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Water and Wine Trails

in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Water Trails in Philadelphia, the waterfront is now a walking and biking destination which covers 6 miles. Trail features include streetscape improvements along the entire waterfront trail, a bi-directional bikeway, pedestrian walkway and rain gardens that will collect the first inch of storm water, relieving the city sewer system during major weather events, as well as benches and bike racks, decorative street pavers, and innovative solar trail lighting.

Phila waterfrontBrandywine Creek is a tributary of the Christina River in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. The 20.4-mile Lower Brandywine is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River with several tributary streams.

Development & Conservancy Issues In the 1960s, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania in historic Brandywine Valley, faced a possible massive industrial development that would impact a largely rural community.  Also, development plans in floodplain areas threatened to devastate water supplies for numerous communities in southeastern Pennsylvania and northern Delaware. Residents bought endangered land and founded the Brandywine Conservancy in 1967.  The first conservation easements, protecting more than five and one-half miles along the Brandywine, were granted in 1969

Manayunk CanalWine Trails some of Pennsylvania’s vineyards are at the highest elevation east of the Rocky Mountains, while others are in the river valleys of the southeast corner of the state and is one of the top grape-growing states and consistently ranks in the top 10 for wine production, including:

o   Whites – Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Vidal Blanc

o   Reds – Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Chambourcin.

Philadelphia Wine Country the southeast corner of Pennsylvania is known as the Philadelphia Countryside Region. It stretches from Philadelphia to the north, west and southwest with scenery filled with rich, lush farmland and river valleys. Three wine trails can be found in this region:

  • Montgomery County – three wineries between Philadelphia and Allentown
  • Bucks County and its nine wineries
  • Brandywine – west and south of Philadelphia.

vines and gazeboEnvironment Tours that focus on declining water quality, diminishing water supplies, vanishing agricultural land, loss of historic character, wildlife habitat degradation, and threatened biological resources. Learn to:

Protect and conserve land and water, natural, cultural and scenic resources;

Create and strengthen local government efforts that support resource conservation;

Improve site planning and design to support resource conservation;

Plan and conserve of natural and cultural resources;

Enhance awareness and knowledge of conservation approaches.

Lock 60 Schuylkill Canal

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Georgetown Texas

victorian architecture economic development energy and the environment

georgetown downtownGeorgetown is located 30 miles from Austin on the northeastern edge of Texas Hill Country. Portions of the town are located on either side of the Balcones Escarpment, a fault line characterized by black, fertile soils of the Black land Prairie, with the west side consisting of hilly, limestone karst formations.

The North and Middle Forks of the San Gabriel River run through the city, providing over 30 miles of hike and bike trails, parks and recreation for residents and visitors.

Blue Hole park in Georgetown Texas (view 4)History the earliest known historical occupants of the county, the Tonkawas, were a flint-working, hunting people who followed buffalo on foot and periodically set fire to the prairie to aid them in their hunts. During the 18th century, they made the transition to a horse culture and used firearms. The town was named for George Washington Glasscock who donated the land for the new community; the early American and Swedish pioneers were attracted to the area’s abundance of timber and clear water.

Victorian Architecture in 1976, a local ordinance was passed t protect the historic central business district. Georgetown has three National Register Historic Districts: Williamson County Courthouse District, Belford National District and the University Avenue/Elm Street District.

m.b. lockett building, georgetown, txSouthwestern University the Oldest University in Texas is one-half Mile from the Historic Square

Economic Development Georgetown was an agrarian community for most of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Shawnee Trail, a cattle trail that led from Texas to the rail centers in Kansas and Missouri, crossed through Georgetown. The establishment of Southwestern University and construction of a railroad contributed to the town’s growth and importance. Cotton was the dominant crop in the area between the 1880s and the 1920s.

san gabrial villagePopulation growth and industrial expansion continued modestly in the 20th century until about 1960, when residential, commercial, and industrial development, due to major growth and urban expansion of nearby Austin, greatly accelerated. Currently, Georgetown is served by the appropriately named Georgetown Railroad, a short line railroad that connects with the Union Pacific Railroad at Round Rock and at Granger.

Energy and the Environment in March 2015, Georgetown announced that their municipal-owned utility, Georgetown Utility Systems, would buy 100% of its power for its customers from wind and solar farms, effectively making the city 100% green-powered.

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North Platte Nebraska

railroad town river trails historical museum and buffalo bill ranch park

canteen platformNorth Platte is in southwestern Nebraska at the confluence of the North and South Platte Rivers. It was established in 1868 when the Union Pacific Railroad was extended to that point; it was named from the North Platte River.

