February, 2013:  Update

The MPMC Feasibility Study has been completed - next step: putting the plan into action! 

After many months and years of planning by community members who share the dream of creating a walkeable/bikeable community here in the Montgomery/Peters/Mercersburg area, the time has come to take the first steps towards implementing this goal. Rome wasn't built in a day, and our area won't become the model of pedestrian/bicyclist-friendly communities overnight - but the dream is a little closer.

When the state road system was conceived and built, the goal was not to marginalize or push away non-motor traffic but to give farmers the ability to bring their produce to market safely and in a timely fashion, freed from many of the problems - mud, erosion, flooding, etc. - that used to plague travelers in the past.


However, as traffic has increased in volume and speed, country roads have, in effect, become dangerous and uninviting thoroughfares for pedestrians and bicyclists, while cities, with their networks of sidewalks and public transportation, remain easily accessible to non-motorized traffic.


Did you know? .....


- Children whose ability to play and walk outdoors are impeded by motor traffic are more likely to have an increased body mass.*

- Pedestrian friendly communities have lower obesity rates.**


It’s ironic that for those of us who live in beautiful rural areas like Franklin County, exercise is less a part of our daily life than for those who live in cities. But we can change this by “putting the clock back” and creating safe thoroughfares for community members to walk and bike to various destinations - school, stores, church, library, restaurants, and so on.


  We’re on our way! 

** http://kidswalknola.org/2012/06/26/pedestrian-friendly-cities-tend-to-be-less-obese/

Have you noticed...

that Mercersburg Borough, Montgomery Township, and Peters Township are a Waterway Community? Johnston Run meanders through our neighborhoods, offering the future possibility of inviting nature trails and wetland park areas. We look forward to the day when nature-lovers will be able to enjoy the recreational and educational opportunities afforded by access to this beautiful waterway. Nurturing this valuable resource will also ensure healthy, clear water to support trout fishing and aquatic wildlife, as well as ultimately protecting the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

MACWell and MPMC, in collaboration with the Borough of Mercersburg and Peters and Montgomery Townships, have received a grant valued at $100,000 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for technical assistance to revitalize Johnston Run.

Community members of all  ages filled the VFW meeting room to participate in the Feb 7th Johnston Run Revitalization Workshop. Mike Pieper from KCI Inc. explained how a variety of human activities can impact the watershed - from logging to fertilizing our lawns, from tilling our fields to salting our roads. The assessment will look at stream bank stability, nutrient and sediment content and aquatic life and will create a "Report Card" for our waterway quality. The report will also provide recommendations on approaches to remediation and possible walking trail routes for the old tannery location. The trail would invite people to enjoy the beauty of the waterway and encourage stewardship. 

Participants at the Johnston Run Revitalization Workshop, Feb 7, 2013.

We’d Love to Hear from You!


What are your interests? What is it about walkeability/bikeability that attracts you? Do you like to ride your bicycle? Do you have school age children and are concerned for their safety when they are out and about? Are you a jogger? Is bird watching your thing? Tell us about yourself and what it is that you would like to see happen in our community to enhance your lifestyle and your activities!

Calling Volunteers!


MPMC is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers. Perhaps you’d like to help once a year by handing out cups of water to runners at the annual 5-miler; or perhaps you’d be up for attending monthly steering committee meetings and becoming involved in planning and implementation. Do you enjoy project management, grant writing or volunteer coordination? Whatever level of involvement fits, we’d love to hear from you!

Community Input and Participation are Key to Success.

Contact us:

Naomi Weller
1942 - 2013

It is with great sadness that MPMC shares the news of the death, on January 16, 2013, of one of our most dedicated and tireless volunteers, Naomi B. Weller.

Naomi's "behind the scenes" energy and commitment have been a mainstay of MACWell and MPMC since the beginning.   She kept us updated with calendars, provided logistics and assistance for Everyday Chef, addressed envelopes, gathered information, created spread sheets, made copies and filled folders,  ran numerous errands for all of the MACWell and MPMC activities--and most of all, she inspired us with her tremendous glow of encouragement and positivity about our commitment to creating a groundswell of well being in our community. She has the distinction of being the one who coined the name "Montgomery Peters Mercersburg Connectivity."  

Naomi was a resident of McFarland Road, and it was a wish dear to her heart to see the completion of a sidepath on her property and along the length of McFarland Road - as pictured below.  We aim to honor the memory of Naomi's generous spirit by continuing the work to which she was so passionately dedicated, and we look forward to the day when her vision for our community becomes a reality.

Thank You to MPMC Partners in Wellness!

Creating a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly community will require funding. MPMC has already been successful in obtaining grants of money and assistance, and with the combined expertise of steering committee members, and our consultants from  Environmental Finance Center, and the National Park Service, we are developing long-range financing strategies


Many thanks to Irv Naylor and Don MacAskill, owner and CEO of Whitetail Ski Resort, who have announced a generous donation of $10,000 to kick off the MPMC funding campaign. The goal of the funding campaign is to create a salaried position of project manager to help accomplish the long term goals of the Feasibility Study.

The First National Bank of Mercersburg has joined with a two-year commitment of support to total $10,000 toward this goal. We greatly appreciate this generosity, as well as the commitment to the MPMC vision.

Local business and groups are invited to be Partners in Wellness with MPMC by helping finance our walkable/bikeable community. Contact us at: MAC4Wellness@gmail.com.



Contact :


Editor:  June McIntosh
Contributors:   Liz George, MD
                     Laura Puckett

Picture it ...

Here is McFarland Road with no sidepath. Motor vehicles overtaking pedestrians and cyclists must come perilously close. Everyone has experienced how "invisible" walkers and cyclists can be in low light, especially when wearing dark colors.

Ta - dah!

Here is what McFarland Road will look like when the sidepath is completed - even safe for infants!

Imagine if we could travel all over Franklin County like this!
Copyright © 2013 Mercersburg Area Council for Wellness, All rights reserved.
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