Friday, November 17, 2017

State, Local Officials Tour Elizabethtown To Connect, Walkability, Quality Of Life, Health

State agency officials Friday joined local and Lancaster County officials on a one-mile walk in Elizabethtown to tour the borough’s efforts to improve community health by becoming more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.
Elizabethtown received a $10,000 grant through WalkWorks, a program of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health funded by the Department of Health, to help develop and adopt an Active Transportation Plan.
“It’s common knowledge that we benefit physically when we’re active,” said Acting Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. “One hour of brisk walking every day can cut a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes in half, and a daily 20-minute walk can cut the risk of dementia by 40 percent.”
Under its plan, every street that is presented for resurfacing in the annual paving program for Elizabethtown Borough is evaluated for safe, convenient, and appropriate vehicle, pedestrian, bicycle, ADA and public transportation activity.
The borough and the surrounding municipalities hope to create a network of trails that would allow for pedestrian and bicycle traffic to travel throughout the entire community.
“This effort is a great example of government that works, with funding supplied by DCNR, DCED, PennDOT, and Lancaster County to undertake planning, trail and park development, and alternative transportation,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.
Elizabethtown has adopted a Complete Streets Policy and Transportation Plan for a pedestrian and bicycle pathway network that has received investments including:
-- A total of $350,000 from the Lancaster County Urban Enhancement Fund and DCED New Communities grant programs from Market St. to the Community Center;
-- Grants totaling $1.9 million from the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project, and Federal Transportation Administration and PennDOT for a connection to the Amtrak Train Station; and
-- Funds totaling $694,743 from a Smart Growth Transportation and DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program for the pathway through Community Park to the Elizabethtown Area School District campus.
Dunn noted that an action step in the statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan is to help communities conduct walkability and bikeability assessments and seek national recognition for those efforts.
DOH and DCNR are part of 12-member interagency team currently working together to advance more walkable communities across Pennsylvania.
WalkWorks is a collaboration of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and DOH.  
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help: Control your weight; Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers; Strengthen your bones and muscles; Relieve stress and improve your mental health and mood; and Increase your chances of living longer.
Applying For Grants
For information on how to apply for DCNR grants, attend one of DCNR’s upcoming Grant Workshops or webinars in November and December.  Click Here for all the details.
For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
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