Bowmanstown council hears benefits of D&L
A member of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor organization spoke to the Bowmanstown Borough Council Monday night about the economic and social benefits of promoting outdoor activity in the borough.
Brian Green said the D & L serves as a guide to communities to show them how outdoor assets, such as trails, are a positive investment. The group works with the community’s steering committee to look into what they have and how they can make it better for the residents and visitors.
“Fifty-six percent of Pennsylvania residents participate in outdoor recreation each year,” Green referring to a flier he gave the council members and audience. “We want Bowmanstown to fully benefit from that.”
According to the flier, outdoor recreation generates $29.1 billion in consumer spending in Pennsylvania annually. It also creates 251,000 jobs, and $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue. In fact, Pennsylvania is the fifth largest recreation revenue producing state in the country, Green said.
Bowmanstown Mayor Zachary Snyder said the borough doesn’t have many businesses in it, so he wanted to know it would financial benefit the community.
“The most important benefit is the quality of life,” Green said, but there is financial benefit, too.
Once an area becomes known for its outdoor opportunities, entrepreneurial people find their way to that location with business ideas that fit the activity, he said.
“They’re driving right through your community. We’d love to have you have a little bit of that money stay here with you,” Green said.
Council member Kara Scott said the Bowmanstown Area Residents Connected organization would work with the D & L as a steering committee. The organization created the Little Library and is pursuing grant money to pay for a mural at the dog park.
“This opens a lot of doors,” Scott said. “The increase in the quality of life is something that is really important. This creates an atmosphere that makes people want to come here.”
Green said his organization meets with the steering committee for a pre-planning meeting, then they hold a public meeting to discuss the ideas. They make a work plan, and help to provide funding through grants.
Council member Barbara Eastland asked him where they get their funding. To which Green said some of the funds come through state and federal sources such as the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The grants are usually around $1,000.
“We are bringing that money back to Bowmanstown,” he said.
The Bowmanstown Area Residents Connected organization meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the municipal building. Residents are welcome to attend and bring their ideas.