IRT pavilion dedicated in North Whitehall
Supporters and members of the Ironton Rail Trail Commission, along with North Whitehall Township supervisors, dedicated the new pavilion at the IRT trailhead on June 9.
The new pavilion, near the North Whitehall Township building, 3256 Levans Road, North Whitehall, adds an excellent kickoff point to the Western end of the IRT.
According to Ray Bieak, secretary of the IRT Commission, counters on the trail showed close to 110,000 users on the trail in 2018.
He added that as of end of May, trail use is on track to accommodate 250,000 users in 2019.
State Sen. Pat Browne, R-16th, praised all Pennsylvania workers for their willingness to work hard, volunteer for the good of the community and be productive.
As the Lehigh Valley has become the fastest growing community in Pennsylvania, the IRT is an example of the type of community service helping that growth.
Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong presented a proclamation to the IRT commissioners praising the hard work of their volunteers.
County Director of General Services Richard Molchany said the IRT and all Rails to Trails in Pennsylvania increase property values of homes located near the trails.
Lorne Possinger, regional recreation and parks advisor with the Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, praised the hard work of the IRT volunteers, and added Pennsylvania leads the country in developing Rails to Trails with more than 1,500 miles to date.
North Whitehall Supervisors’ Chairman Ronald Heintzelman said he was pleased to note the IRT Commission and North Whitehall Township worked hand-in-hand from the very beginning of the IRT project, which began in 1996 with the formation of the commission with support from supervisors.
President of the Wildlands Conservancy Chris Kocher noted the wonderful asset a rail trail provides to a community.