From a competitive pool of nationwide applicants, the Safe Routes Partnership has selected Downtown Bellefonte Inc. to join Safe Routes to Parks Pennsylvania Activating Communities, a technical assistance program focused on improving safe and equitable local park access. As part of the program, Bellefonte, PA will be among four diverse communities based in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to receive training and coaching from the Safe Routes Partnership to develop an action plan for improving active travel to local parks and green spaces and implement early actions from the plan.
Safe Routes to Parks initiatives work to improve safety and security for people walking, bicycling, and rolling to parks and green spaces. This need is especially pronounced in neighborhoods and communities lacking infrastructure to support safe walking and bicycling; where violence and crime are prevalent; and where high rates of weight-related chronic disease are prevalent.
In Bellefonte, the parks that have been selected are Talleyrand Park and Masullo Park. Downtown Bellefonte Inc. was motivated by the need to connect people from nearby residential areas to the underutilized green spaces that lie along Spring Creek. This project will also help to connect people to businesses such as shops and restaurants nearby the parks, which is a significant economic driver for the town. Lastly, this initiative will increase accessibility so that community members and visitors with limited mobility have an equal opportunity to experience Bellefonte’s beautiful outdoor assets.
“Trails, rivers and parks create vibrant towns and contribute to economic prosperity while embracing opportunities to further connect with nature”
- Jennilyn Schuster
Main Street Manager, Jennilyn Schuster says, “Trails, rivers and parks create vibrant towns and contribute to economic prosperity while embracing opportunities to further connect with nature.”
The Safe Routes to Parks Pennsylvania Activating Communities program aims to remove barriers that make it challenging for people to enjoy the physical, social, and mental health benefits that parks offer and proactively work toward ensuring safe, secure access to parks and open spaces. Over the long term, with increased safety and accessibility, Safe Routes to Parks seeks to increase park usage and improve health for people of all ages, races, abilities, and income levels.
“We are excited to work with the Safe Walks to Parks team! This project will enhance the natural beauty of Talleyrand Park and its surrounding areas, creating a better connected, more accessible and safer place for everyone.” shares Kathryn Spielvogel who leads many economic development efforts in Bellefonte.
About Downtown Bellefonte Inc.
Downtown Bellefonte Inc. (DBI) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping business arrive and thrive in 21st Century Bellefonte while preserving, protecting and utilizing Bellefonte’s historic architecture and heritage, and organizing town-wide initiatives that invite residents and visitors alike to discover all the Bellefonte has to offer.
About the Safe Routes Partnership
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership advances safe walking and bicycling to and from schools, to improve the health and wellbeing of kids of all races, income levels and abilities, and to foster the creation of healthy communities for everyone. For more information, please visit saferoutespartnership.org.