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Penn State, ClearWater Conservancy collaboration results in Musser Gap Greenway

Katie Ombalski, conservation biologist at ClearWater Conservancy, and Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost at Penn State, cut the ribbon to the Musser Gap Greenway during a ceremony to mark its opening to the public Oct. 17.
October 23, 2014

The Musser Gap Greenway, the result of years of collaboration by Penn State and ClearWater Conservancy, officially opened to the public on Friday, Oct. 17. The Greenway links the Centre Region bikeway system to the Musser Gap trail allowing for travel between the State College area and Rothrock State Forest.

“This is a project that will benefit our community for many years to come.” -- Penn State executive vice president and provost Nick Jones

“This is a project that will benefit our community for many years to come,” said Nick Jones, Penn State executive vice president and provost. “We’re proud and excited to be part of providing this unique recreational asset to Penn Staters and the public.”

ClearWater Conservancy originally purchased the 423-acre tract in 2006 for conservation purposes, with Rothrock State Forest taking control of the land in 2007. One of the many goals associated with the project was the need to create a buffer zone for Rothrock State Forest to protect waterways, plants and animal life.

In addition to being a buffer, the greenway also provides greater access to recreational activities for area locals and visitors. The trail is open to runners, walkers, hikers and cyclists and boasts a durable walking surface, with flats and hills.

“When I think of this project, I realize it appeals to so many people on so many different levels, from the fitness buff to the environmentalist,” said Judith Larkin, project manager. “It has switchbacks and views that are absolutely stunning, and my favorite part is the bridge.”

This is not the only project ClearWater Conservancy and Penn State have partnered to complete. Future plans include planting a riparian buffer along Slab Cabin Run with planting scheduled to start this fall and conclude during Spring 2015. Plans for the Whitehall Road Regional Park are also in the works.

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