For Immediate Release
Contact: Jane Sheffield, (814) 932-7754 March 3, 2016

To download a PDF of this release, click here.


Harrisburg, PA – A new study released today shows that Pennsylvania’s 12 state-designated Heritage Areas generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits and support thousands of jobs in addition to building awareness of the state’s history and culture.

The study found that in 2014, tourists spent an estimated 7.5 million days/nights in Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas, purchasing $2 billion worth of goods and services. This spending supported 25,708 jobs and generated $798 million in labor income and nearly $1.3 billion in value-added effects.

In addition, 70 percent of visitor spending and associated economic effects would be lost to these areas if heritage anchor attractions were not available, according to the study.

“By investing in our Heritage Areas, we are investing in our economy, supporting jobs and preserving our history and culture for future generations,” said Jane Sheffield, president of HeritagePA. “If we let funding for these historic and culturally significant areas run out, we risk losing them – and the economic benefits they bring – forever.”

The Heritage Areas rely on state funding through the Heritage Areas Program to administer programs and oversee projects. As the 2015-2016 budget impasse continues in Harrisburg, funding for the Heritage Areas remains at an all-time low, and an increasing number of services and projects are in danger of being cut.

Without an immediate infusion of funds, a number of Heritage Areas will begin making cuts by the end of March 2016.

Heritage Areas are geographic regions or corridors that span two or more counties that contain historic, recreational, natural and scenic resources that collectively exemplify the heritage of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s 12 Heritage Areas are: Allegheny Ridge Heritage Area, Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Endless Mountains Heritage Region, Lackawanna Heritage Valley, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, Lumber Heritage Region, National Road Heritage Corridor, Oil Region National Heritage Area, PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area, and Susquehanna Gateway Heritage Area.

“Pennsylvania has one of the richest collections of heritage attractions in the nation, and this study helped confirm that these attractions not only showcase our commonwealth’s history, heritage and culture, but also generate real dollars and jobs for our commonwealth,” said Barry Denk, director of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania. “These heritage areas contribute to a quality of life and sense of place that truly set the Keystone State apart.”

The “Economic Impact of Pennsylvania Heritage Areas” study was co-sponsored by The Center for Rural Pennsylvania and HeritagePA. The research team was led by John M. McGrath, Ph.D., a member of the business faculty at University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown.

About the Heritage Areas Program

Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas Program is a well-established, national model operating in 57 counties across the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania’s Heritage Areas encompass almost every major historical site, population center, and tourist attraction the Commonwealth has to offer.

Established in 1989, the Heritage Areas Program is a comprehensive, multi-faceted regional strategic initiative to conserve and enhance key resources and promote a region’s heritage for tourism development. The 12 Heritage Areas are managed separately and are as unique as the history, resources, and the communities they work to preserve, enhance, and grow. Through partnerships (regional, businesses, communities, etc.) and grass-roots planning, historic, cultural, natural, scenic, and recreation resources are preserved and developed to strengthen regional economies with a goal of increasing tourism, creating new jobs, and developing investment opportunities.

PA Route 6 Alliance Launches Route 6 Round-UP – Great American Cleanup of PA Community Improvement Event

Volunteers Take Action to Clean, Restore and Renew the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor


February – 12, 2016 – In an effort to beautify the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, the PA Route 6 Alliance is organizing a Route 6 Round-up as part of Great American Cleanup of PA Event, taking place from March 1 until May 31.

The PA Route 6 Alliance is looking for organizations and volunteers to participate in the west-to-eat clean-up of one of America’s favorite highways,  Community and civic associations, schools and youth groups, families and friends, business employees, hunting and fishing clubs, conservation organizations, sports teams, and others can organize their members and participate in the Route 6 Round-up.

According to PA Route 6 Alliance Executive Director Terri Dennison, the last time the Round-up was held across Route 6 in 2009; a total of 250 volunteers cleaned over 103 miles. This made it one of the largest organized clean-ups in the state.

To help organizers plan for their community clean-ups, the PA Route 6 Alliance will be hosting a webinar, “ GACofPA 101: How to Organize a Community Improvement Event for PA Rt 6 Communities” on Tuesday, March 1 at 2pm. To register for the website, contact the PA Route 6 Alliance at 814-435-7706 or on their website at

The Great American Cleanup of PA is sponsored by Keep America Beautiful, the country’s largest community improvement program that engages more than 4 million volunteers and participants from more than 20,000 communities each spring from across the country to take action in their local communities to create positive change and lasting impact.

