Danville Receives River Town Designation

Danville, PA – On Friday, September 8, 2017 the Borough of Danville received official designation as a Susquehanna Greenway River Town at a ceremony held at the community’s Riverfront Park.

Executive Director of the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership (SGP), Gail Kulp, presented the designation to representatives of Danville in recognition of their continued efforts to advance sustainable economic development connected to the North Branch Susquehanna River.

“The Borough of Danville, Montour Area Recreation Commission (MARC), Danville Business Alliance and other local partners have been working together to make and promote Danville as a great place to live, work and play,” said MARC Director, Bob Stoudt. “Our community’s identity has always been closely linked to the North Branch Susquehanna River and we look forward to working with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership to create new ways for the Danville community to interact with the river.” 

The Susquehanna Greenway River Towns program works within communities throughout the Susquehanna Greenway to envision, prioritize, and implement community-led projects that reconnect residents back to the Susquehanna River, create trails and river accesses, and interpret the community’s natural and cultural assets. It is based on four principles: 1) Respect and work with the nature of the river; 2) Strengthen connections with the River; 3) Involve a broad base of people with the River and their River Town; 4) Foster sustainable economic development. 

“Through our River Towns program we develop an understanding of how the community envisions their future,” said Kulp. “Then we work with their River Town team to build their capacity to design, construct and sustain parks, trails, and other greening projects that make their communities more attractive places to live and work.”

Danville is noted for its iron heritage, made possible by nearby ore deposits and the vast water resources needed for manufacturing and transporting goods to market. Today the community is known as the home of Geisinger Health Systems and for promoting healthy living through outdoor recreation.

The J. Manley Robbins Trail, a former rail corridor used for carrying iron ore to furnaces, was converted to a bicycle path in the 1890s, making it the oldest “Rails to Trails” corridor in the country. The towpath for the former North Branch Canal is currently being converted to a trail that will connect Danville to Catawissa in 2018. Danville’s levees will be raised in the next two years and paved trails are being planned on top of the levees.

An essential element to the success of the River Town program is having engaged volunteers and civic leaders with the community. To get involved with Danville’s River Town Team, please contact:  Bob Stout at (570) 336-2060 rstoudt@montourrec.com

Photo caption (from left to right)

Trevor Finn (Montour County Commissioner), Tom Forrestal (Merck Cherokee Pharmaceuticals Plant Manager / Danville Business Alliance Board of Directors), Matt Beltz (Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce), Ed A’Zary (Danville Borough Council), John Rodman (Danville Borough Council / Danville Business Alliance Board of Directors), Trish Carothers (Susquehanna Greenway Partnership), Jamie Shrawder (Danville Borough Director of Governmental Affairs), Ken Holdren (Montour County Commissioner), Gail Kulp (Susquehanna Greenway Partnership), Bob Stoudt (Montour Area Recreation Commission Director), Lauren Stoudt, David ‘Otto’ Kurecian (Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau Executive Director), Dan Hartman (Montour County Commissioner), Ben Stoudt and Brian Stoudt.