Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Duncannon A.T. Community Advisory Committee Wraps Up 2011

Photo by Paul Zeph
This past summer, Borough Councilman Fred Lauster organized a small meeting with local trail club reps, ATC staff and a well-known Trail Angel to discuss the Borough of Duncannon applying to become an official Appalachian Trail Community 

Since that time a group of dedicated volunteers have organized to form the Duncannon A.T. Community Advisory Committee which has logged well over 400 volunteer hours towards projects and planning aimed at raising awareness of the greater Duncannon area's natural and scenic assets and getting residents out-of-doors, enhancing Duncannon as a destination and gateway to the Appalachian Trail and various regional greenways, and positioning the Borough to benefit economically from outdoor recreation and heritage tourism. Special thanks to Fred and Event Coordinator Mary "trailangelmary" Parry for all their enthusiasm, time and hard work put towards this effort.

Committee progress and accomplishments thus far include:

Submitted an A.T. Community application having solicited 11 strong letters of support from local, County and regional organizations. 

Saw representatives from 23 organizations and community groups attending and participating in Duncannon A.T. Community Advisory Committee monthly meetings.  See contacts page for more info.

Recruited over 150 people to Duncannon A.T. Community's facebook group and received over 1,500 hits since July on the Duncannon A.T. Community blog

Officially established an organization by obtaining a federal EIN. 

Duncannon is one of ten communities trail-wide to have an ATC-appointed A.T. Community Ambassador serving as a liaison between the community and local trail-maintaining clubs in recruiting volunteers for stewardship projects.

Supported the Borough in moving forward with Apple Tree Alleywalk implementation by raising project awareness, highlighting its importance as a pedestrian/bike path connecting businesses and historical attractions to the A.T. and communicating Mountain Club of Maryland's support for a trail re-route through the alley.

Received media coverage:
Garnered additional event promotion via partnering organizations web sites, facebook pages and community calendars:

Thus far received commitments for the designation event from 5 speakers to help commemorate the designation, 6 authors donating books for door prizes, 5 retail and information vendors, 3 items for raffle, and 4 presenters for Sat. afternoon programming - with many more looking to sign on before the January 10th commitment deadline.

Received enthusiastic commitments from the Susquenita High School and Middle School Bands as well as the High School Chorus to perform at the designation event. 

Susquenita Middle School students involved in the Trail to Every Classroom program have already submitted numerous original post card designs to the Post Card art contest. The winners will be unveiled at the event on June 2nd.

The Graphics Committee has produced a designation event t-shirt design as well as event-flier and hiking game-card designs.

Mountain Club of Maryland, through its Duncannon A.T. Community representative, coordinated and funded an Appalachian Trail interpretive panel to accompany Susquehanna Greenway's Rivertown kiosk.  Installation is expected this coming Spring.

So what is in the pipeline for early 2012?? 
  • The DESIGNATION EVENT is a little over FIVE MONTHS away.
  • Designation event web site currently under construction and hoping to be launched during the second week in January.
  • The Fundraising/Budget Committee plans to secure a premier sponsor for the event in the coming weeks.
  • Plans for a community mural on the side of Miller's Newstand building are in the works as well as other volunteer beautification projects in advance of the event.
  • Event T-shirts are slated to be ordered at the beginning of February.
  • The Committee also hopes to produce a post-event display for an empty storefront on Market St. highlighting the designation event and Duncannon A.T. Community activities. 

Contact event coordinator Mary "trailangelmary" Parry at if interested in helping out with any of the above.  
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Duncannon marks its trail heritage

Another article appeared in the Duncannon Record over the weekend highlighting the A.T. Community Committee's mission and plans for the June 2nd, 2012 event.  Thanks to Sarah Kramer at the Perry County Times for covering the Committee's progress in Duncannon!

Duncannon marks its trail heritage

"Designation event coordinator Mary Parry, or Trailangelmary as known locally, said the event will involve local officials, residents, business owners, representatives of nonprofit organizations and trail clubs, as well as a team of dedicated volunteers who will offer outdoor recreation and environmental education activities for the Duncannon community."

Monday, December 26, 2011

Explore the Middle Susquehanna Greenway via Scenic Driving Tour

Susquehanna Greenway Partnership has just published a Middle Susquehanna Greenway Driving Tour booklet on their web site and Duncannon is Stop #19 as a scenic and historically significant River Town!  This 95-mile driving route explores some of the cultural and natural features of the Greenway and features audio interviews with local researchers and residents. A River Town orientation panel is currently being installed at Old Sledworks on Market St.  Appalachian Trail and Harrisburg-to-Pittsburgh Main Line Canal Greenway panels will be installed as well this coming spring!

