First Posted: 7/25/2007
The Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA) recently welcomed a delegation from La Fédération des Parcs naturels régionaux de France, the national park system of France. The delegation included Jean-Luc Beghin, director of the Espaces Naturels Regionaux; Serge Menicucci, consultant for the Fédération; Jacques Decugniére, representative of the Par du Lubéron; and Luc Coppin, president of the communal union of the Parc du Scarpe-Escaut. The delegation was escorted from the International Heritage Development Conference in Detroit, MI, by Natalie Solfanelli, executive director of LHVA, and Allen Saches, executive director of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor. During the conference, the French delegation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Alliance of National Heritage Areas, the sponsoring organization for the conference. This memorandum indicates an agreement by the Alliance of National Heritage Areas, a membership organization of 37 National Heritage Areas including LHVA, to work closely with the Fédération to develop cooperative programming. The group was welcomed to Scranton by Mayor Chris Doherty during a ceremony at the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities conference held at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel. Then they toured the Schuylkill River Heritage Area in southern Pennsylvania, as well as the Wilkes-Barre flood control levee project, before returning to Scranton for a trolley ride to a Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees game. After a breakfast at the Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel to introduce the delegation to LHVA partners and elected officials, the group was escorted on a full-day tour of the Lackawanna Valley. The tour visited local cultural and heritage sites such as the Electric City Trolley Station and Museum, Steamtown National Historic Site, the Anthracite Heritage Museum, the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour, and the Everhart Museum. The group returned to France following a tour of Palmerton and the Lehigh Gap, part of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor in eastern Pennsylvania. For more information, call Colleen Carter at 963-6730, ext. 8211 or 575-2906.