The Platte River originates in the state of Nebraska and is about 310 miles – 500 km – long. The Platte is a tributary of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers which flows to the Gulf of Mexico.

platte river watershedRiver Valley Trails played an important role in the westward expansion of the United States, providing the route for several major emigrant trails, including the Oregon, California, Mormon and Bozeman Trails. The French were the first Europeans to reach the Platte. The North Platte River is navigable over most of its length at high water by canoes, kayaks and rafts.

Bailey Yard is the world’s largest. The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is an eight-story building which overlooks the expansive classification yard and engine facilities.

golden spike tower, north platteThe Lincoln County Historical Museum contains a display detailing the history of the North Platte Canteen, which greeted 6.5 million service personnel from Christmas Day 1941 through April 1, 1946. It also contains a Prairie Village with local landmark homes and a Pony Express station and pioneer church.

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park is located near here, a Nebraska living history park about Buffalo Bill Cody. The park includes his actual house known as Scout’s Rest Ranch.

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Delaware Culture Trails

family entertainment underground railroad house museum wineries and breweries

Wilmington is strategically positioned to reach other points of interest in the middle Atlantic region of the United States. Located midway between New York City and Washington, D.C., this city is:
30 minutes from Philadelphia
90 minutes to downtown Baltimore, Maryland
60 minutes from Lancaster, South Central Pennsylvania and Amish Country
less than 2 hours away from Delaware’s Atlantic Ocean beaches

Wilmington StationFounded by the Swedes and Finns in 1638, and later acquired by the Dutch in 1655 and the British in 1739, today Wilmington offers a rich performing arts scene including theater, symphony, opera, ballet, rock, jazz, folk and family entertainment. It is also home to many celebrated ethnic events, music festivals and special performances at local wineries and breweries.

The Christina Riverfront is one of many reasons for making Wilmington your home away from home while exploring the culture trail; cruise in a water-taxis or stroll the landscaped Riverwalk. Wilmington was the last stop to freedom on the Underground Railroad; the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park is named for Railroad Conductor Harriett Tubman and Stationmaster Thomas Garrett. The Riverfront Market offers delicious specialty foods, fresh produce, flowers and much more from a variety of vendors.

shopping, dining and entertainment are tax free here!

The First Stop along the Culture Trail focuses on the History of the First State.

Delaware History MuseumThe Delaware History Museum is in a renovated art-deco Woolworth store in the historic district and features three galleries of changing interactive exhibits on Delaware history, including displays of rare items of everyday life, costumes, children’s toys, regional decorative arts, and paintings.

Old Town Hall built in 1798-1800, it functioned as a center of political and social activities in Wilmington’s mercantile-milling economy. Today it is owned by the Delaware Historical Society and is used for exhibits and special events. The Delaware Historical Society is celebrating its 150th Anniversary in 2014.

Old Town Hall WilmingtonWillingtown Square consists of six historic houses relocated into an urban park in 1976.Not far away are the Tubman-Garrett Riverfront Park, the First USA Riverfront Arts Center, and the Wilmington train station.

The Research Library is tasked with collecting and preserving Delaware materials for over 135 years, the Society has a rich and varied collection of books, ephemera, newspapers, serials, maps, manuscripts and photographs relating to the history of Delaware and its people.

Read House is in nearby historic New Castle, one of the oldest towns and a National Historic Landmark District. The 22 room, 14,000 square-foot, mansion features new technologies of the time including elaborate hot-air roasting ovens and steam tables in the kitchen. Restored and furnished in 1986 using extensive documentation, Read House ranks among the best house museums in the country. In addition, a tour may include: costumed interpreters, open-hearth cooking demonstrations, walking tours of New Castle. Read House & Gardens was named an American Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service.

GEORGE READ II HOUSEThe Brandywine Valley is Home to several Craft Breweries Eight Wineries

Craft Breweries have gained significant popularity in recent years, due to a receptive craft-brewing culture. Also, water from the Brandywine Valley is chlorine and fluoride free, and abundant with minerals that leave the beer with a refreshing taste.

Following the Colonial tradition, the beer is unpasteurized and unfiltered with four ingredients: water, whole flour hops, grains, and cultured brewer yeast. It is also canned with recyclable aluminum.

delaware wineDelaware Wine Trail the local climate benefits from the moderating effects of Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Inland, the state becomes quite rural and agriculturally based, particularly in the south. Grape-growing and wine production consists of three wineries, with adjacent vineyards growing Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Evansville Indiana

history industry and a 21st century economy

evansville viewEvansville is the largest city and the commercial, medical, and cultural hub of Southwestern Indiana and the Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky tri-state area. Located along the banks of the Ohio River, it is often referred to as the Crescent Valley or River City.

