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South Bethlehem Greenway project to be discussed Oct. 25

Darlene Heller, Director of Planning for the City of Bethlehem, will present information on the planning and development of the South Bethlehem Greenway at Lehigh University on October 25, 2007. Heller will speak at 4 p.m. in the Linderman Library Bayer Galleria.

Heller's talk is free and open to the public.

The South Bethlehem Greenway will connect residential neighborhoods and Lehigh University to the urban center of the revitalized BethWorks site by creating a continuous open space with pedestrian and bicycle paths that will focus and stimulate community and economic development.

Through a visual presentation using illustrations and maps, Heller will help the public envision how the Bethlehem Greenway will be incorporated into the South Side environment. Heller will discuss the latest updates on grant funding, land acquisition and new partnerships, as well as the many ways the Lehigh community can take part in the research, design and implementation of the project.

“Lehigh can participate in a few ways,” says Heller. “Academically we can use help in researching what other communities are doing. People can also get involved out in the field as we implement the Greenway. There’s a lot of opportunity for partnerships in the community to adopt a block, grow community gardens, act as park tenders—really take ownership of the area.”

In addition to pedestrian and bike paths, the Greenway project is seeking to use the open space for artwork, a skate park, and public gardens.

Heller’s visit is presented by Lehigh’s South Side Initiative, which brings together the university community, the people of Bethlehem, government officials, experts and developers to learn about the Bethlehem Steel site plans and address the needs of the community. The Greenway is one aspect of the South Side revitalization that the Initiative will focus on throughout a series of lectures and events this year.

“The Greenway is a centerpiece of the city’s effort to revitalize the South Side through the re-creation of public space, and is of interest to many constituencies within Lehigh University’s community,” says John Pettegrew, associate professor of history and an organizer of the South Side Initiative.

To read more about the South Bethlehem Greenway project, go online.

--Tricia Long

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2007

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