Inspired by the drastic increase in outdoor recreation fueled by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership is offering a special outdoors Information Fair on Saturday, June 5, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Shikellamy State Park near Sunbury.
“2020 has reiterated the important role that our outdoor places play within our lives and communities," said Corey Ellison, executive director with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership. "With so many new and returning recreationalists exploring our region’s outdoor assets, we will be hosting the event to connect the public with the organizations and advocacy groups who work to maintain and promote the variety of outdoor activities and places right in our backyard.
The influx of paddlers, hikers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts sparks a need for more tools and resources to help the public plan trips and access important opportunities.
"Many organizations in the Susquehanna Valley strove to meet this need by shifting their programming and creating maps, guides and other planning tools to help the new recreating public," said Alana Jajko, director of communications and outreach for the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership. "This event will be an opportunity for the public to get to know these local partners and take advantage of the free resources offered to help jumpstart the planning of outdoor adventures in our region."
The information fair was planned on National Trails Day, an observance started by the American Hiking Society.
"Taking place on the first Saturday in June, it is a day of public events aimed at advocacy and trail service," said Jajko. "Thousands of hikers, bikers, rowers, horseback riders, trail clubs, federal and state agencies, land trusts and businesses come together in partnership to advocate for, maintain and clean up public lands and trails. This year, our group and its network of partners are looking forward to joining the initiative and raising awareness of the opportunities for outdoor recreation in the Susquehanna Valley."
Nine local organizations will be joining the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership at the information fair, including the Merrill W. Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy, Bloomsburg Children's Museum, Middle Susquehanna Riverkeeper Association, Seven Mountains Audubon, Susquehanna River Trail Association, Pennsylvania Master Naturalist Program, Roambler, The PA Wilds and the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources.
"Offerings will include information on outdoor events and activities this summer, educational opportunities for both children and adults, paddling itineraries and guides, trail maps, photo contests and so much more," said Jajko.
The fair will be set up at the marina section of the park, in and around Pavilion 1. The public is encouraged to stop in any time during the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event.
"Over the past year, the pandemic reminded us all of the importance of surrounding ourselves with nature. We watched as thousands of people unplugged and sought to explore and discover the outdoors on the many trails of our lands and waters," said Michele Richards, president of the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program. "We are excited to be part of a National Trails Day event that celebrates the pathways that connect us with nature -- our home and community."
For more information and updates, visit the fair's Facebook event page or contact Jajko at 570-360-5199 or firstname.lastname@example.org
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.