How it Works
The overall objective of the River Town Program is to provide an efficient, effective, regionally-based resource to help local communities recognize the river as a potential economic and community asset, and thus a resource worthy of protection. The goal of this initiative is to improve the vitality, stability, sustainability and prosperity of communities, businesses and neighborhoods in currently distressed regions; to introduce the concepts of outdoor recreational market growth, sustainable development, conservation, and environmental sustainability; and to position these communities to attract new businesses and jobs to the area.
The River Town Program has a regional-based focus and is most effective when working in multiple communities simultaneously. This is a program based on connecting municipalities to the growing outdoor recreational market as well as to one another in a regional effort. Working together, communities bordering a navigable and recreational river and close to longer distance bike trails, will have the greatest potential to capitalize on this program. The program has assisted communities along the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers in Pennsylvania and West Virginia; in four towns near the Schuylkill River and Schuylkill River Trail in eastern Pennsylvania and communities located within the French Creek watershed.
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- Economic growth based on outdoor recreational services and businesses.
- Community engagement that connects residents with healthy leisure activities through outdoor recreation.
- Well-maintained business districts that offer needed goods, services and jobs and demonstrate continuous community reinvestment.
- Safe, clean, “green” and well-maintained communities that demonstrate continuous community re-investment.
- Effective, well-maintained and well-managed community infrastructure and resources.
- Economically and socially desirable land uses that support strong, vital, and healthy business growth, stability, expansion and turnover.
- Strong healthy communities based on a sound institutional foundation that supports strategic decision-making, informed action and continuous and lasting reinvestment.