Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape
Located in Lehigh and Northampton counties, Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape is using greenways and trails to connect natural and cultural resources across the Lehigh Valley.
Located on the eastern edge of Pennsylvania, the landscape is less than 90 miles from New York City. Northampton County and neighboring Lehigh County are rich in natural resources -- from the majestic Blue Mountain (Kittatinny Ridge) to the north, the scenic South and Lehigh mountains (Pa. Highlands) to the south, and the fertile farmlands of the Great Valley in between.
But these counties are two of the fastest growing counties in the state. Population is predicted to increase 22 percent by 2030 to over 700,000 people. The Lehigh Valley’s natural resources are at risk.
Since the start in 2004, the Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape has many accomplishments to boast and all due to the power of partnership -- a partnership that continues to grow into the second decade.
Goals of the Lehigh Valley Greenways
The Lehigh Valley Greenways Conservation Landscape aims to accelerate the conservation of critical open spaces and natural corridors and to establish greenways and recreational trails throughout the region.
It does so by linking urban areas to outdoor experiences, protecting watersheds, and retaining the character of the landscape, the region’s heritage and the community. Goals include:
- Land Conservation & Restoration – to conserve critical landscapes, restore buffered stream corridors, and promote best management practices
- Outdoor Recreation & Trail Connections – to connect people to greenway and trail opportunities to promote healthy living, recreation, and the region’s green assets
- Community Revitalization – to support community revitalization through green infrastructure that enhances the quality of life and economic impacts
- Local Education & Outreach – to promote the understanding of our natural environment and its benefits to our communities
Areas of Focus
The landscape contains five special areas of focus, all connected by the D&L Trail as it follows the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers on rail-trail and canal towpath.
- The Two Rivers Area features the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers and Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center.
- The Lehigh Valley Highlands are focused on balancing development in South and Lehigh Mountain region.
- The Martins Jacoby Watershed contains a wetland habitat at the Minsi Lake Preserve and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
- The Trexler Nature Preserve is located within the Jordan Creek Greenway.
- Pennsylvania’s longest contiguous forested ridge, the Kittatinny Ridge (Blue Mountain), located to the north, is an important birding area and home to the Lehigh Gap Nature Center.