New outdoor expo to continue the Greenway Partnership's mission to connect people to river's resources
As communications and outreach director for the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, Alana Jajko looks for new ways to connect people with the river and the network of trails, parks and other open spaces that connect communities along the river.
A conversation with her aunt in Vermont provided the spark that will take shape on June 4, 2022, as the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership hosts the inaugural Susquehanna Outdoor Expo at the Shikellamy State Park marina near Sunbury.
Attending Bucknell and then learning about the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership through a school project, Jajko fell in love with the overall region and its relationship with the river.
“It is so amazing to have such a huge landscape along the river that is experienced in so many different ways, but yet there is this common ground for local communities who depend on the river,” she said.
That concept is really what defines the greenway concept, she added.
“A greenway is a corridor of space along a manmade or natural components that help connect parks, trails, open spaces and even the communities along the river,” she said. “When the vision is finished, it will include a 500-mile corridor where people can walk, bike and paddle throughout communities along the river.”
Jajko savors her job and the opportunity to create such a space.
“Hiking, biking, kayaking, getting outdoors in general – I get to do that with the partnership, and I get to encourage others to join us,” she said.
Beyond the June 4 expo, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership offers a variety of ways for people to do just that, starting with the Paddling Film Festival World Tour on April 9 at Lewisburg’s Campus Theatre.
“If you love paddling and can’t wait to get out on the water, this offers a neat way to bridge the gap,” said Jajko.
The partnership is also bringing back its popular Scenes, Sips and Scales program at Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland on May 13.
“It was such a hit last year where we get to celebrate photography taken along the Susquehanna. Photo winners will be on display at Reptiland, and it is a great time to view the photos, meander through the zoo and sample some wines from three local wineries.”
The Susquehanna Greeway Partnership is working on final details for Paddler’s Toolkit programs in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Master Naturalist program to help people improve confidence in the paddle sports. There are plans for sojourns and other events over the course of 2022. For more details, visit www.SusquehannaGreenway.org
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.