Lewisburg, PA's Picnic in the Park
Jul 24, 2019 10:58AM
By Erica Shames
Lewisburg River Town Team is changing things up a bit this year with the Picnic
in the Park. Rather than spring or fall, we’re going with late summer, Sunday,
August 18 to be precise. It will be more like a welcome to the neighborhood for
all the people who move to the area before the school year starts. And rather
than having it by the river bridge, this time it will take place by the St
George St Boat Ramp in the small Borough Park recently christened Lewisburg
Landing. We’re even adjusting the time a
bit to reflect the midsummer timeframe, so the picnic will run from 6 to
If you’re familiar with the Lewisburg Landing site, you may find it looks a little bit different this year. Along with the new name, there are other changes afoot. The park improvements include a suite of modest upgrades made possible by support from the Lindig Lewisburg Foundation Fund through the First Community Foundation of Pennsylvania in combination with in-kind labor from the Borough of Lewisburg and the Lewisburg River Town Team, community donations provided by the Lewisburg Neighborhoods Corporation, and donations from Bucknell University and the Sea Tow Foundation.
The improvements include the establishment of no mow areas in the park for conservation and native tree plantings. In addition the park is getting a welcome sign and some educational signs about conservation practices. Plus at the Picnic we will also introduce a public picnic table, hammock, and boat rack. That last will be equipped with some canoes and kayaks as well as loaner PFDs (personal flotation devices aka life vests).
The canoes and kayaks are being provided by the Lewisburg River Town Team and can be borrowed for quick jaunts on the river. Anyone wishing to get access to the boats will need to contact the Lewisburg Neighborhoods Corporation office, make a small annual contribution ($15 or two hours of volunteer time), attend a safety briefing, and sign a liability waiver. The boats are intended mostly for brief out and back outings from the landing. People borrowing them should assume there will be some upstream paddling required. It is also possible to borrow the boats for longer point-to-point outings, but the borrower will be responsible for getting the boat back to Lewisburg and will have to make arrangements to transport it on the upstream leg. Anyone wishing to do that should contact the LNC office so we have some idea of the boats’ whereabouts.
The Lewisburg River Town Team works to improve the community’s connection to the river both physically and culturally. The goal of having the loaner equipment available is to make it easier for residents to access the river. Even those who own their own boats may find it a bit of a hassle to wrangle them down to the landing for just a short paddle. Or they may want to bring a friend along but not have an additional boat for them. This arrangement should lower the bar and make it less of an effort to decide to go out for a paddle before sunset on a weeknight or a misty morning before the rest of your weekend plans kick in.
We hope people will take advantage of it to poke around just upstream, get familiar with the remains of the historic slackwater dam, the undersides of the Market St and RR river bridges and the various islands near the mouth of Buffalo Creek. It is often very feasible to paddle upstream in our area, but it will take getting more familiar with the river, which is part of our stated goal. People should learn to check the river gauge for depth and flow information. They should also remember rules of thumb about temperature: wear a wet or dry suit when the combination of the air and water temperatures is less than 100 degrees. We would love it if more people started realizing the great exercise to be had from paddling with all the upstream workouts this will enable.
If you have a boat you would like to be able to keep closer to the river but you don’t want others to have the combination to access it, you can also rent space on the rack ($15 per month or $45 for the season, May through September). Proceeds from this and other contributions will go to covering regular annual expenses like boat registrations.
For those not inclined to paddle (or at least not upstream), the Lewisburg River Town Team hopes you will come and enjoy Lewisburg Landing in other ways. The picnic table, hammock, and signage (both informational and educational) should prove more inviting than the past incarnations of the site. Check the LNC website for more info, if needed: www.LewisburgNeighborhoods.org/picnic-in-the-park