Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Walk This Way: Harrisburg hopes to extend “urban meadow” to new courthouse area

The urban meadow in Midtown Harrisburg

Harrisburg hopes to extend an existing walkway by two blocks, offering a landscaped pedestrian link between the new federal courthouse and the heart of Midtown Harrisburg.

The city has applied for a $75,430 grant to PA WalkWorks, a program of the state Department of Health, to extend the “urban meadow” to N. 6th Street from its current terminus at Fulton Street.

“With the courthouse being built, we would like to see this extension,” confirmed Mayor Eric Papenfuse.

About a decade ago, three blocks of Boyd Street, from N. 3rd to Fulton streets, were transformed from a street alley into a pleasant walkway and bike path with the installation of pavers and native plants.

The project was part of a larger master plan to revitalize the area. In the early 2000s, the city acquired and cleared several blocks of blighted houses and commercial buildings along the 300- and 400-blocks of Reily Street.

The Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority eventually sold these blocks to GreenWorks Development and HACC, and they’re now surface parking lots. Recently, GreenWorks received a $2 million state grant to help fund a $26 million, 135-unit apartment and retail building planned for the 300-block of Reily.

The current urban meadow runs in back of these parcels.

Harrisburg wants to extend the urban meadow from its current terminus at Fulton Street (seen here) up Boyd Street to N. 6th Street, where a construction crane for the new federal courthouse can be seen in the background.

If received, the grant would pay for design work for the two-block extension up Boyd Street to N. 6th Street, making the walkway nearly ¼-mile in total. Papenfuse said the city also is applying for a Dauphin County gaming grant, which would help fund the remainder of the project, including construction.

City Council must ratify the application to PA WalkWorks, though the city has already submitted the application in order to meet an Aug. 30 deadline.

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