River Towns

The River Town Program helps communities recognize the river as an asset around which civic and economic development can occur, and thus a resource worthy of protection.

The overall objective of the River Town Program is to provide an efficient, effective, and regionally-based resource to help local communities recognize the river as a potential economic and community asset, and thus a resource worthy of protection. PEC has initiated river town programs along the Allegheny River, Monongahela River, Schuylkill River, and French Creek.

Strategies include:

  • Economic growth based on outdoor recreational services and businesses.
  • Community engagement that connects residents with healthy leisure activities through outdoor recreation.
  • Well-maintained business districts that offer needed goods, services, and jobs.
  • Safe, clean, “green,” and well-maintained communities that demonstrate continuous community re-investment.
  • Effective, well-maintained, and well-managed community infrastructure and resources.
  • Economically and socially desirable land uses that support strong, vital, and healthy business growth, stability, expansion, and turnover.
  • Strong and healthy communities based on a sound institutional foundation that supports strategic decision-making, informed action, and continuous reinvestment.


Outdoor recreation is a booming segment of the U.S. economy, particularly in waterfront destinations.

“Recent studies across the country have shown that connecting communities to natural resources can provide opportunities for economic growth, increase the quality of life of local residents, raise property values, and attract new business investment.”

Schuylkill River Towns

PEC undertook a community-led initiative to improve the environment and economy of Manayunk, Conshohocken, Norristown, and Phoenixville and help these River Towns reclaim the Schuylkill river as an asset.


Allegheny River Towns

Nestled along the Allegheny River, just north of Pittsburgh, the Allegheny River Towns are fostering river recreation, business growth, and walkable/bikeable communities.


Monongahela River Towns

The Monongahela River Towns are working regionally to grow a hub of outdoor recreation in a beautiful rural setting, just a short drive from major urban centers.


French Creek Towns

Along with the French Creek Valley Conservancy, PEC launched a Creek Town Program in order to take full advantage of all the beauty and potential for outdoor recreation that the region has to offer.


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