Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Executive Deputy Secretary Neil Weaver today joined the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership, Lewisburg Neighborhoods, SEDA-Council of Governments (SEDA-COG), Union County Commissioners, Lewisburg Borough officials to tour the Bull Run Greenway restoration project at Hufnagle Park. The project was made possible with assistance from state funding programs.
“Projects like this show the power of making strategic, long-term investments in our communities,” said Executive Deputy Secretary Weaver. “These multifaceted redevelopment plans bring an array of benefits to our towns and cities—improving quality of life, attracting businesses and visitors, and protecting our natural resources and environment.”
The project is being funded by grants from DCED, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and funds from Lewisburg Borough. The project received $100,000 in Greenways, Trails, and Recreation program funds, and the total cost is $1.4 million.
“The Lewisburg Downtown Partnership (LDP) is thrilled that the construction is underway on the Borough’s Mixed-Use Path/Nature Play/Floodplain restoration project,” said Ellen Ruby, Executive Director of the LDP. “Lewisburg is so fortunate already. Our combination of parks and green space areas downtown and the unique retail shops and restaurants throughout the downtown commercial district, this project will give people even more reasons to love Lewisburg.”
The Bull Run Greenway is phase one of a multi-phase project to improve Hufnagle Park, with new amenities, improved pedestrian mobility, and environmental enhancement.
The Bull Run Greenway Project includes three main objectives:
- Construct a shared use trail from Market Street to Bucknell University’s campus at South Sixth Street;
- Realign Limestone (Bull) Run to improve water quality, add flood capacity, and allow for safe approach to the water’s edge; and
- Replace a portion of Kidsburg play equipment with nature-based play areas to encourage children to explore and interact with our natural world.
“This project is one part of a larger park and stream corridor project first envisioned in 2017,” said Steven Beattie, Lewisburg Borough Community Development/Grant Manager. “We appreciate our partnership with DCED and the other partnering state agencies and look forward to future phases to continue implementation of the Lewisburg community’s vision.”
The proposed improvements will include ADA-accessible sidewalks and trails and accommodate an extension of the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail as it heads south towards Bucknell University. Additional access will be provided to new park space reclaimed from flood-prone properties and additional greenway plantings will improve wildlife habitat and increase the biodiversity while reducing the park’s dependence on chemical herbicide for vegetation control. The project will also bring a pedestrian and bike connector into close proximity to a model stream restoration project, dipping down from the street network into the expanded and reconnected floodplain.
“We are thrilled about this huge investment in Lewisburg Borough—this forward-thinking project will enable future generations of people to safely enjoy our downtown,” said Taylor Lightman, director of Lewisburg Neighborhoods.