2015 Great American Cleanup of PA accomplishments:

o          128,157 Volunteers removed over 6 million pounds of litter and debris creating safer, cleaner and more beautiful communities;

o          Cleaned 11,943 miles of streets, highways, trails, waterways and shorelines;

o          Cleaned and renewed 6,422 acres of parks, public lands and wetlands;

o          Planted 13,050 trees, flowers and bulbs to strengthen a community’s green infrastructure.


State sponsors of the 2016 Great American Cleanup of PA include PADEP, PennDOT, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Pennsylvania Waste Industries – Webber Associates, Sheetz, ShopRite , The Fresh Grocer ,Wawa, Inc., Weis Markets, Giant Eagle Inc., Giant Food Stores, LLC, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority,  Republic Services, Steel Recycling Institute, Wegmans Food Market – PA Division Office.


About PA Route 6 Alliance

The PA Route 6 Alliance manages the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, one of the twelve designated Pennsylvania Heritage Areas. The Alliance implements the Management Action Plan, all branding and marketing plans, community development programs and other planning efforts along the corridor. The Alliance represents 11 northern counties: Crawford, Erie, Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Wyoming, Lackawanna, Wayne and Pike. Funded under the Heritage Area Program of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resource, their focus is on efforts to preserve, enhance and promote the transportation heritage of one of the nation’s first transcontinental highways; to sustain and enhance the small rural communities linked by the highway; and to preserve and enhance the natural, scenic beauty of one of America’s favorite “road trips”. To learn more about the PA Route 6 Heritage Corridor, visit .

About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make our communities clean and beautiful.  Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 121 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit

National Road Heritage Corridor announces Mini-Grant Funding Opportunity

For immediate release:

Thursday, 28 January, 2016, Uniontown, PA – The National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC)  is pleased to announce a Mini-Grant Opportunity for nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and friends groups of state parks/forests who are located along the Historic National Road or in the Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape region.  Projects located in communities and parks connected to the Laurel Ridge, Chestnut Ridge, greater Johnstown area, and the Great Allegheny Passage or along the Historic National Road will be given a priority.

The National Road Heritage Corridor’s multifaceted mission and associated work includes advocating for, building awareness of, and encouraging the conservation of the cultural, historic, natural, recreational and economic resources along the Historic National Road in Pennsylvania and throughout the region through education and interpretation vis-à-vis community development. Working with partners, the NRHC leverages financial and human capital resources to deliver economic benefit.  Fully engaged in restoration and development of key regional assets and amenities that are the lynchpin of a tourism infrastructure, the NRHC’s work supports Pennsylvania’s tourism product – one of the top two leading industry in the Commonwealth.

The Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape (CL) is a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources project.  The initiative is a partnership that strives to raise the region’s livability  while crafting a model of sustainable development tied to the natural and cultural assets of the region.  It connects communities with state agencies and funding partners to conserve and enhance the region’s economic viability.

Funding for this opportunity comes from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).  A total of $75,000 in mini-grant funding is available. Grant awards will be $1,000 to $10,000 and will require a 1:1 match either cash match, non cash match or a combination of the two.

Applications are due and must be postmarked by Monday, February 29, 2016 and mailed to the National Road Heritage Corridor 65 West Main Street, Suite 103, Uniontown, PA 15401 or hand delivered no later than 4:00 p.m. on February 29.  Notice of Award will be made no later than the week of March 28, 2016.

To receive the 2016 NRHC Mini-Grant Guidelines and Application contact the NRHC Executive Director, Donna Holdorf by email: or by calling 724-437-9877.

The National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As one of twelve state designated heritage areas under the Department of Conservation and National Resource’s Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program, the designation represents recognition of the Historic National Road’s wealth of historic, cultural, scenic and recreational resources and potential as a tourism destination.  Established in 1994, the Historic National Road was named a state scenic byway in 1996 and a National Scenic Byway All-American Road in 2002.


Susquehanna North Branch Named Pennsylvania’s 2016 River of the Year

Endless Mountains Heritage Region and Susquehanna Greenway Partnership to Receive $10,000 Leadership Grant

Harrisburg, PA – Steeped in historical and recreational value, the freeflowing Susquehanna River North Branch in northeastern Pennsylvania has been voted the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year following a five-week public voting period.

The general public was invited to vote online Nov. 13-Dec.14, choosing from among five waterways nominated across the state. Results were announced jointly today by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pa. Organization for Waterways and Rivers (POWR).

Four other rivers were nominated finalists: the Kiski-Conemaugh River in the southwest; Lackawanna River, northeast; Lehigh; east; and Ohio, southwest.

