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Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® Awarded $15,000 Grant to Assist with Mt. Penn Project

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Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:18 am

WYOMISSING, PA – The Reading-Berks Association of REALTORS® (R-BAR) was awarded a $15,000 Smart Growth Action Grant from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) to assist the Mt. Penn Preserve project with a design charrette.

A design charrette is an intensive planning session where community leaders, citizens, planning professionals, and relevant stakeholders come together to develop a vision and action plan for a project.

2016 R-BAR president Eva Eisenbrown commented, “I am proud to announce that our association has been awarded a $15,000 grant to fund a charrette that will ultimately lead to improving recreational opportunities on Mt. Penn for the homeowners and visitors of Reading and Berks County.”

Kevin Barnhardt, Berks County Commissioner, and Lee Olsen, President & CEO of Olsen Design Group Architects and President of the Pagoda Foundation, have recently spearheaded efforts to revitalize Mt. Penn as an attraction and destination in southeastern Pennsylvania. The grant will fund a one-and-a-half-day design charrette planning session. The outcome of the event will be a report, with graphics, delineating how the community at large sees the mountain being best utilized, an action plan with a schedule, and an overview of its potential organizational management.

“Realtors, like many other Berks County citizens, have at least once visited Mt. Penn, whether it be to visit the Pagoda, hike or bike the mountain’s trail system, take in a sunset, or climb the Fire Tower, Mt. Penn is the most recognizable recreational attraction in Berks County” said Wesley T. Stefanick, government affairs director of the Reading-Berks Association of Realtors®. “Unfortunately, over time, the mountain and its resources have been either underutilized or neglected. With the leadership of Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt and Pagoda Foundation president Lee Olsen, the potential of the mountain will once again be realized and ultimately improved as a destination for not just the citizens of Berks County, but the visitors we welcome here every day.”

NAR's Smart Growth Action Grants support a wide range of activities that support Realtor engagement in land-use or transportation-related issues with the primary goals of affecting public policies that support a more sustainable development paradigm as detailed in the 10 Smart Growth Principles. Learn more about smart growth from the Smart Growth Alliance of Berks County by visiting www.smartgrowthalliance.org. To learn more about the Mt. Penn Preserve project, visit www.mtpennpreserve.org.

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