FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Community leaders, groups, business owners, county commissioners, and state legislators joined the PA Route 6 Alliance in Mansfield on September 21st-22nd to celebrate the organization’s 2022 Annual Meeting & “Do 6” Awards.
The 2-day in-person event began with an educational workshop at Mill Cove Environmental Area on Wednesday, September 21st, and featured guest speakers Amy Camp from Cycle Forward, Julie Fitzpatrick from Pennsylvania Downtown Center, and Brett Hollern from Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Topics included bicycle tourism, what’s next in community revitalization, and the social and economic impact of trails on our communities and the people that live there.
On Thursday, September 22nd, the event moved to Corey Creek Golf Club in Mansfield for the PA Route 6 Annual Meeting and “Do 6” Awards presentation. Following a business meeting and election of officers, PA Route 6 Alliance bid happy retirement to Board President Kevin Abrams after many years of dedicated leadership, guidance, and support. Abrams served on the PA Route 6 Board since 1996.
At the Annual Meeting, PA Route 6 Alliance presented on their goals and accomplishments across the Route 6 corridor, including tourism promotion and marketing, bicycle tourism and Bike Friendly Business Program, state byway designation efforts, the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail, PA Route 6 Public Art & Mural Trail, and PA Route 6 Façade Programs.
There were also presentations by four communities who are currently implementing the Community Heart & Soul Program led by the PA Humanities Council and Orton Foundation: Tidioute, Youngsville, Carbondale, and Wyoming County. Amy Camp then delivered a keynote presentation on the importance of trails and outdoor recreation to local economies and communities.
“Do6” Awards were presented for 2022 in the categories of Heritage Partnership, Heritage Tourism, Heritage Leadership, Artisan of the Year, Heritage Community of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement. Each award recipient also received special recognition from one or more state legislators in the form of a citation from the PA House of Representatives and Pennsylvania Senate.
The Heritage Partnership Award is given to a person, group, or project that has demonstrated excellence in historic and cultural preservation, interpretation, and/or education through cross-corridor thinking and interagency cooperation. The 2022 Heritage Partnership Award was presented to Erie Arts & Culture in Erie, PA. Under the leadership of Patrick Fisher, Erie Arts & Culture helped plan and implement the first-ever Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk, a year-round outdoor exhibition of art that features 15 sculptures representing 13 artists from throughout the U.S. The walk provides a way for visitors and local residents to engage in the visual arts while exploring downtown Erie and the Bayfront and has become a popular outside attraction.
The Heritage Tourism Award is presented to the organizers of a project or event that furthers economic and tourism development while still respecting the heritage and cultural resources of the corridor. The 2022 Heritage Tourism Award was presented to Lackawaxen River Trails in Wayne County. The Lackawaxen River Trails Project grew out of a grassroots movement to build on an interconnected trail system through the Heritage Communities of Honesdale, White Mill and Hawley. The River Trail concept uses the river, railroad and Rt. 6 corridor to interconnect key community resources, existing trails, recreational facilities, economic hubs and cultural opportunities.
The Heritage Leadership Award is presented to a person, business, or organization for meaningful contributions and/or partnerships that have resulted in the enrichment of our communities through landscape initiatives or historic preservation. The 2022 Heritage Leadership Award was presented to Lisa Glover of Honesdale. Lisa has served with the Honesdale Borough Parks and Recreation Commission and has been a major supporter of the Wayne County Arts Alliance and its programs. In 2022, Lisa worked with various partners to spearhead a mural project that took a Wayne County-owned tunnel in Honesdale along Route 6 and transformed it into an amazing mural depicting what students wanted to see in their community.
The Artisan of the Year Award is presented to an Artisan Trail member that exemplifies the goals of the PA Route 6 Artisan Trail program with special attention to regional thinking and cooperation while promoting the arts along the corridor. The 2022 Artisan of the Year Award was presented Highland Chocolates of Wellsboro, Tioga County. Highland Chocolates is a non-profit chocolate factory and retail store that provides vocational training and employment for adults with disabilities. Highland Chocolates has worked hard to grow their facilities into a larger attraction for visitors and local residents which positively impacts tourism and the local economy.
The Heritage Community of the Year Award is presented to one designated Heritage Community that is embracing their Heritage Tourism WorkPlan and implementing worthwhile projects that show impact and results in their community. The 2022 Heritage Community of the Year Award was presented to Corry, represented by Charles Gray of Impact Corry and Wendy Neckers of the Painted Finch Gallery in Corry. The Corry community works to honor the past, celebrate the present, and embrace the future through recently completed and ongoing projects to transform their city into a four-season destination, enhancing its small-town charm. Corry also boasts a National Historical Designation registration, announced in 2022. Corry flourishes as groups work together for the greater good to complete meaningful projects. The visible results and sustained energy from community members and groups have drawn attention to Corry as a welcoming and engaging place to live, work, and visit.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a person or agency who exemplifies outstanding leadership and advances the PA Route 6 Alliance mission through heritage development. The 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dan Glotz, Warren County. In his role as Warren County Planner and Vice President of PA Route 6, Dan is a champion of heritage tourism and the impact of outdoor recreation on the economy and quality of life throughout the Route 6 Corridor. Dan has served as chair of our Tourism and Infrastructure Committee, leading the way in the PA Route 6 Façade Program, bicycle tourism, and our effort for Byway designation. Dan currently sits on the Executive Committee of PA Route 6 Alliance and will assume the role of President following the Annual Meeting.
Alliance Executive Director, Candace Hillyard states, “This was the first time since 2019 that we’ve been able to host an in-person event, due to Covid concerns the past two years. It was great to connect with community leaders, business owners, and legislators in person to discuss what we all can do to strengthen our communities. We always look forward to these opportunities to share our organization’s accomplishments and celebrate the people and projects that help further our mission of supporting the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor.”
The PA Route 6 Alliance, a 501(c3) corporation, was established in 2003 to manage the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor and to implement branding and marketing plans, community development programs and other planning efforts along the corridor. The Alliance includes representatives from all 11 counties, 9 convention and visitor bureaus, 4 heritage areas, local development districts, local business owners, Chambers of Commerce, and other interested parties along the corridor. The PA Route 6 Heritage Communities program is a program of PA Route 6 Alliance and PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor funded by the PA Heritage Area Program under the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. –End–