DCNR and POWR will work with the Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) to create a free, commemorative poster celebrating the Susquehanna River North Branch as the 2016 Pennsylvania River of the Year. EMHR, the applicant nominating the waterway in close cooperation with the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, will receive a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund year-long River of the Year activities.

For more info, read the original article HERE.

Updated report from from the Center for Rural PA released on economic impact of Heritage Areas


The Economic Impact of Pennsylvania Heritage Areas

By: John M. McGrath, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and David Primm and William Lafe

January 2016

Research was conducted in five Pennsylvania Heritage Areas in 2014-2015 to analyze their economic

impact in Pennsylvania. The research involved a survey of heritage-area visitors, interviews with

stakeholders in the five study heritage areas (HAs), and an estimation of the economic impact of the

heritage-related visitation to all 12 HAs statewide.

The five study HAs were: PA Route 6, National Road, Allegheny Ridge, Lincoln Highway and

Susquehanna Gateway.

Overall, the research found that tourists spent an estimated 7.5 million days/nights in Pennsylvania’s

12 HAs in 2014, purchasing $2 billion worth of goods and services. The total contribution of heritage

visitor spending (direct, indirect and induced effects) to the state’s economy was 25,708 jobs and $798

million in labor income.


To view the full report, CLICK HERE.

Mon River Town Program and partners announce three winners of SMAART Business Plan Contest

Donna Holdorf, Co-Director Mon River Valley Coalition 724-437-9877

(Charleroi, PA) Thursday, 7 January 2016 – The Mon River Town Program in partnership with its fiscal agent the National Road Heritage Program and its River Town Coalition partners, is pleased to announce the three winners of the SMAART Business Plan Contest.

Each of the winners will be awarded $10,000 each to use toward growing their Mon River Valley small business. The SMAART Business Advisory Council judged applications based on the following criteria: relevance to the economic development of River Towns; viability of the business idea; economic impact on the region; presentation quality; and attendance at workshops.

The winners are: Steel Dog Construction, owners Laura & Jason Koon of Charleroi; Full Armor Fitness, owner Samuel Sokol of Charleroi; and Chaney’s Natural, owner Tanya Chaney of Monongahela.




Full Armor Fitness – New Business

Samuel Sokol, owner – 609 7th St., Charleroi PA 15022

Full Armor Fitness, LLC (FAF) is a small community focused fitness center with certified personal training services, owned

and operated by Samuel Sokol. Full Armor Fitness opened in late 2015 on 7th Street in Charleroi. The Center offers

evening hours from approximately 4:30pm-10pm Tuesday through Friday, and approximately 7am – 7pm on Saturdays.

As the business grows, Samuel plans to have Full Armor Fitness become a 24/7 facility.

The Center’s focus is on providing Mon Valley residents with a secure, clean exercise facility where they can pursue their

nutritional and fitness goals. Certified personal training by the owner, Samuel Sokol, is offered as either one-on-one or

small group sessions currently during evening and weekend hours. Mr. Sokol has been certified by National Gym

Association as a Personal Training. NGA is a nationally recognized organization developed by Andy Bostinto, one of the

fore fathers of fitness training.


Salon & Spa by Chaney’s Natural, LLC – Existing business expansion

Tanya Chaney , owner – 138 W. Main St., Monongahela PA 15063

The Salon & Spa by Chaney’s Natural, LLC is a progressive and vibrant salon and spa located in historic downtown,

Monongahela. It offers a variety of massage therapy services, manicure and pedicures with an emphasis on natural nail

care and organic/natural products, facials and waxing services. The salon also distributes a full line of the highest quality

vitamins, minerals, supplements and meal replacement shakes and natural food products which is being expanded so

that it can provide more products to fit the needs of its clients. All of the products are chosen based on quality and

Coupled with the nutritional products, Chaney’s offers a comprehensive 13-week lifestyle/weight management program

called IN.FORM, which teaches participants how to fuel their body to obtain maximum results in the areas of weight

loss, healthy living and making wholesome lifestyle decision.


Steel Dog Construction – New business

Jason & Laura Koon, owners – 1399 Route 481, Charleroi PA 15022

Steel Dog Construction is a carpentry business owned and operated by the husband and wife team Jason and Laura

Koon. It specializes in interior finish carpentry, including but not limited to the installation of stair systems, mantels,

custom built-ins, cabinets, millwork (base, crown molding, wainscoting and coffered ceiling). Additionally, Steel Dog

undertakes both residential and commercial property renovations. The company’s work ranges from custom projects to

With over 15 years experience, Jason’s work as Steel Dog’s lead carpenter has excelled in a variety of settings. As a

highly skilled, detailed finished carpentry, where only perfections is acceptable, the high standards learned there are

carried through every level of every client’s project. Aside from custom and high-end homes, Jason’s experience

includes production based new home construction, kitchen & bath remodels, commercial casework and fixture install.

