Oh, The Places We Went!
Oh, the Places We Went!
Dr. Seuss’s classic book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” is an enduring tribute to life’s ups and downs, something we’re all dealing with during the current world pandemic. When the histories of this time are written, many will note that “the Places We Went” during COVID-19 were our parks, preserves, and trails – sites of beauty, respite, inspiration, and health. While the influx of visitors to some of our best nature spots has required advisories about overuse and social distancing, we are fortunate to have many local outdoor options in which to take solace. No doubt our youth value this nature-seeking, will remember it, and perhaps pursue a career in parks and conservation – a noble cause, now more than ever.
We need these new nature activists, since outdoor places don’t happen by accident. These places are here for us now thanks to the vision, planning, and investment of dedicated public and non-profit partners over many years. Susquehanna National Heritage Area is proud to have helped advance many regional conservation efforts through the past two decades, especially along the Susquehanna River. We did it with outstanding partners – agencies and organizations like the National Park Service; PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources; Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority; Lancaster Conservancy; The Conservation Fund; Farm & Natural Lands Trust; Lancaster and York County Planning Commissions and Parks Departments; Columbia Borough; and many other local municipalities. Together, we’ve successfully advocated for greater land preservation, more recreational opportunities, and better heritage and outdoor experiences in this place we call the Susquehanna.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that during life’s most stressful times, we need nature and we need the river. We need its history, its scenic views, its hiking and biking trails, its green trees, and its wildflowers. Many of us have always known its importance, but it’s gratifying to know everyone else needs it too. The embrace of nature in this challenging time validates all the projects, initiatives, and programs that so many have worked so long and so hard to create. With our partners, we will continue to be here for our community, helping to save, improve, and share our region’s rich history and special outdoor places for the benefit of current and future generations. Stay safe out there!
Mark Platts, President
Susquehanna National Heritage Area
Partners Make Places Better
We’ve all become more grateful for outdoor recreation spaces since the global pandemic shuttered our favorite restaurants, businesses, and community spaces. Maybe you’ve never visited these trails before, or you’ve just recently realized their true value. Outdoor recreation spaces, natural habitats, preserves, and trails have been expanding along the Susquehanna for over two decades.
At Susquehanna NHA, we work with great organizations to grow outdoor recreation opportunities and preserve our natural and cultural heritage. We want to share with you their great contributions to our National Heritage Area. Partners bring funding support, unique talents, and a collaborative passion for the river.
Over the next few months, SNHA will be sharing Partner Features to highlight the local, state, and national partners who have made our National Heritage Area a more beautiful, and unique place to live and visit.
Here are just some of SNHA’s projects made possible with our great partners over the years:
• Developing the Susquehanna as a National Destination for Heritage & Outdoor Tourism
• Zimmerman Center Enhancement Project Designed, Funded, and Completed
• Veterans Memorial Bridge Lighting Project Funded & Completed
• Susquehanna Riverlands Tourism Development Group Launched
• New Maps, Guides, & Website Developed for Susquehanna Riverlands & NW River Trail
• Zimmerman Center Designated as Official NPS Visitor Contact & Passport Station for John Smith Chesapeake NHT
• Launched NPS Every Kid Outdoors Field Trips for Local 4th Graders with 1500+ Junior Rangers Sworn In
• Managing Columbia Crossing River Trails Center as a Visitor Gateway to the River and Community Place with Programs for Kids & Families
• Hosting Annual Canoemobile Event for Local 5th Graders with 600+ paddlers in 2019
• Co-Lead for Columbia River Park Master Planning Process
• Launched River Discovery Boat Tours