Past Featured Project:

Earth Conservancy, South Valley Parkway Corridor Lands

Earth Conservancy (EC) lands along the South Valley Parkway Corridor are located in the City of Nanticoke, Newport and Hanover Townships, all within in the Wyoming Valley of Luzerne County. The Wyoming Valley runs in a northeast to southwest direction along the Susquehanna River, through Wilkes-Barre City to the City of Nanticoke. EC, 1,534 acres are in the southwestern section of the Valley in the vicinity of Luzerne County Community College. The workshop will focus on four EC Parcels ranging in size from 240 acres to 574 acres with a total acreage of 1,534 acres. Of this total, 350 acres are under development, 190 acres are available for development, and 994 acres will be available beginning in 2010. All the parcels are accessible by Interstate 81 and State Route 29, a regional parkway that cuts across the Valley and connects I-81 in the south with SR-11 in the north. A new South Valley Parkway will bisect SR-29, providing additional access to the developable lands. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), Bureau of Abandoned Mineland Reclamation (BAMR), EC and other partners are currently investing in the reclamation of the mine scarred lands to promote reutilization.

The Joint Urban Studies Center of Wilkes-Barre University (JUSC) has completed extensive research on the region, including much of the data and trends included in a typical economic and demographic analysis. The information is available in the 2008 Lackawanna and Luzerne County Indicators Report. In addition, the 2007 Joint Urban Studies Center report entitled The Rise of Luzerne County: An Examination of the Origin and Future Effects of Recent Population Shifts includes additional demographic information.

Population and Workforce:

Nanticoke and the South Valley Parkway Corridor area are part of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (population of 624,776 in 2000). According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, the MSA has a civilian labor force of 284,500 people. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 2006 population of Luzerne County at 313,200. Luzerne County experienced slight population increases from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2005 to 2006 after decades of decline. Households in Luzerne County earning $50,000 - $75,000 annual represent 19.1% of the households, an increase of 1.5% since 2000. Approximately 9.7% of the households earn less than $10,000 per year, while 9.2% of the households earned over $100,000 per year.

Economy and Business:

The Scranton/Wilkes Barre/Hazleton area has gained recognition over the last decade as a strategic, affordable pathway to the economic centers of the United States and Canada. A significant amount of new development has occurred in the past decade, especially in the warehouse distribution market. According to the 2007 JUSC Report, Luzerne County saw employment increases in 10 out of 19 industry sectors. The greatest increases from 2005 to 2006 occurred in healthcare, construction, and arts, entertainment and recreation.

Transportation:

The region is heavily influenced by the Interstate system of roads. The Scranton/ Wilkes Barre/Hazleton area has gained recognition over the last decade as a strategic, affordable pathway to the economic centers of the United States and Canada. The convergence of Interstates 81, 80, 84, 78, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike create direct access to major cities in the United States. The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is about 25 miles north. Existing railways provide additional linkages to major economic centers. Significant money has been spent over the past several years upgrading freight lines for expansion of commercial development and specific end users. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton market has not only been recognized for its strong transportation links and active recreation, but also its affordable real estate, abundant workforce and its quality of life.

Email mine-scarredlands@sra.com or call Nicole Clarke at (724) 746-3924
to register for the October 15th workshop.

Project Photo Gallery:

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