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04/25/2019

Wolf Administration Tours Potential Trail Site in Luzerne County, Tells How Restore Pennsylvania Could Address Infrastructure Needs

Laurel Run, Luzerne County, PA -- Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Sen. John Yudichak joined local officials visiting a proposed section of Delaware & Lehigh (D&L) Trail that would connect Laurel Run Borough and the City of Wilkes-Barre. The group discussed how the Restore Pennsylvania proposal could help address such green infrastructure needs in the state.

"DCNR is supportive of closing major existing trail gaps, and bringing the joy of hiking, biking, and walking close to people's homes," Dunn said. "Restore Pennsylvania would supply this department with needed funds to address green infrastructure needs at various sites throughout the commonwealth."

Restore Pennsylvania is a statewide plan to aggressively address the commonwealth's vital infrastructure needs. Funded through a commonsense severance tax, Restore Pennsylvania is the only plan that will help make Pennsylvania a leader in the 21st century. 

"Governor Wolf's Restore Pennsylvania plan recognizes heritage tourism as an enormous economic driver in northeastern Pennsylvania, creating jobs and improving lives along our historic trails and museums," said Sen. Yudichak. "Closing significant trail gaps on the Delaware & Lehigh Trail is only achievable through new funds from Restore Pennsylvania and represents a strategic investment in connecting Pennsylvanians to their rich history, while paving the way toward a brighter economic future."

Over the past 10 years, DCNR has awarded approximately $2.9 million in grant funds to help acquire, plan, design, and build more than 22 miles of the D&L Trail. With a strong presence in every community along its 165-mile path, the trail and its easily accessible trailheads draw active support from its daily users.

"Outdoor recreation generates $29.1 billion in annual consumer spending, 251,000 direct jobs, and $1.9 billion in Pennsylvania state and local taxes," D&L Executive Director Elissa Garofalo said. "The Restore Pennsylvania initiative would help complete the 165-mile D&L Trail into the City of Wilkes-Barre and transform the vital infrastructure needed to deliver a significant catalyst to the regional economy."

From Pinchot State Forest in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, the D&L Trail is designed to take travelers south through the Lehigh Valley and into Bucks County, all the while achieving the stated goal of "connecting people to places."

In 2012, an economic impact analysis completed by the Rails to Trails Conservancy estimated the total user-spending generated because of the D&L Trail at over $19 million annually.

When completed, the D&L Trail will be the longest multi-use trail in Pennsylvania.

To learn more, view the full Restore Pennsylvania plan (PDF).

For details visit the D&L Trail website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Terry Brady, 717-705-2225

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