Early History the area has been inhabited by indigenous cultures; archaeologists have identified several archaic and ancient sites in and near Evansville, with the most complex at Angel Mounds, built and occupied from about 900 A.D. to about 1600 A.D., just before the arrival of Europeans to North America. The European-American city was founded in 1812.  French hunters and trappers were among the first Europeans to come to the area, using Vincennes as a base of operations for fur trading. The land encompassing Evansville was formally relinquished by the Delaware in 1805 to General William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana Territory.

independence historic districtEvansville became a thriving commercial town with a river trade, and the town began to expand outside of its original footprint. The economy received a boost in the early 1830s when Indiana unveiled plans to build the longest canal in the world, a 400-mile ditch to connect the Great Lakes at Toledo, Ohio with the inland rivers at Evansville. The project was intended to open Indiana to commerce and improve transportation from New Orleans to New York City.

The main ethnic groups consisted of Protestant Scotch-Irish from the South, Catholic Irish coming for canal or railroad work, New England businessmen, Germans fleeing Europe after the 1848 revolutions, and freedmen from Western Kentucky.

The era of greatest growth occurred in the second half of the 19th century as a major stop for steamboats along the Ohio River, and the home port for companies engaged in the river trade. Railroads eventually became more important and in 1887 the L&N Railroad constructed a bridge across the Ohio River along with a major rail yard southwest of Evansville.

Automobile and Refrigeration Manufacturing Became Important Early in the 20th Century

In 1916, seeing the need for a dependable truck, the Graham brothers entered the truck chassis business. In 1921, after the death of both Dodge brothers, Graham Brothers started selling 1.5-ton pickups through Dodge dealers. These vehicles had Graham chassis and some Dodge parts. Dodge Brothers bought a controlling interest in Graham Brothers in 1925, picking up the rest in 1926.

riverside historic districtThe city saw exponential growth in the early twentieth century with the production of lumber and the manufacturing of furniture. By 1920, Evansville had more than two dozen furniture companies. In the decades of the 1920s and 1930s, city leaders attempted to improve Evansville’s transportation position and successfully lobbied to be on the Chicago-to-Miami Dixie Bee Highway – U.S. Highway 41.

During World War II, Evansville was a major center of industrial production which helped revive the regional economy after the Great Depression. A huge, 45-acre shipyard complex was constructed on the riverfront east of St. Joseph Avenue for the production of oceangoing LSTs (Landing Ship-Tanks).

After the war, Evansville’s manufacturing base of automobiles, household appliances, and farm equipment benefited from growing post-war demand.

barges on the ohio riverTourism the business district and riverfront feature riverboat gambling, restaurants, bars, and shops that attract tens of thousands of visitors each year and the city’s downtown district retains its early twentieth-century architectural style.

Evansville Has Thirteen Neighborhoods that Qualify as Historic Districts

A 21st Century Economy Evansville is the regional center for a large trade area in Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois. The largest industry sectors in size in Evansville are healthcare, finance, education, and manufacturing. Other major industries by employment are energy, warehousing, distribution, and retail.

Evansville’s strategic location on the Ohio River, strong rail and highway infrastructure, and its designation as a U.S. Customs Port of Entry, make it an ideal location for the transfer of cargo.

Tourism and Entertainment the business district and riverfront feature riverboat gambling, restaurants, bars, and shops that attract tens of thousands of visitors each year and the city’s downtown district retains its early twentieth-century architectural style.

Bosse Field Baseball Stadium built in 1915 is the third-oldest Operating Ballpark in the United States

bosse field lightsThe Victory Theatre is a vintage 1,950-seat venue that is home to the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. Each year, the orchestra presents a seven-concert classics series and special event concerts, as well as numerous educational and outreach performances. The theater also hosts local ballet and modern dance companies, theater companies, and touring productions.

The Evansville Civic Theatre is Southern Indiana’s longest-running community theater, dating from the 1920s when the community theater movement swept across the country.

Museums Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the country. The Evansville African American Museum was established to continually develop a resource and cultural center to collect, preserve, and educate the public on the history and traditions of African American families, organizations, and communities.

trucking museumThe Evansville Museum Transportation Center features transportation in southern Indiana from the latter part of the nineteenth century through the mid-twentieth century.

The Reitz Home Museum is Evansville’s only Victorian House Museum

Transportation the city boasts road, rail, water, and air transportation systems. Public transit includes the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System – METS – which provides bus transportation to all sections of the city. Evansville has several multi-use trails for bikes and pedestrians as well as on-road bike paths that help cyclists get around the city by bicycle.

