Historical society clarifies scenic byway

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  • PHOTOS BY JANET REDYKE The six charts contain answers to most of the questions of the byway meeting attendants.

  • Vernon Township Historical Society President Jessica Paladini discusses the scenic byway.

  • PHOTOS BY JANET REDYKEInterested individuals sign in at the Western Highlands Scenic Byway meeting held on Oct. 15.

A question and comment forum took place on Sunday afternoon Oct. 15 to inform and clarify the designation of Route 515 as the Western Highlands Scenic Byway.

Sponsored by the Vernon Township Historical Society, roughly 50 people attended the meeting with Historical Society President Jessi Paladini, Department of Transportation official Cindy Bloom-Cronin, WSP USA representatives Pam Lebeaux and Mike Kublanov, Wawayanda Park Superintendent Jessica Kruegel in attendance. Also in attendance were Boy Scout Garrett Summers and his dad Scott. The younger Summers came to the meeting interested in offering future assistance with the scenic byway on an individual and also with his troop # 777’s assistance. Joe Cusack, an anthropologic Masters’ degree student offered information about the Black Creek area as well as other historic highlights.

There are currently eight scenic byways throughout the state, accenting on specific characteristics, namely, historic, recreational, archaeological, cultural, scenic and natural.

Six charts in the center of the room explained how the 21.4 mile Western Highlands Scenic Byway is an asset to the community by capturing the bucolic landscapes, rural industrial past, recreational resources like the Appalachian Trail and area natural resources like wetlands and forest. The region contains 120 species of nesting birds, 45 species of mammals, 50 herb species and hundreds of types of flora.

A map of the byway encouraged individuals to add or elaborate on additional points of interest. Residents came up with sites like the Limestone Quarry, a tannery, Tory Rock and the Williams Iron Mine.

For further information on the Western Highlands Scenic Byway, visit tinyurl.com/WHSByway.

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