Lackawanna State Park Manager Rob Barrese sees many of the same people daily — seniors, dog walkers and others — strolling the paved path that runs by the lake, pool and picnic areas of the park.
Walking that path will become a bit easier thanks to a $7,500 grant from the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and the Scranton Area Community Foundation. The funds will cover a repaving project of the blacktop way, which has become warped and worn in spots over the years, Barrese said.
“It’s time for it to get a little TLC,” Barrese said.
The path, which begins at a parking lot just inside the Route 407 entrance to the park on the lake’s north shore, is one of the most popular in the park. While the park boasts trails aplenty for hikers, runners, bikers and more seasoned fitness enthusiasts to use, the paved path is relatively flat and is attractive to senior citizens and other casual walkers, Barrese said. Repaving it will ensure it remains safe and accessible. The project also includes the installation of two educational wayside panels to serve as a self-guided environmental education tour to showcase different habitats at the park.
“Walking is the most popular form of outdoor recreation and is available without the need to purchase any special equipment,” Marci Mowery, president of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, said in a statement. “Research has shown that walking can help to reduce the risk of lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease and can ease the pain of arthritis. We are excited to work with the park and the Scranton Area Community Foundation to make this project a reality.”
Work on the path isn’t expected to begin until late summer or fall, after the parks busiest and most visited time of the year through the summer, Barrese said. Once completed, it will be a great positive for both the park and the people who frequent it, Barrese said.
“This will maintain the inclusiveness that people have come to expect at the park,” Barrese said. “For a lot of the senior population, this is their daily exercise and this is a guaranteed location where people know they can come and walk.”
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