Visually Connecting The Ghost Town Trail

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Community Gardens and Greenspace Program created a visual connection for the Ghost Town Trail, a 16-mile walking and biking trail in Indiana and Cambria Counties that derives its name from the mining towns that once existed along the railroad corridor.

The Cambria County Conservation and Recreation Authority had a vision of connecting the entire region through the trail by creating a lively, multi-use green resource for residents and visitors.

In 2006, WPC designed and installed several planting areas to enhance the trail. In three key locations, WPC’s Community Gardens staff identified ways to create beds of native plants to beautify the area, create visual highlights that identify the trail for users and emphasize the green resource that connects all of these portions of the trail together through three different towns. The project focuses on high visibility, low maintenance native flora and visual connectivity to help people follow the trail in several locations where towns or roads create a break in the trail itself. The projects are designed for manageability so that the host towns can continue to care for these sites over time.

In each of these sites, WPC’s expertise with community-managed green spaces guided the design and installation of the projects to make them as sustainable as possible by local supporters. Using the Transportation Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) federal funding for 2006, WPC helped create a new type of “Gateway” for each of the towns and for their connecting resource, the Ghost Town Trail.

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