Monday, January 30, 2012

Next DATC Advisory Committee on Thursday, Feb 9th at 6:30pm

Two modes of transport, heading into Duncannon

Join the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee next Thursday at 6:30pm at the Borough Office in Duncannon (428 N. High St.) for the monthly meeting.  Only a little over four months to go until the June 2nd designation event!  

In addition to progress with designation event planning event coordinator Trailangel Mary will have updates for on Thursday, a Norfolk Southern Corp. Enola Yard employee volunteer day has been tentatively scheduled for May 12th.  The planned project entails clean-up and improvements to the Ann St. and Margretta St. river arches to provide residents, visitors and paddlers with enhanced river access points.

Interesting read about another post-industrial community located in rural Western Massachusetts on the Connecticut River: Turners Falls turns on the charm to lure small businesses, tourism and the art. 

The Strathmore Mill, power canal & bike path at Turners Falls
"With only one paper mill now left, Montague residents and officials have worked to shift the village’s raison d’etre from one of big industry to one of small businesses, tourism, the arts and culture.  “It’s been a long process. It didn’t happen over night,” says the town administrator." 

"Another plus for the village is its bike path that draws cyclists, joggers and walkers to the banks of the river and the canal.  'We’ve always had a river that is beautiful. We’ve always had architecture that is beautiful,” Abbondanzio said of Turners Falls. “We’re trying to capitalize on those assets and make it a place people would want to come to.'" 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Former Miller's News Stand building for sale

Miller's News Stand and the Dry cleaners next door have closed their doors.  It is located at 1 N. Market St.on Duncannon Square, just few doors down from the Doyle Hotel.  

The historic building with a storefront facing Market St. could serve as a great location for a potential new business serving both local residents and visitors who come to Duncannon to hike, paddle, take in scenic views of the rivers & ridges or look for antiques and vintage finds at Old Sledworks.  Opportunities could include an outdoor outfitter, bike shop, coffee house, sandwich shop, artisan gallery, brewpub, bait shop, live music venue, a Duncannon area visitors center, etc.  Interested parties should call 717-834-3848.  

Look for sample local reports on trail-related business opportunities along the Great Allegheny Passage at (Ohiopyle and Confluence, for example). 

Click here for the (online community of A.T. enthusiasts) comment thread about this opportunity.

The side of this building facing Cumberland St. was also the planned location for a community mural showcasing an artistic map of local trails and natural features in the greater Duncannon area.  Contact Trailangel Mary if interested in helping out with the mural project.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Email Update

FYI for the Committee and event participants: event coordinator Mary Parry's new email address is  Please add the new email to your address book so emails from her are not considered spam.

Also for your calendars, the next DATC meeting will be held Thursday, Feb. 9th at 6:30pm at the Borough Office.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jan. 12th DATC Meeting Minutes

Mary Parry, Event Coordinator
Paul Smith, Arts & Musical Entertainment Chair, A.T. Community Ambassador 
Malissa Hoover, Susquenita Elementary Teacher, TTEC Chair
Fred Lauster, Borough Councilman and Logistics Chair
Jack Conrad, Parks & Recreation Board
Kim McKee, ATC Advisor
Rick Knepp, Susquenita Middle School Teacher
Jason Finnerty, Tri-County Regional Planning, Perry County Planner
Luke Johnson, Susquenita High School Student
Melanie Wertz, Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club (CVATC)
Rob Shaw, CVATC and Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club
Bob Peiffer, Perry County Chamber of Commerce
Dave Snyder, Appalachian Music Conservancy and Perry Co. Council of the Arts
Matt Smith, Perry County Chamber of Commerce
Sean O’Shell, Perry County Resident
Mike O’Connor, Mountain Club of Maryland
Debra Takach, Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club


Recaps: Mary gave recaps of the November meeting, Graphics and Budget Subcommittee meetings from December and the January updates covered in the update document.

