Lehigh Parkway is being honored as a 2021 Great Greenway/Trail in Pennsylvania.
The designation comes from The Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-PA) through its Great Places in PA Program.
Eight nominations from greenways/trails, public spaces and streets made the grade, bringing the total number of Great Places in PA to 46.
The Parkway is a 542-acre linear greenway along the Little Lehigh Creek in Allentown and Salisbury Township providing numerous amenities for residents. It contains more than six miles of trails and offers picnicking areas, a disc golf course and fishing opportunities.
“We are very proud of the city’s parks and recreation facilities and are honored to be recognized,” said Mayor Ray O’Connell. “Lehigh Parkway is among the most visited spots in the city for races and walks. It is the place to go for many families and of course is the site of the city’s popular Lights in the Parkway holiday lights display.”
“Great Places have a sustainable vision for the future and serve as a model for other communities,” said Pamela Shellenberger, Chair of the Great Places in Pennsylvania Program. “Having high quality examples of successful planning efforts throughout the Commonwealth to share and promote helps to achieve the Chapter’s mission and vision.”
“Lehigh Parkway is a beautiful and serene oasis amongst the hustle and bustle of the city,” said Karen El-Chaar, Allentown Parks and Recreation Director. “Whether a runner, dog walker, equestrian or someone who loves historic sites, this park has something for everyone. And to be recognized by APA-PA is a great honor indeed.”
Lehigh Parkway is also home to Bogert’s Bridge. Built in 1841-42, Bogert’s Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Allentown. Funds are being raised for the estimated $2 million cost of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Over the years, the bridge has survived fire and floods and a bad truck accident in the late 1940s. It has been the property of the city since 1964 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
More information on the Great Places in PA Program is available at www.planningpa.org.