Susquehanna Greenway also highlights Duncannon attractions on a dedicated page.

"Along the way, we hope you will sense the pride river communities have with their connection to this critical resource. The cultural and natural history of the Susquehanna River is centuries long and the impact of the river is longer still when you consider geological time. This tour will guide you through both and suggest you linger when you want to explore more at selected stops, viewpoints, and historic river towns."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Duncannon Area Landscapes: Aerial Photos of the Susquehanna Water Gaps

Paul Zeph of the Appalachian Audubon Society provided us with these awesome aerial photographs of Peter's Mountain, Cove Mountain and the Susquehanna Water Gaps for your viewing pleasure (part of the larger Kittatinny Ridge landscape).  Committee Members, remember to log an estimate of your volunteer hours when you get the chance!  This info helps us show the power of volunteerism in Duncannon.

Where the Susquehanna and Juniata Rivers meet the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail through Rye Township (Rt. 850 crossing)
North Side of Cove Mountain
View from Duncannon tower at Old Sledworks

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

DATC Regular Meeting Date Determined - 2nd Thursdays

Results from the latest scheduling poll indicate that the regular meeting date for DATC will be:

Every Second Thursday of the Month at 6:30pm

Next month's meeting will be held on January 12th at 6:30pm, location T.B.D.  Other significant DATC dates in January include: 
  • Jan. 8th - Business Subcommittee meeting at Doyle Hotel at 1pm
  • Jan. 10th - Participation Commitment form due (or let Trailangel Mary know when you or your organization will be able to commit)
  • Jan. 11th - Start "Fundraising Goal" Thermometer
  • Jan. 12th - January DATC Meeting
  • Jan. 29th - Event schedule finalized
  • Jan. 30th - First publicity release with Event Schedule

Monday, December 19, 2011

Check out the Designation Event T-Shirt Design!

DATC Graphics Committee chairperson, graphic design professional and Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club member Susan Norris has created an AWESOME t-shirt design based on the concept presented by Paul Smith.  Check it out at left!  Thanks to Susan for all her amazing efforts.  These graphics help promote the mission of the event and also the "brand" of Duncannon as an outdoor recreation destination.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Duncannon Appalachian Trail Panel Design Finalized

The design has been finalized for the Appalachian Trail interpretive panel slated to be installed along with two Susquehanna Greenway panels and a Main Line Canal Greenway panel this Spring as part of Susquehanna Greenway's River Towns initiative (**Apologies that the image isn't larger and more legible!).  The content and funding for the panel was provided by Mountain Club of Maryland rep Mike O'Connor through a grant from MCM's Miles Fund.  SEDA-COG's Adam Wynn assisted with the layout and graphic design work.  

Exciting that the panel will be in the ground in advance of the designation event in June!  Special thanks to Mike O'Connor and MCM for their important efforts in marking Duncannon's place as an important stop along the Appalachian Trail.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Duncannon Highlighted on Progress Pennsylvania

Over the weekend Duncannon made an appearance on the Progress Pennsylvania blog, tales of Pennsylvania revitalization and economic development told by blogger Roy Keeler based in Pottstown, PA.

"This tiny town of 1,522 people, 15 miles north of Harrisburg, is making the most of having the Appalachian Trail running down its main street.  Taking advantage of natural surrounding is a tool for economic development.  Nature-based Tourism also known as Ecotourism is a great way for a town like Duncannon to revitalize itself." - Progress Pennsylvania

Also check out the Case Studies page to read about post-industrial town turned outdoor recreation destination - Jim Thorpe, PA.  Also highlighted is Damascus, VA - which dubs itself the "friendliest town on the trail."  Do I smell a challenge?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ATC Appoints A.T. Ambassador in Duncannon

Committee member Paul Smith was just named an A.T. Community Ambassador for Duncannon! Paul, also the Duncannon A.T. Advisory Committee's Arts & Music chairperson, will join nine other A.T. Community Ambassadors along the whole trail corridor as a local community representative trained to facilitate outreach to community members and youth groups for volunteer stewardship projects.   

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy very excited to have Paul on board for this position as he's done awesome work and brought great ideas and enthusiasm to the A.T. Community Committee in Duncannon since its formation this past summer.  