Trail to Every Classroom Update – Malissa Hoover
Malissa has received approval from the Elementary School for students to design a thank you card to distribute to event volunteers.  Winners will be chosen by March.  A request has been submitted to screen the National Geographic film American’s Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail. Approval is pending.  First choice for site to show film is Cooper Field in Duncannon given we can acquire use of a projector. Update from Pat Woods, Middle School Principal – they may not have an appropriate space for a film screening in case of rain. Therefore, another site is needed in case of rain.
TTEC Quests are being created by the Social Studies Department at the Middle School. Plan is to premier on day of celebration. Mary would like more details as soon as possible.

Apple Tree Alley Update – Jack Conrad
He’s had a series of meetings with Mike Piaskowski of PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources including a site visit with DCNR, ATC and SEDA-COG reps and he feels there is a good plan in place to move forward with implementation.

The first phase is planned for a stretch adjacent to 3Bs Ice Cream, Old Sledworks and Clark’s Ferry Tavern, a historic structure that has received significant attention in recent months from parties interested in a restoration.  The first phase could facilitate plans to turn the adjacent green space next to Clark’s Ferry Tavern into park/community gathering place and include improvements stretching to river via the Margareta St. arch.  The Borough submitted a grant to the PA Parks & Recreation Society to complete some engineering work in advance of construction.

Mary inquired into how the Committee can support the project and while right now it makes sense to hold off publicizing the project until the Borough receives word on the PRPS application, support may be needed at Borough Council meetings in the future.  Future Apple Tree Alley meetings appropriate for attendance by any interested Advisory Committee members will be announced. With Mary’s suggestion Jack agreed to a vendor table at the event with information and visuals about the project.  Some volunteers may be needed to man the table.

Mary reminded all that our Advisory Committee is not just about our designation event.  Participation in the progress of Apple Tree Alley is also very important. 

Event Commitments
Committed organizations, groups and individuals will be updated regularly  on the “Event” tab.  More specific questions and updates:
  • Current questions pertain to confirmation of participation from the Susquenita Middle and High School bands.  Bob Peiffer indicated the High School band may have a conflict.  He will provide contact information to Music and Arts Chair Paul Smith and assist in follow-up. Mary stted the importance of consistent communication.
  • Hiking trips – Mary would like to see more hike leaders willing to lead hikes targeting more inexperienced hikers to reinforce our theme of “Saving Our Community from Nature Deficit Disorder”.  She also stated she is recruiting hike sweepers from the AT Hiking Family.
  • Mary will be attending meetings with Duncannon Council of Churches, Duncannon Fire Company Board, and Lions Club this month to discuss involvement.  Fred Lauster stated that for National Night Out Fire Trucks were moved to another location except for the ladder truck which Fire Company members used as part of the event.

Since the meeting, Mary is following up with committee members and hike leaders to obtain relevant information to submit to Fred Lauster.  As of this meeting the following is in place concerning liability:
  • Waiver developed to protect all involved.
  • Plan is in place to schedule Hike Leader Training by Karen Balaban, SATC.
  • Hikes on Appalachian Trail and official Blue Blazes will be covered by NPS policy. Contract with NPS is ready to distribute to hike leaders.
  • River trips are insured by BMO policy.
  • Coverage for afternoon events in the borough are being researched by Fred Lauster, Duncannon Borough Council member with the borough solicitor and borough insurance company to be included on their policy as an event in 2012.

Event Location Vote
Two locations were proposed for the events of June 2nd: a downtown location centered on Cumberland and High St. and Cooper Field (Duncannon Community Park).  Pros and cons were presented by Mary and Fred and discussion ensued.  The Committee voted and 10 attendees voted for downtown (with four absentee votes from business owners that could not attend) and 1 voted for Cooper Field.  4 attendees abstained.

Mary will be attending a Fire Company Board Meeting this month where she will present the plan to the Board and seek advice for shutting down Cumberland Street for a certain amount of time on that day.  The Little League Ball field and Fortenbaugh’s lot would be alternate locations.

