‘Great Places’ award affirms value, potential of waterfront

Recently, the City of Lock Haven and Woodward Township were jointly honored for being named one of the “2018 Great Places in Pennsylvania” by the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (AIP).

The award from this national organization of professional planners recognizes the local municipalities’ combined, waterfront public infrastructure, born from the earth and concrete levee when it was built in the early 1990s to mitigate the constant threat of flooding from the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

As we understand it, representatives from the city, township and others will formally recognize receipt of this award during the Lock Haven Area Jaycees’s 48th annual Labor Day Regatta Sept. 1-3, and that representatives of AIP will be here.

For the record, let’s list the features of the city-township waterfront here to remind us all of just what we have:

In the city:

– An about two-mile Riverwalk on top of and along the levee along the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

– A public swimming beach and restroom.

– A pavilion overlooking the river on top of the levee.

– A 2,500-seat amphitheatre facing the river.

– A floating stage facing the amphitheatre.

– Multiple access points to the levee, with parking, for walking (this should not be overlooked).

– Pending installation of a public boat dock just upstream from the floating stage.

In the township:

– A large, public parking lot with public restrooms, adjacent to a smaller parking lot and ground for festivals.

– A two-bay, LED-lit public boat launch with concrete piers, and plans for new bumpers.

– A near 15-acre public park (Riverview).

– A half-mile, looped and paved walkway with solar-powered lights.

– Three large pavilions for public rental.

– Multiple small, covered picnic tables along the walkway.

– A children’s playground.

– Multiple benches for sitting and taking it all in.

– A large field for sitting in the grass, playing ball or throwing frisbee.

– New, solar-powered lights lining the half-mile, paved walkway at Riverview Park.

Let’s not forget that PennDOT says it will undertake construction of a walkway to connect Riverview Park to the Jay Street-Veterans Memorial Bridge that spans the river, and thus essentially would link the levee walkway to the park. How cool.

This award is the perfect catalyst to strenghthen the two municipalities’ partnership to maintain, improve and promote the waterfront amenities.

No, we’re not talking about either telling the other what to do.

We’re talking about … well, just talking.

Connecting the dots.

That is happening, by the way, with the township hosting two musical performances recently as part of the Lock Haven Free Summer Concert Series due to high water.

What more can be done … or discussed?

Working together, pride in these waterfront assets will only grow, more visitors will see just what’s here, and perhaps … just maybe … it will help convince more people that this hamlet within the mountains of Central Pennsylvania is a great place to live and raise a family.