The community development programs that have contributed to this Toolkit are listed below with a brief description. You may find that your community aligns well with one of these other programs. Use this library to find the tools or program that fits your community’s situation and helps you to achieve your aspirations for improvement.
The Pennsylvania Downtown Center has taken the concept of placemaking and focused it on Nature-Based Placemaking, which they define as “more than simply a physical and economic connection between the recreational asset and the place. It becomes a vehicle for the entire community to embrace the idea that the relationship between the outdoor recreational asset, the users of that asset, and the larger community comprising the place is embraced and cultivated as a preferred way to improve the economic vitality.
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build strong communities. We are the central hub of the global placemaking movement, connecting people to ideas, resources, expertise, and partners who see place as the key to addressing our greatest challenges.
Main Street is a comprehensive, community-based approach to revitalizing downtowns and central business districts, which has been applied across the United States since the early ’80s. It is based on the Main Street Four Point Approach of Organization, Infrastructure/Design, Promotion, Entrepreneurial Development (Economic Vitality).
Elm Street is an integrated approach to revitalization of Pennsylvania’s older residential areas bordering Main Streets and central business districts.
Welcome Back Downtown: A Guide to Revitalizing Pennsylvania’s Small Downtowns is a guide designed to help small town revitalization efforts. Building on several basic principles, the manual provides Pennsylvania’s small communities with a variety of low-cost tools and strategies that may help them welcome their downtowns back to a more vibrant existence.
Community Heart & Soul is a program developed by the Orton Family Foundation. This program provides an in-depth process and lots of tools and templates for community’s that want to take the time to get to know itself, gain a sense of identity and purpose, to inform decisions about its future. The Heart & Soul Field Guide is an excellent resource.
The Ohio Tourism Toolbox brings you easy access to the industry’s best resources through a public/private partnership. Thanks to the contributions of numerous industry collaborators, this toolbox continually grows to provide timely resources for pressing challenges and promising opportunities in local tourism.
The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program and guide is an excellent resource for communities that are on regional bike trail and that want to use the trail to boost the local economy. It explains how to “pedal your whole community forward by transforming into a bike-friendly destination where people want to stay, explore and spend.”
To increase opportunities for physical activity, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Center for Public Health Practice to create a network of fun, fact-filled, community-based walking routes and walking groups. WalkWorks identifies and promotes safe walking routes; offers social support through guided, community-based walking groups; helps schools develop walk-to-school programs; and addresses local policies to increase safe walking routes.
The D&L National Heritage Corridor supports communities along its trail invest in trails as resources that benefit residents, visitors, businesses, and the environment.
This Program provides assistance to Susquehanna Greenway communities that seek to revitalize and celebrate their River connection.
Six workbooks with strategies and solutions that make a community great for people of all ages
Project Specific Resources
Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements
- Adding Bike Racks and Benches
- PennDot Regional Bicylce and Pedestrian Coordinators can provide technical assistance on improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and point you to funding programs.
- Pennsylvania Trail Design & Development Principles Guidelines for Sustainable, Non-Motorized Trails
- Rails-To-Trails Toolbox
Park and River Access Improvements
- Your DCNR Regional Advisor can provide technical assistance on improving parks, trails and river access points, and point you to funding programs.
- DCNR Conservation and Recreation in Communities
- Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission Regional Offices
- National Park Service Water Trail Best Management Practices Toolbox
- Your local Chamber of Commerce
- Factors to a Successful Trail Economy
- Business Attraction Strategy
- Business Resources
- Trails mean business video
- 2017 National Recreation Economy Report
Tourism, Marketing, and Promotion
- Your local Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or downtown partnership may be able to provide assistance and have regional promotional campaigns that you can tie into.
- Check with your local Visitors Bureau, regional conservation and recreation programs to see if you can tie into existing signage or branding programs.
- Social Media Best Practices
- Sample Newsletter
- Town Brochure Example – New Bethlehem, PA