Rifle used in the movie The Revenant was made in Cameron County, PA

The flintlock rifle used by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie The Revenant was made in Cameron County by Ron Luckenbill.


Ron Luckenbill

The gun was built on a moderately figured piece of curly maple in the classic Bucks County style. The build is based on an original which was handled and photographed by the builder. The hardware is copied from an original John Shuler, Sr. rifle. The barrel is a 44″ Colerain B weight 50 cal. While many original Bucks Co. rifles had English import locks, the original had somewhat larger than normal Germanic lock. I found that a Jim Chambers Golden age lock was a near match for the original. The carving of this rifle is somewhat atypical for a Bucks Co. gun in that it is a blend of both raised and incised carving, showing a decided Lehigh Co. influence.

In July 2014, the order for the guns came in. Two were ordered in case one was damaged during the filming. The two guns had to be in British Columbia by the end of August. There was some burning of the midnight oil to fill the order, but it was a thrilling once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have completed another copy of the gun and it will be on display and available for purchase at the 18th Century Artisan show (2016).

For more info and photos, click here.

Oil City kicks off holidays with 15th Annual Christmas Past Weekend

15th Annual Christmas Past

December 3 – 6, 2015

Oil City, PA 

This traditional holiday weekend begins with a tree lighting ceremony in the Town Square in downtown Oil City, PA on Thursday evening, followed by a chili cook-off, carolers, outdoor activities & Santa’s Playland in Central Avenue Plaza on Friday evening. Saturday schedule includes the Jingle Bell 5K race plus multiple craft & gift shows, treats, live entertainment, holiday tree display & much more all over town! The weekend wraps up with Santa’s Train Stop on Relief Street on Sunday afternoon.

More information is available at:

Or call Kathy Bailey, Oil City Main Street Manager, at 800-483-6264, x 101.

Happening on Lincoln Highway

Lincoln Highway Bus Trip to Gettysburg

November 6, 2015

Join us for a focus on the Civilian Side of the Civil War.  Pick-up points are Latrobe and Laughlintown. After viewing the indie film, Route 30, on the Bus, patrons will tour the Jennie Wade Museum, have lunch at the Seminary and tour the Seminary Ridge Museum.  A private tasting at the Adams County Winery will round out the day. $89 per person. For more info, and/or to make a reservation, visit or call 724-879-4241.

Lincoln Highway Yuletide Open House

December 2 through December 4, 2015 from 2-6pm

Join us at the Lincoln Highway Experience, 3435 State Route 30 East, Latrobe, PA 15650. It’s where our Handmade along the Highway juried artisans have crafted one-of-a-kind pieces of pottery, copper and silver jewelry, note cards, silk scarves, and wooden utensils. Warm cider and gingerbread with lemon sauce will be served throughout the Open House.  For more info, visit For questions, email or call 724-879-4241.

A Taste of the Endless Mountains – Oct. 17


TROY SALE BARN, across the street from the Copper Tree Shop at 57 Ballard Street, Troy, PA

Farmers, consumers, restaurants, caterers, producers and local crafters are invited to participate in the 2nd annual “Taste of the Endless Mountains” event to be held on Saturday, October 17, 2015 from 10 am til 2 pm at the Troy Sale Barn located in Troy, PA. The Bradford County Ag Coalition, Bradford County Conservation District, Endless Mountains Heritage Region and Mt. Pisgah State Park are developing this event to showcase locally produced food and locally prepared dishes—along with the historical value of the Troy Sale Barn.

Area farmers, restaurants, caterers, crafters & producers will be setting up tables in the Troy Sale Barn to showcase their products—consumers will have a chance to meet their farmer and sample their goods—and purchase items to take home. Door prizes will be awarded—bring the whole family, sample some tasty treats, stock your pantry for the upcoming winter and get a start on your holiday shopping.

Please join us in this FREE celebration of local entrepreneurism, agricultural viability, our rich culture and heritage, food security and healthy lifestyles—what a great way to celebrate the harvest season in the Endless Mountains!

If you are interested in participating as a vendor or helping with this event as a volunteer, please contact Nicole Harris, at 570/297-2734 or email Your time, ideas, and participation in this exciting opportunity to taste the Endless Mountains are most appreciated!

Media contact: Nicole Harris, 570-297-2734 or