UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The second community conversation focused on the Musser Gap to Valleylands (MG2V) project will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on March 28 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County at 780 Waupelani Dr. in State College.
The conversation is a follow up to a Feb. 7 conversation that engaged the campus and local community in dialogue about the project, which aims to conserve land Penn State owns roughly between Whitehall Road and Rothrock State Forest at Musser Gap, in Ferguson Township just outside of the University Park campus.
“The thoughtful input from our community has been key in shaping what conservation looks like on Penn State’s Musser Gap to Valleylands property. We are so appreciative to have an informed and engaged public to work with the students and guide this important vision for our future,” said Deb Nardone, executive director at ClearWater Conservancy. Penn State has partnered with the non-profit ClearWater Conservancy to help facilitate public input.
The March 28 conversation will include a brief synopsis by a team of students who has been studying the site and developing management strategy ideas for future land use. As part of their presentation, the students will share three to five preliminary alternate land-use scenarios. Participants will have the opportunity to offer feedback to the students about the preliminary scenarios during breakout sessions.
People planning to attend the event are asked to RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/247556199380614/. Visitors are encouraged to carpool, as parking may be limited at the church. Light refreshments will be provided.
Penn State President Eric Barron announced his vision in December 2018. The 365-acre property includes the Musser Greenway Trail and is bordered by Rothrock State Forest and the proposed Whitehall Road Regional Park.
For the project, the University partnered with ClearWater Conservancy, which focuses on conserving and restoring the natural resources in central Pennsylvania. ClearWater is working with the community and gathering input from local residents on the MG2V project.
A team of Penn State undergraduate and graduate students spent the fall 2018 semester carefully studying the property as part of an upper-level landscape architecture course, which was sponsored by E+D: Ecology plus Design, a new Penn State center in development.
A second landscape architecture class, also sponsored by E+D, is continuing the work this semester. The spring student team is expanding on the fall effort by seeking input from stakeholders both within and outside of Penn State. As part of the work, students and ClearWater staff developed an online survey to gather community input on the project.
The preliminary land-use scenarios to be presented on March 28 are based on the values and interests that students have gleaned from stakeholder input and from the fall site analysis.
Another public conversation is scheduled for April 18 with Penn State President Eric Barron in attendance. A formal announcement will be made once details are finalized.