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Susquehanna Life

In The Summer - 2016 Issue

Jun 08, 2016 05:59PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Dear Readers,

We take our region for granted. And this inability to recognize, appreciate and utilize our natural resources holds us back.

Fact is, we live among some of the country’s most unspoiled beauty: picturesque forests, water features, state parks and mountains! What’s preventing us from harnessing their economic power?

Look at the thriving communities around the country—Austin, Portland, Asheville, for example. What do they have in common? Is it well-paying jobs? In fact, competition for jobs is fierce. Is it a low cost of living? Some of these cities are among the most expensive in the country. What do they offer? Quality of life.

Here’s the thing: We have quality of life.

Central Pennsylvania has low crime rates, high-quality education, friendly people, and livable, affordable communities. And we have the outdoors—lots of open spaces ripe for exploring on bike, foot, skis, snowshoes and with rod and reel, binoculars and photographic equipment.   

Why not harness our region’s natural assets to boost economic development, a growing body of people asks?

Instead of rallying behind the notion that we must build “it” to incentivize people to come, it makes far more sense to use our strengths—the birds, the bees, the flowers and the trees, as Armstrong Township Supervisor Jim Dunn labels it—to fill hotel rooms and convince millennials this is a desirable and worthwhile place to live.  

Plans for just one of those natural resources, the Ridge Trail in Clinton and Lycoming counties, have been drawn up and are sitting on a shelf, awaiting funding. We explore this gem on this page of this issue. Look for more dream schemes to be revealed in future issues.

Already, some from outside the region recognize the trail’s potential and organized mountain bike races and events on the Ridge Trail and its connecting spurs, attracting people from all over the nation and the world to partake! More plans and events are in the works.

What will it take for those in positions of power and with funding authority to recognize, embrace and leverage the assets that make this region unique, livable and sustainable?

If you feel strongly about this issue, make your wishes known to your municipal leaders.

Best wishes for a summer filled with the outdoors,

Erica L. Shames

Founder & Publisher

By The Book Summer 2016 - Jun 03 2016 0548PM

By The Book [Summer 2016]

Browse these book recommendations about the beauty of nature and more. Read More » 


Economic Development The Logic of Funding Asset-Based Initiatives - Jun 03 2016 0618PM

Economic Development: The Logic of Funding Asset-Based Initiatives

Attracting funding for recreation-minded outdoor projects remains a challenge, even as studies reveal their economic-boosting attributes. Read More » 


Workplace Issues Patient-Focused Care Employee-Centered Space - Jun 03 2016 0626PM

Workplace Issues: Patient-Focused Care, Employee-Centered Space

President and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital Kendra Aucker first planted roots at Evangelical Community Hospital in the 1990s. We had a chance to hear more about her renewed focus ... Read More » 


Cooking at Home Jenn Ks Salmon Salad - Jun 06 2016 0120PM

Cooking at Home: Jenn K’s Salmon Salad

Jenn K’s Salmon Salad recipe is quick and easy to prepare, and delicious to eat! Read More » 


Fairs  Festivals - Summer 2016 - Jun 06 2016 0148PM

Fairs & Festivals - Summer 2016

Featuring the Central PA 4thFest, the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, and more from our summer 2016 print edition. Read More » 


Natures Candy Store A Trip to a Farmers Market - Jun 06 2016 0238PM

Nature’s Candy Store: A Trip to a Farmers’ Market

The scene is reminiscent of an old- time candy store. It is a candy story of sorts—nature’s candy store, a farmers’ market. Read More » 


Whites Island by Gordon Wenzel

Tell Us Your Story: Farming Susquehanna River Islands

Jim Inch has been farming White Island, in the middle of the Susquehanna River, since the 1930s. 



Remembered in Heaven - Jun 06 2016 0337PM

Remembered in Heaven

Patrick Phillips honors the late Sybil Joyce Shames Kannry with a beautiful poem. Read More » 


Iron ore mine tour guides Robb Bomboy and Van Wagner

Life Around the River - Summer 2016

Songwriter Stephen Foster’s, “Camptown Races,” published in 1850, is known far beyond Bradford County, PA, the source of its inspiration. This and more in Life Around the River. Read More » 


Our Natural World Roll Out the Monarch Red Carpet  - Jun 06 2016 0512PM

Our Natural World: Roll Out the Monarch Red Carpet

As a result of a 20-year study charting the decline of the monarch butterfly population, a campaign to re-establish monarch habitat and population is under way. Read More » 


Fresh reishi in June sunlight

Back to Nature: Plying a Mountaintop for Fungal Currency

I was, in a sense, one of a kind—probably the first and possibly the last to ply this mountaintop for fungal currency. I was exploiting a natural tragedy: the death of a hemlock forest th... Read More » 


Outdoor Recreation Bike Ride to Spruce Run Reservoir - Jun 06 2016 0535PM

Outdoor Recreation: Bike Ride to Spruce Run Reservoir

One of the best ways to really know an area is to explore it from the seat of a bicycle. The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau has mapped several rides that combine the best of tow... Read More » 


The Return Visit statue by J Seward Johnson Jr adorns Lincoln Square  Photo by Ron Cogswell

Gettysburg: A Culinary Perspective

Gettysburg is a destination for history buffs and ghost seekers, where battlefield and haunted house tours abound. Now there’s an opportunity to savor Gettysburg, one bite at a time. Read More » 


Conowingo Dam

Environmental Impact: Reconnecting Our River

Although the Susquehanna River flows 464 miles from Cooperstown, New York, to Havre de Grace, Maryland, it is not one continuous river without interruption. Read More » 


Letters to the Editor [Summer 2016]

Readers share their thoughts on previous issues.


Web Extras

Artist Erin Ustis Brown introduced Michaels to a clay pots art program she undertook on behalf of students from Columbine High School following the 1999 massacre there

The 7 Main Forms of Aphasia and Their Characteristics

There are several varieties and severities of Aphasia; here is a review of the different forms and their characteristics, according to the National Aphasia Association. Read More » 


More With Kendra Aucker President and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital - Jun 07 2016 0204AM

More With Kendra Aucker, President and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital

A continuation of the interview with Kendra Aucker, president and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital, and her experiences and inspirations while making rounds at the hospital. Read More » 


Asset-Based Initiatives Grow Communities - Jun 07 2016 0213AM

Asset-Based Initiatives Grow Communities

In communities around the country, utilizing existing natural resources—including trails—has boosted economic development without the need to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. Read More » 


Monarch butterflies resting on milkweed during their migration

How to Create a Habitat for Monarchs

Why planting milkweed is so important, and what you can do to help preserve this beautiful species. Read More » 


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