Newsletter

The Belt  –  February 2016
Save the Date
Tour de Belt is Sunday, June 5
Volunteers Needed to Help with Tour de Belt Planning, Promotion
by Becky Schuchert and Marcia Nye
The Tour de Belt committee needs your help with the following tasks prior to Tour day:

  • Contacting sponsors
  • Publicity
  • Preparing mailings
  • Distributing brochures and posting flyers

If you can pitch in to help with any of these tasks, please contact Becky at bschuch@epix.net or Marcia at minye@hotmail.com. Thanks!

Winter Break for Andrea Avenue Extension Project
by Charles Palenz
After a very busy and productive fall and early winter, the maintenance crew completed about 80 percent of the new extension on Andrea Avenue. Winter settled in for February, so the crew is waiting for warmer and drier weather to tackle the remaining grooming and chipping and laying of limestone dust. The crew will also install a new gate. The photo above was taken February 4th. The Andrea “valley” stays cooler than the higher ground, and the snow doesn’t melt as quickly. Even though the trees are bare, the branches reduce the warming (and melting) effect of the sunlight quite dramatically.
Greenbelt Capital Improvement Grants Update
by Mike KrempaskyBuilding a Better Greenbelt – Signs, Safety and a Riverfront Link to Fort Hunter
We are making slow but steady progress to get all the approvals to build the safety improvements and the Fort Hunter Trail as recommended in our plan. Dauphin County Commissioners and their Parks and Recreation Director, Carl Dickson, continue to be wonderful and supportive partners, applying for and administering a series of grants totaling about $3.8 million to design and construct the improvements. The Safety Improvements will include pedestrian activated flashing cross signals at five locations, improved pedestrian signals at two existing signals, and a separate 10-foot trail protected by a concrete barrier at the Linglestown Road Railroad Bridge and along Industrial Road. The Fort Hunter Trail will connect the Fort to Wildwood Lake via a new trail from Kaby Street, which will be routed under the Linglestown Road RR Bridge, then along the north side of Linglestown Road and then north for 1 mile on the Riverfront side of North Front Street. We are working with each of the municipalities involved – Harrisburg, Swatara Township, and Susquehanna Township – and PennDOT to ensure all these improvements meet standards, and will be maintained after construction. As of this writing, PennDot has projected that the Safety Improvements will be bid in January 2017 and the Fort Hunter Trail will be bid in April 2017.  More information about the project is at www.caga.org.County is Awarded Grant for Additional Greenbelt Improvements
In January, the Pennsylvania DCNR awarded Dauphin County Parks and Recreation an additional $480,000 grant for paving and repaving several sections of the Greenbelt. The sections slated for improvement are: 1) The county-owned section between PA 441 and Paxton Street near the Five Senses Garden; 2) the stone trail near the Rutherford House and the Spring House; 3) The city-owned .6 mile section along Cameron Street, which the city permanently protected as public parkland last spring; and, 4) the section along Riverfront at the PennDOT Building, owned by the Dauphin County General Authority, where a permanent easement is being negotiated between the county and the authority. This grant has not only helped to facilitate these changes in the protection status of the trail, but also will provide a more permanent, improved surface that will make the trail more inviting and more accessible to our growing number of users.Harrisburg Seeks Funding to Improve Lower Level Walkway in Riverfront Park
In January, City Engineer Wayne Martin, led the effort to apply for $1 million from the Federal Transportation Alternatives Program to fund a major resurfacing of the trail along the river. The city will also be seeking additional funding from DCNR this year so that the entire length of the lower level can be resurfaced. This walkway is about 100 years old and has been damaged and undermined by countless floods and high water events over the years. It’s an area that is often avoided by bicyclists, because of the very rough surface. Last year, Wayne was able to use some federal flood disaster funding to remove and reconstruct the lower walkway surface in Shipoke and the result is very dramatic. Check it out when you can.

Proposed Extension of Riverfront Park Greenbelt Trail North
This year Dauphin County and the Greenbelt Association will partner to seek support and funding to design a 2-mile extension of the Greenbelt Trail along Riverfront from Vaughn Street to Linglestown Road. If this section could be constructed, it would result in a complete and continuous 7.5 mile Riverfront Greenbelt Trail from Paxton Creek in South Harrisburg to Fort Hunter. Total cost of the project is estimated at approximately $3.5 million.

For more info on these grants or proposed improvements, email Mike Krempasky at mike.krempasky@comcast.net.

Help Wanted 
CAGA needs you! Several volunteer opportunities are available as follow:Volunteer Coordinator
Respond to inquiries from individual and groups seeking volunteer opportunities on the Greenbelt. Determine interests, capabilities, and availability of the volunteers. Coordinate volunteers with project and crew leaders. Communicate the association’s volunteer needs to members and the public in available forums.Project Leaders
Identify and define projects to enhance and maintain the Greenbelt. Plan, and coordinate with volunteer groups to complete projects. Project management skills and natural landscaping knowledge would be helpful, but not essential.Grant Writers
Identify grant opportunities to enhance and maintain the Greenbelt. Develop grant applications for government and nonprofit foundation grant opportunities. Experience in government and conservation would be helpful. Narrative writing skills and grant application knowledge are essential.

Native Plant Gardeners
Assume responsibility for a specific area, garden or meadow. Propagate native species and remove invasive species. Work independently or coordinate small volunteer groups. The ability to identify native and invasive species is essential.

Contact Scott Shepler at scottshepler2207@gmail.com if you can help with any of these opportunities. Thanks!

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, March 16
CAGA Board Meeting, 6:30 pm, Giant Food Store, 2300 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA. www.caga.org.

Saturday, March 19
Regional Bike Summit – Making Cycling Safer. Sponsored by Bicycle South Central PA, 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Quality Bike Products East, 2501 Noll Drive. Lancaster, PA 17603. The summit will bring together people involved in all aspects of bicycling to explore ways to work together to make bicycling safer and more popular.  We’ll look at safety education, tourism, advocacy, biking events, bike infrastructure planning, trail building, partnerships and much more.  The summit features important state and national presenters, including Alex Doty, executive director of the League of American Bicyclists, Roy Gothie, PennDOT’s statewide Bike/Ped coordinator and Anthony Duncan, Mid-Atlantic regional director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Transportation experts will serve as panelists to present important information and answer questions and there will be opportunities to network with people running successful programs and to share information about what’s happening in the region. Registration is $10 per person. The agenda and registration form are at http://www.bicyclesouthcentralpa.org/images/documents/Invitation_to_attend.pdf.

Saturday, April 30
Wildwood Wetlands Festival at Wildwood Park, Industrial Road, Harrisburg. Celebrate Wildwood Park’s treasured wetlands with a day of free, fun, and educational activities. Visit http://www.wildwoodlake.org/events/ for more information.

Friday, May 20
Spoke ‘n Gear Bicycle Expo, Soldier’s & Sailor’s Grove (Commonwealth Ave), Harrisburg, from 9 am to 3 pm.

 

The Greenbelt is supported and maintained through a cooperative effort between several local municipalities, state and federal agencies, and many neighboring residents and those concerned about preservation of community green space.

The Capital Area Greenbelt Association was formed as an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to act as a liaison between all concerned parties, and to organize and plan the continued stewardship of the Capital Area Greenbelt trail. CAGA was formed on the premise that users of public lands can and should accept some responsibility for taking care of “their” lands, and this can best be accomplished by organizing volunteers to form long term partnerships with government land managing agencies.

Copyright © 2016 Capital Area Greenbelt Association, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Capital Area Greenbelt Association

PO Box 14505

HarrisburgPA  17105