Wrightsville sits at a confluence of outdoor recreation—and through its participation in the York County Trail Towns program, it’s poised to take advantage of the economic development activities that benefit.
The topic was part of an update on this attendance by Silas Chamberlin, vice president for economic development of the York County Economic Alliance, at the March 21 Wrightsville Borough Council meeting.
Chamberlin cited the district’s proximity to “footpaths…the Northwest (Lancaster County) River Trail…the (Susquehanna) River itself” and nearby state and county parks.
“Wrightsville is truly a hub for outdoor recreation,” he said. “A lot of great assets, and Wrightsville is really at the heart of it.”
In 2021, the YCEA enrolled the district at the beginning of its second year in the Trail Towns program, funded by a $750,000 grant from the State Department of Community and Economic Development. The first year focused on towns along the York County Heritage Rail Trail from York City to New Freedom.
Last year, an action team commissioned the community of Wrightsville to conduct a survey; conducted more than 25 interviews with executives from business and society; and conducted a walking tour of the city to assess the city’s character, shops and access to the trailhead and parking lots. The team’s work culminated in a community meeting last November.
Meeting attendees voted on the following priorities: improving walkability, bike and river access, improving the appearance of downtown Hellam Street, expanding and locating businesses that benefit the Trail Town vibe, and marketing Wrightsville as a ” eastern center” for hiking trails and recreation.
Of these, a number of high-priority action items rose to the top, Chamberlin said. These include installing downtown street design, providing signage for the Mason-Dixon path, bike route and river access, improving facades for commercial buildings on Hellam Street and more.
Chamberlin said YCEA will work to implement the plan and will not burden Wrightsville.
“YCEA certainly sees this as our program, which we are delivering in partnership with Trail Town’s communities and action teams, and we are committed to moving it forward,” he said, adding that $20,000 has already been raised for the work in Wrightsville were provided.
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