Public and Private Port facilities receive year-round service from five major barge lines operating on the Ohio River. The river connects Evansville with all river markets in the central United States and on the Great Lakes and with international markets through the port of New Orleans.

willard libraryEvansville has been a U.S. Customs Port of Entry for more than 125 years

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Des Moines Iowa

prehistoric native Americans skyscrapers sky walks museums and botanical gardens

Des Moines traces its origins to May 1843 with the construction of a fort on the site where the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers merge. The fort was built to control the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, whom the government had moved to the area from their traditional lands in eastern Iowa.

des moines east villageNative American Tribes did not fare well as the illegal whiskey trade and the destruction of traditional life led to severe problems for their society. At least three Late Prehistoric villages, dating from about AD 1300 to 1700, stood in or near what developed later as downtown Des Moines. In addition, 15 to 18 prehistoric American Indian mounds were observed in this area by early settlers. All have been destroyed during development of the city.

birthplace of des moinesArchaeological Excavations have shown many fort-related structures; soldiers stationed at Fort Des Moines opened the first coal mines in the area, mining coal from the riverbank for the fort’s blacksmith.

Present Day Des Moines changed from the 1970s to the1990s, as several new skyscrapers were built. In the 21st century, the city has had more major construction in the downtown area. The Principal Riverwalk features trails, pedestrian bridges across the river, a fountain and skating plaza, and a civic garden in front of the City Hall. Existing downtown buildings were converted to loft apartments.

des moines art centerA Cultural Center with Art and History Museums and Performing Arts Groups

The Metro Opera House has been a cultural resource in Des Moines since 1973. The Opera offers educational and outreach programs and is one of the largest performing arts organizations in the state.

The Des Moines Art Center presents art exhibitions and educational programs as well as studio art classes. The Center houses a collection from the 19th century to the present. An extension of the art center is downtown in an urban museum space, featuring several exhibitions a year.

The Pappajohn Sculpture Park is a collection of 24 Sculptures

des moines botanical centerThe Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden is an indoor conservatory of over 15,000 exotic plants. Developed by the city’s Asian community, the Gardens include a three-story Chinese pavilion, bonsai landscaping, and granite sculptures that highlight the importance of diversity and recognize Asian American contributions in Iowa.

The East Village begins at the river and extends about five blocks east to the State Capitol Building, offering a blend of historic buildings, eateries, boutiques, art galleries, and a wide variety of retail establishments and residences.

4th street downtown des moinesTransportation Des Moines has an extensive sky walk system within its downtown core. With over four miles of enclosed walkway, it is one of the largest of such systems in the United States. The public transit system consists entirely of buses, including regular in-city routes and express and commuter buses to outlying suburban areas.

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Morgantown West Virginia

historic neighborhoods industry river shipping and personal rapid transit

Morgantown is located just south of the Mason-Dixon Line, 75 miles (121 km) south of Pittsburgh, 208 mi (335 km) north-northwest of Washington, D.C., 204 mi (328 km) east of Columbus and 156 miles (251 km) northeast of Charleston, WV.

downtown morgantownThe History of Morgantown is closely tied to the Anglo-French struggle for this territory. Until the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the area was greatly contested by white settlers and Native Americans, and by British and French soldiers. Several forts were built during this time, including Fort Morgan in 1772 when Zackquill Morgan established a homestead near present-day Fayette Street and University Avenue.wharf-districtThe city is comprised of several neighborhoods that were once independent towns, including: First Ward, Woodburn, South Park, Jerome Park, South Hills, Second Ward, Greenmont, Suncrest, Evansdale, Wiles Hill, Sunnyside, Sabraton, the Mileground, and North Hills. While some of these are in part or entirely outside the city limits, they are still considered part of Morgantown as trolley cars determined how far people lived outside of the city.

Development of the DuPont Ordnance Works during World War II resulted in prefabricated homes being constructed in Suncrest, the names of some streets reflected the community’s participation in various service organizations, such as Civitan, Kiwanis, Lions and Rotary.

In 2000, the White House Millennium Council designated Suncrest as a Millennium Community

woodburn circle uwvSouth Park is across Deckers Creek from downtown Morgantown. Originally farmland, it was one of the first suburbs of Morgantown. In the early 20th century, South Park experienced a housing boom, with wealthy and influential citizens settling there. The neighborhood is designated a historic district by the National Register of Historic Places.

Following World War II, many new families came to Woodburn, attracted by the parkland, closeness to downtown, community atmosphere, and nearby school. In 1950, Tom and Anna Torch opened the Richwood Avenue Confectionery, a corner store and lunch counter that served beer in large Weiss goblets from the Morgantown Glassworks. When they sold the operation in 1963 to Mario and Rose Spina, the establishment was nicknamed Mario’s Fishbowl in honor of the goblets.

morgantown personal rapid transitTransportation Morgantown relies heavily on the Monongahela River for shipping coal and other products. The river is fully navigable from its mouth at the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, past Morgantown upstream to Fairmont Morgantown Lock and Dam, located in the southern part of the city.

Transit Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit PRT most of Morgantown is accessible by the Mountain Line Transit Authority bus system. The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit PRT system covers 8.65 miles (13.9 km) and has five stations.

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