The Lackawanna Heritage Valley National and State Heritage Area will host the 2023 Pennsylvania Greenways and Trails Summit. The event, to be held in downtown Scranton, will bring hundreds of outdoor recreation experts and enthusiasts to Lackawanna County for the education, advocacy and networking forum next September.

The Pennsylvania Greenways and Trails Summit is a joint effort led by WeConservePA and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources who select summit host sites through a competitive proposal process. This biennial event is expected to bring more than 250 trail builders, volunteers, advocates, park and recreation professionals and trail enthusiasts to the Lackawanna Valley and the county’s seat and largest city, Scranton. Participants from across the Commonwealth known for their respective trails and recreational spaces will gather for three days of mobile workshops, education sessions and networking.

Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau Sales Manager, Alexa Peregrim, and Lackawanna Heritage Valley’s Director of Operations, Owen Worozbyt, will serve as the planning committee co-chairs for the 2023 summit in Scranton and are confident that the region’s attractions will enrich next year’s gathering.

“This conference is known across Pennsylvania for providing the essential information and resources needed to build, manage and maintain trails and outdoor recreation,” said Peregrim. “We’re excited that WeConservePA and DCNR saw the value in selecting the Lackawanna Heritage Valley as next year’s summit host. We have no doubt that our region’s sites of historic, cultural and natural significance will garner plenty of enthusiasm from our conference guests.”

Since joining the Lackawanna Heritage Valley staff in 2011, Worozbyt has led efforts for the development and management of the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail System, a 70-mile trail system that connects dozens of communities across four counties and boasts more than 450,000 annual visits from residents and visitors throughout the watershed of the Lackawanna River in the heart of northeastern Pennsylvania.

“Our mission has always been celebrating our region’s proud industrious past and fostering a brighter future, particularly by building upon the many opportunities for educational exploration and outdoor recreation throughout the Lackawanna Valley,” said Worozbyt. “Bringing this statewide conference home to our part of the Commonwealth is another positive stride in showcasing our efforts to use partnerships, education and outdoor recreation to enhance the quality of life for our residents and visitors.”

The Summit is financed in part by a grant from the Federal Highway Administration’s Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. The planning committee, joined by the leadership teams of both the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority and the Lackawanna County Visitors Bureau, is also comprised of representatives from WeConservePA; the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; Pennsylvania Environmental Council; Pennsylvania Department of Transportation; North Pocono Trails Association; Lackawanna County Parks and Recreation; Lackawanna County Regional Planning Commission; City of Scranton Parks and Recreation; the University of Scranton; Countryside Conservancy; Rail-Trail Council of NEPA; Endless Mountains Heritage Region; Lackawanna River Conservation Association; and the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center.