Since parking space in downtown Duncannon is scarce, a parking and shuttle plan will be developed between area Churches and shuttle volunteers. It was suggested to inquire with Rohrer Bus as potential shuttle use.

Retail vendors will be given parking spaces close to their set-up.  Potential parking locations include Mutzabaugh’s, church parking lots, and nearby trail heads.

Jason Finnerty mentioned it may be a good idea to contact PennDOT as they sometimes put flashing lights in advance of areas where traffic should be slowed for community events. Mary will also check if Duncannon Borough owns the yellow crossing alert signs to place on street. 

Event Central 
Mary is looking for volunteers to man “Event Central” where the Committee will house all event information and be there to direct people and answer questions.  Event Central will also sell event t-shirts and Duncannon hats, raffle tickets, bandana personalization, popcorn selling, potential photo booth, free water, and bubble cups. 48 man hours are needed from volunteers (48 volunteers giving one hour or much fewer volunteers taking longer shifts). 

The plan for a community mural (map of trails in area with outdoor embellishments) is currently in the works – Mary is re-routing the plan as the side of Miller’s Newstand may no longer be an option. Jack Conrad suggested the Embarq building at Ann & High Sts. She’s received word that Sunoco commonly funds community murals and will be looking into the possibility. Kim McKee provided a potential grant application from National Endowment for the Arts.  Any mural expert contacts would be greatly appreciated for this project. 

NS Corp Enola Yard Volunteer Day 
A site visit is planned with the NS Corp rep for Tuesday, Jan. 24th at 2:30 at Doyle Hotel to check the River Arches, The Doyle porch and railing, as well as a potential wall for a mural to determine a project they can take on that is both manageable for their team and will have the most impact in the Downtown in advance of the event. 

Budget Update and Tax-deduction Eligibility Discussion 
A request from a premier sponsor has been put in for $3,408, a figure taken from the most recent budget.  The timeline for an expected response is roughly three weeks, potentially sooner.  Matt Smith raised the question of ensuring tax deductible donations.  As of now we are a non-profit organization awaiting 501c3 status.

A plan is in progress to deposit and distribute the funds via the Recreation Board account. Robert Peiffer stated that the bank can establish a secondary account number within the Recreation Board account to deposit DATC funds.  Paul Smith stated that we need a conclusion ASAP as he has groups ready to donate. 

Budget Review 
Mary reviewed the budget with special attention to line items not included in budget and potential line items that can be changed to in-kind donations to reduce cost.

Porta-Pottys – Some voiced concern that 2 porta-pottys may not be enough.  Suggestion was made by Jack Conrad and Dave Snyder to contact New Bloomfield Company (?name?).

Printing - Rob Shaw requested files of documents to be printed for quotes.

Mike O’Connor informed Mary that a potential grant is available and provided her with the information.

Small Games of Chance License – Mary asked Matt Smith if he or Bob have an answer to the possibility of using PCCC license.  Matt will check.  Linda Britcher is also checking if we can use The Pub Ball teams’ license.

Jack Conrad suggested hosting a bus trip to raise funds. Susquehanna Greenway Tour?? 

Mary will inquire if the Fire Company is willing to expand their Chicken BBQ to longer hours and if they can add hot dogs and hamburgers.  

Matt Smith and Bob Peiffer will check if PCCC is still willing to prepare and sell hot dogs, hamburgers and/or pork dinners and if the Advisory Committee will need to provide funds before the event. 

Committee Administration 
Mary stated the importance of reading emails.  So please watch for emails from trailangelmary with the title line beginning with DATC. She also reviewed the importance of keeping the google document LOG VOLUNTEER HOURS up to date.

If any items are missing from these minutes please inform Mary Parry at 


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Selects Community Ambassadors For Pennsylvania

Trailhead near PA-11/15, Photo by Paul Zeph
Last month we reported that Duncannon A.T. Community Advisory Committee member and Arts & Entertainment Chair, Paul Smith, was appointed A.T. Community Ambassador for Duncannon.  ATC just released the following announcement.  Minutes from last Thursdays monthly meeting to be posted shortly!

