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Lehigh is invested in lending vibrancy and stability to the neighborhood. Successfully transformed neighborhoods boast a rich intellectual and cultural climate and offer a comfortable environment for students, employees and residents alike.
The South Bethlehem Greenway has transformed a narrow trail of railroad tracks that once divided South Bethlehem into a scenic linear park and paved path which links neighborhoods within the business district, paralleling Rte. 412 from New Street to the Skate Plaza off Steel Ave. Eventually the trail will run more than three miles between Union Station and Saucon Park in Hellertown.
Community Gardens and Urban Agriculture
Students and faculty involved in Lehigh’s South Side Initiative are improving access to fresh fruits and vegetables by providing local residents and members of the Lehigh community with convenient, inexpensive plots of land for gardening. One example is the Esperanza Garden along the Greenway, which is a student-driven project planned by the Community Leaders Initiative for Permaculture to celebrate the importance of fresh, local food.
Lehigh students who take part in Service Learning Projects are placed into teams and then paired with a local community agency to work on a project which benefits the community members targeted by that agency. Examples include working at food banks, creating educational and wellness programs, tutoring, historical preservation and more.
Community Fellows Program
Lehigh graduate students in the Community Fellows Program further their academic interests while bringing needed expertise and assistance to community programs throughout the Lehigh Valley. Community Fellows are matched with a partner agency that allows them to integrate social activism into the academic setting by collecting and analyzing data, coordinating and promoting events, creating curricula and more.
Broughal Middle School
One essential way Lehigh fulfills its mission of research, teaching and service is through a partnership with Broughal Middle School as part of the Community School initiative. Lehigh is helping Broughal meet the needs of students through academic support and enrichment programs, tutoring, coordinated health and wellness, and enhanced parent education. The program serves students and families by bringing all of these critical areas into the school, which children and families view as a safe and nurturing environment.
local schoolchildren attend at least one event at Lehigh every year
South Bethlehem children participated in a community service program during the 2011-12 academic year
Lehigh students participated in volunteer programs in 2014-15
boxes of presents collected for local families at the holidays each year