Friday, May 15, 2020

EPA Awards Community Revitalization, Local Food Economy Assistance To Harrisburg, Johnstown

On May 15, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service announced Harrisburg and Johnstown were among 16 communities nationwide receiving assistance to boost economic opportunities for their local farmers, while promoting clean air, safe water, open space and healthy food choices.
The Redevelopment Authority of the city of Harrisburg is pursuing a recommendation from its EPA brownfields area-wide plan to introduce a food accelerator on a former brownfield site to educate the community about urban food solutions, provide culinary job training, and better connect stores and restaurants to local growers.
As part of the development of both local food and green infrastructure strategies in Johnstown, Vision Together 2025 seeks to improve the post-steel manufacturing economy of the city by repurposing the historic downtown train station into a healthy food and transit hub that includes a farmers market and culinary institute, initiating an urban agriculture pilot on a vacant downtown lot, and proceeding with an “Iron-to-Arts” corridor trail system and complete streets plan to better connect downtown assets. 
The assistance is provided through the Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) program, a federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in existing neighborhoods and improve quality of life through the sustainable development of their local food economy.
“The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Harrisburg is extremely honored to be a recipient of the Local Food and Local Places Technical Assistance award,” said George Payne, Projects Director for the Redevelopment Authority. “This resource will help a network of local urban produce developers, regional fresh food suppliers and community-based food outlets plan how best to circulate fresh food and produce especially in the South Allison Hill district of Harrisburg where this community based project is located.”
“It is encouraging and rewarding to observe how partnership efforts like Local Foods, Local Places can inspire community-driven efforts in Harrisburg to protect air and water quality, preserve open space and farmland,” said EPA’s Mid Atlantic Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “This project will also boost economic opportunities in central Pennsylvania for local farmers and businesses, improve access to healthy local food, and promote childhood wellness.”
The selected communities will get access to a team of federal, state, and regional agricultural, environmental, public health, architectural and economic development experts to help develop an action plan, set goals, and identify local assets that can support the local food economy and contribute to downtown and neighborhood revitalization.
Click Here for more information on LFLP, and a complete list of project summaries.
[Posted: May 15, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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