P.S. Did you know these hats are on sale at the Borough Office??  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Value of Outdoor Festivals to PA Communities

Paddlers on the Susquehanna River, Source:
The A.T. Community designation celebration and town-wide outdoors festival themed "Saving Our Community from Nature Deficit Disorder" hopes to resonate beyond June 2012.  The concept of an Outdoor Festival as a means to promote sustainable economic development by linking economy, society and nature is not a new one in Pennsylvania.  Sustainable Pittsburgh's "Guide for Organizing an Outdoor Festival" explains it best:
  • Outdoor recreation is a magnet for people of all ages and integral to the changed image of a region.
  • Outdoor recreation contributes to equity by serving all people and narrowing the disparities gap.
  • Participating in outdoor recreation contributes to healthy lifestyles for young and old.
  • Outdoor enjoyment leads to awareness, appreciation, and likely action by all to be better stewards of the environment at home, at work, and at play.
  • In common with Pennsylvania's two biggest industries - agriculture and tourism - recreation amenities are resource-based strategies for significant economic development.
  • Recreation resources such as trails, watershed, connected parks, rivers and streams know no political boundaries.

Promotion of amenities within regions and communities can lead to legitimate economic development in the form of jobs, tourism, and vitality.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Vendor Commitments and Duncannon/Susquenita Middle School IN THE NEWS!

Over the weekend two articles by reporter Sarah Kramer appeared in the Perry County Times - one focusing on Susquenita Middle School's participation in the Trail to Every Classroom program and one about Duncannon's designation and plans for the event!   Follow the below links to read the articles:

Update for Designation Event Planning: Commitment forms for information and retail vendors, hike leaders, presentations on topics relating to the outdoors, musical entertainment, river trips, shuttle service, donations for free lunch for hikers, volunteers for manning event central, photographer and videographers, donations of cash and/or hiking gear, and donations of books relating to the AT and outdoors are due to Mary Parry Event Coordinator by January 10, 2011.

Commitment forms have been received from:
Jennifer Pharr Davis and
Event Coordinator Trailangel Mary

Friday, December 2, 2011

Graphics, TTEC, Business Committee Meeting Minutes

Designation event planning has been moving forward with a recent meeting amongst members of the Graphics, Trail to Every Classroom and Business Committees at The Doyle Hotel on December 1st.  Minutes are below.  The next Graphics Committee meeting will be held on Sunday, December 18th at 2pm at The Pub on Market St. in Duncannon.  Please join us if you're interested in helping out!

  • Mary Parry, Event Coordinator
  • Susan Norris, Graphics Chairperson
  • Malissa Hoover, TTEC Chairperson
  • Paul Smith, Music and Arts Chairperson
  • Vickey & Pat Kelly, The Doyle Hotel Owners
  • Annette Mullen, Owner of Curves in Duncannon, Wheatfield Township Supervisor
Meeting Topics:

Event Central
  • Mark Lukens to provide 2 free standing panels, each 4' x 8'
  • 4 sides - display schedule, Top 10 reasons we need "Vitamin N", Raffle & information on Items for Sale
  • Susan Norris will create chalkboard surface on the display base and then use flourescent chalk
Trail to Every Classroom Committee ~ Malissa Hoover accepted the Chairperson position 

T-Shirt Design
  • Additional T-Shirt design submitted by Susan Norris.  Both designs were discussed and final plan for design will be completed by Susan for the Dec. 18th meeting.  
  • T-shirt design will be consistent with other graphics & the web page.
Business Window Decorations
  • Mary explained her vision for designs for business window displays
  • Paul and Mary will approach businesses - how will it be funded?
  • Susan and Malissa will recruit participants to help with this project
Potential Mural at Miller's Store
  • Kim McKee checking in Norfolk Southern Corp. will paint the wall white.
  • Mr. Miller wants to know the size and see design before approving.
  • Mary's vision is of a large trail map of the area with embellishments of nature/natural features
  • How will it be funded?
  • Susan stated she will have design for presentation to Mr. Miller done by January 10th
Basic Timelines
  • Wooden nickel design is done
  • ASAP - Event Web Page
  • December 18th, Graphics Committee Meeting - review and assign all tasks and finalize timelines and T-shirt design.
  • January 10th - Miller's Newstand mural design - need sponsor and budget, game card design
  • February - order shirts
  • March - designs for window decorations, event flyer ready for printing, start Miller's Mural
  • April - event central base ready, start finish of event central, banner designs, thank you notes, elementary school contest
  • May - directional signs, window decorations, shuttle stop signs, print game cards
  • Post-event - Semi-permanent event display, send thank you cards, evaluate event
Thanks to the Graphics Committee for all their hard work!!!