Latest News

Farm visitors enjoying a hayride through the farm at Flinchbaugh's Orchard & Farm Market. (Photo Credit: Julie Keene)
May 21, 2017

Agritourism is more than entertainment, it provides visitors a unique experience they can only get on a farm!

Your community may look like this, or it may be more rural.    Either way, it's partially governed by local officials, yet served by many, many volunteers.  (Image location: Vandergrift, PA)
May 12, 2017

With local elections always on the near horizon, do you know what all those folks running for office will be responsible for doing (ideally with your help) if they happen to win?

Source: Sign Research Foundation
May 2, 2017

Signs convey a lot of information. They draw attention, communicate a message, compete with surroundings, and reach a driver traveling sometimes at a high rate of speed.

April 25, 2017

There are basically two reactions to being asked to take a survey. 50% of us cringe and look for the nearest exit – or if it’s an online request we hit ‘delete’. The other 50% of us jump into action, our curiosity aroused. Actually, I can’t support this data with social science research. But I can tell you that anticipating both types of reactions can help you build a stronger and more successful survey.

Increasingly, art is becoming an important means to engaging community. (But that's not Art speaking, that's Tommy.  Art is on the wall behind him, backing him up.)
March 24, 2017

How do you engage community members? Let me count the ways.

Pexels on CCO
March 18, 2017

Maps help us see our community's future.

Lynn Betts, 2000 for NRCS
March 6, 2017

Planners often ask ‘What should your community look like in 20 years’?

Youngsville Borough
February 28, 2017

"Where can one go to eat, play or learn about the history of your town?” is a question that a community might be asked by tourists and other visitors.

A sign may not be glamorous but it can be an effective way to get a message to local residents.
February 12, 2017

Does your organization see expected turnout and participation for events and activities? For many organizations this is a challenge. If so, then it's time to evaluate and refresh your approach to reach your target audience.

January 27, 2017

Learn about the expectations and impacts of being on a Citizen Planning Commission in your community.

December 16, 2016

Transportation systems and services in Pennsylvania face the challenges of changing demographics.

Honey Locust street trees planted in State College.
November 22, 2016

Have you given much thought to the trees in your community? Trees are a major component of the urban forest and provide a variety of benefits to our local communities.

October 25, 2016

Did you know that efforts to build trust in your community can strengthen your local economy? A range of recent social science research strongly identifies trust-building as a viable economic development strategy that holds the potential for substantial economic gains - for the organizations, communities, and regions that invest the time and resources required.

Typical road segment of a proposed transportation project, a renewal of an existing corridor.  Also see
October 7, 2016

In a past newsblog I talked about a place that I called Community A-venue, and about other transportation corridor designations. Let's take this line of thinking a few steps further.

September 19, 2016

If you live in one of Pennsylvania’s 2,561 municipalities you can thank a municipal secretary for making sure the government runs smoothly.

September 13, 2016

Our younger generations are making great career strides but an area of expertise simply isn’t enough. If we pay attention to folks at work, often we see that etiquette which reflects civility, the ability to get along with others, good manners, and making others feel comfortable is lost in the shuffle as our world continues to change at a fast pace.

PA Widowed Population over 60
September 6, 2016

Let’s say you want to open a business, say a coffee shop where you hope to attract young professionals as customers. There’s retail space in the downtown that appears to have a lot of that age group. Is this a good location for your business?

There are more than 16,600 libraries in the United States.
August 20, 2016

Libraries provide a wealth of information and resources to local communities.

Better Block events are one example of Placemaking.  Learn more --
August 5, 2016

Are your community streets places, or simply transportation corridors? Are they spaces to love? Spaces for entertainment and enrichment? Spaces for commerce?