NEWPORT TOWNSHIP OHV STUDY
Follow along with Earth Conservancy and its planning team as we assess feasibility for an OHV riding area in Newport Township.
In 2019, Earth Conservancy conducted a study of its land holdings in Newport Township. The takeaway: very little of the acreage was suitable for traditional development. What was also apparent were that the woods, rocky terrain, steep slopes, views of the Susquehanna, and even the remaining mine-scarred lands created a prime area for conservation and potential recreational use.
In 2020, Earth Conservancy was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (PADCNR) to formally assess some 10,000 acres in the area. The study will pick up where Earth Conservancy’s 2005 ATV Feasibility Study left off, reevaluating partners and demand, conceptualizing a park layout, and, importantly, ascertaining management options and financial viability.
This page will be updated as the project proceeds. Make sure to check back or follow us on Facebook for the latest news.
January 18, 2021 | Public comment period begins. In addition to releasing a public Citizen Survey, EC has announced a public meeting to discuss the OHV project will be held on Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 6:00 – 8:00pm.
September 17, 2020 | Steering committee holds first meeting at Newport Township Recreation Area, with 20 people in attendance. Terry Ostrowski, Earth Conservancy’s President/CEO, welcomed the group and gave an overview of the project. He then handed the meeting over to Jim Laird of Laird Landscape Architecture, who introduced the rest of the planning team. Jim engaged the group, asking participants to introduce themselves, the group the represented, and their perspectives on the OHV study – including their concerns. The feedback provided great insight into opportunities and constraints for riders in the region. There was definite excitement for what “could be” – in terms not only of motorized recreation, but also economic development and other outdoor recreation pursuits. The committee planned to meet again in the spring, following a planned public meeting. Attendees at the meeting included representatives from PADCNR, Newport Township, Luzerne County, the Nanticoke Conservation Club, and the offices of Senator John Yudichak and Representative Gerald Mullery.
July 10, 2020 | Laird Landscape Architecture engaged as consultant for feasibility study. Study team includes WAR Landscape Architecture and The Institute.
April 17, 2020 | Request for Proposals issued, due May 18, 2020.
December 23, 2019 | Earth Conservancy awarded All-Terrain Vehicle grant by PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources; fully executed April 16, 2020.
Newport Township Master Plan (Earth Conservancy, 2019)
ATV Feasibility Study Report (Earth Conservancy, 2005)
Pennsylvania All-Terrain Vehicle Area Suitability Study (PADCNR, 2019)
DCNR ATV Trail Development and Management Policy (PADCNR, 2020)
TAKE THE SURVEY!
Are you a rider? Have thoughts about an OHV recreation area? Tell us more by taking our public survey. You can either complete it digitally or download and complete the questionnaire electronically or by hand. All responses will be kept confidential.