Boiling Springs, PA (January 12, 2012) – Christine Lauriello has been selected to serve as the volunteer ambassador to the designated Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Community of Boiling Springs, PA and Paul Smith will serve as the ambassador to Duncannon, PA. In this role, each will serve as a community liaison to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the respective local volunteer club to bolster volunteerism and stewardship of the Trail the local level.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited about building off its volunteer base by providing A.T. Ambassadors to designated A. T. Communities to help increase local stewardship of public lands and support healthy lifestyles for community citizens,” stated Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager of the ATC.

Christine Lauriello is a life long resident of Boiling Springs, and is vice president of the Cumberland Valley A.T. Club. She is president of the Friends of South Middleton Parks, Trees, and Trails, and is an avid hiker. She is married and has two children.

Paul Smith has lived in Duncannon, PA for four years and has lived in the area since 1984.  Paul is a valuable asset to the Mountain Club of Maryland, the Susquehanna A.T. Club and the A.T. Community of Duncannon. He is serving as the chair for the entertainment committee of the Duncannon A.T. Community designation ceremony scheduled for June 2, 2012.  He enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, gardening, and planting trees.

The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the A.T.  Towns, counties, and communities along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with local initiatives such as sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T. The A.T. Community Ambassador opportunity is the first of its kind within the A.T. cooperative management partnership.

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is approximately 2,185 miles in length, ranging from Maine to Georgia, making it one of the longest, continuously marked footpath in the world.  Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours each year on Trail-related work and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the completion of the A.T. 

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit

Contact: Julie Judkins
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Tel: 828.254.3708 x11
Fax: 828.254.3754

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hiking up Peter's Mountain

The views from Peters Mountain in the winter are spectacular!  Get a new view of Duncannon and the Clarks Ferry Bridge from above by taking a hike up Peters Mountain.  It's 1.5 miles from the Trailhead at the Park & Ride area off PA-322 up to the top of the ridge, a few miles further is the Clarks Ferry Shelter and if you're feeling real ambitions you can do the whole 6.3 mile segment from PA-322 to PA-225!  Check out photos below.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Graphics Committee creates "Scavenger Hunt" Cards for Hikers

The DATC Graphics Committee headed up by Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club member, Susan Norris, has been churning out sharp and professional graphics for the upcoming designation event on June 2nd, 2012 - the latest is a "Scavenger Hunt" card for youths participating in morning hikes so they can spot different flora and fauna along the trail.  Take that, Nature Deficit Disorder!   Stay tuned for an event flier and web site currently being finalized.

In other updates, be sure to attend the upcoming DATC monthly meeting on Thurs., January 12th at 6:30pm at the Borough Office on N. High St. and remember to get those participation commitment forms into Trailangel Mary by January 10th!  Having the schedule and participating organizations firmed up will help greatly with press releases in advance of the event.

And in other, other news - did you know Duncannon's New Years Eve "Sled Drop" was featured in Travel and Leisure magazine??  Check out the article here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Susquehanna Greenway interpretive panels installed!

Trailangel Mary just sent over these great shots of Sled Drop revelers checking out the newly installed Susquehanna Greenway Rivertown interpretive panels in the Old Sledworks parking lot on New Years Eve!  Looks like the celebration had a great turn-out.  Panels for the Appalachian Trail and the Pittsburgh-to-Harrisburg Main Line Canal Greenway will follow this coming Spring.

Head down to Old Sledworks and check them out if you haven't already!

From SGP's web site: " Interpretation emphasizes the preservation and conservation of the Susquehanna's many diverse natural and cultural resources, and historic communities and increases pride in the community and ownership of its resources."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year! Views from a Duncannon to Rt 850 A.T. Hike

For hike details on the Duncannon to Rt. 850 route, check out the "Featured Hike" on Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club's Maps and Trail Resources Page.

View from Cove Mountain back towards Susquehanna Water Gaps