see ATC/Susquehanna Greenway/Main Line Canal Greenway work together to assist Duncannon
  • (Trish C.) Susquehanna Greenway River Towns initiative – planning driving tour kiosk with panels options available for Main Line Canal Greenway and Appalachian Trail
  • (Fred) Would like to see examples of similar projects from other towns
Sub-committees to organize:
A.T. Community Designation sub-committee
  • Complete application – collect support documentation, draft and submit application to ATC Mid-Atlantic Regional Office before September 1st, 2011
    • Maintain list of sub-committees, contacts, organizations/volunteers who have expressed interest in helping
    • Facilitate communication between sub-committees, send Advisory Committee updates as to what has been happening/what needs to happen
  • Designation event-planning – SEE A.T. Community EVENT PLANNING GUIDE for more detail (if you did not receive copy at meeting, email Kim McKee and she will send PDF)
    • Decide on when the event will be held, THEME(s) for event (i.e. conservation, outdoor recreation or “trails,” Duncannon heritage & arts, etc.)
    • Brainstorm/Research A.T. Community designation events and/or similarly-themed events in other towns
    • Outreach to elected local, state & federal officials for support, community groups and regional partners that could be involved, part of programming
    • Develop communications plan – coordinate with Tourism Promotion sub-committee to publicize
      • Collect information on local media contacts, local bloggers, Borough newsletter, newsletters of partner organizations
      • Outreach via social media (local facebook groups, twitter, etc.)
      • Create/distribute fliers to promote event
Apple Tree AlleyWalk sub-committee
  • Create and keep updated an online list/database of potential funding options, including upcoming deadlines and contact information for program reps
  • Engage contacts at state and regional agencies to monitor funding opportunities – have project included in state, regional or Perry County plans:
    • DCNR
    • Tri-County RPC/Transportation Enhancements
    • Perry County CDBG Funds (administered through Tri-County - Eliz Wimmer is contact)
    • Appalachian Regional Commission
    • DCED/Keystone Communities Program
    • Private Foundations
    • Other
  • Prepare grant applications
  • Fundraising for local match – local businesses donations and in-kind donations, additional public sources, Borough funds and labor, private foundations
  • It looks as though local match may include in-kind contributions:
  • Contact additional advocacy groups to gauge interest in project – Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, PA Walks and Bikes, etc.
  • Build support with elected officials – State Rep. Mark Keller serves on policy board of Metropolitan Planning Organization that makes the final decisions on TE funding
Tourism Promotion & Business Outreach sub-committee
  • Gauge interest in organizing “Friends” group through this Advisory Committee or Duncannon Revitalization organization with 501c3 status – a group that would actively work with businesses, Chamber, Perry County Arts and community groups to promote Duncannon businesses, recreation opportunities and amenities
  • Create list of and engage businesses interested in being involved with A.T. Community events and/or Apple Tree Alley whether via letters of support, donations, event participation, or interest in joint-promotion of local businesses (coordinate with Perry County Chamber)
  • Collect information on case studies of projects like Apple Tree Alley in similar communities – with a focus on the ECONOMIC impacts, create print materials to distribute (or web)
  • Explore options for a web presence for the Borough of Duncannon targeted to hikers, visitors, businesses looking to relocate  (example: or
Community Outreach and Youth Engagement sub-committee
  • Create list of community groups in greater Duncannon Area and contact to inform of A.T. Community designation plans and Apple Tree Alleywalk project – ask how they would potentially like to be involved, get ideas
  • Lead local hikes and trailwork projects that start and/or end in Duncannon – potential active recruitment of Duncannon residents
  • Publicize Trails to Every Classroom participation and projects
  • Potentially plan events on Apple Tree AlleyWalk corridor to promote usage and COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP of corridor (art projects, bike rides, sled-races, fundraising walks/runs, programming for kids, community plantings, etc. – smaller projects that build interest in and awareness of corridor as an asset to the community) – check on LEGAL issues of corridor-ownership with Borough first
  • Explore opportunities to re-route the A.T. through Apple Tree Alley