Topic: A Revolution in York
Date: August 15, 2008
Sound of Baseball Hitting Bat and Roaring Crowd
Host: Hi. I'm Joan Schafer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mid-Atlantic region, and welcome to Environment Matters--our new series of podcasts.
History is built by revolutionaries, by those willing to deny what has been accepted as true and unchangeable, and who then commit themselves to change.
As our country, which was founded by those of the same revolutionary spirit, progresses, we learn more and more about our environment and our impact on it. It is from this awareness that the latest revolution has begun.
Here at EPA, the Office of Brownfields and Revitalization has been working for more than a decade to revitalize and renew the lives of former manufacturing and mining lands.
Through the efforts and collaboration of EPA, private funders, property owners, and government partners, the area of Codorus Creek in York City finally received the redevelopment it desperately needed. The once deteriorated industrial site is now home to the Sovereign Bank Stadium, a new landmark of York.
Redevelopment Manager for the York County Economic Development Corporation Blanda Nace says that since its construction, the stadium has brought together the neighboring community and opened the door for further reconstruction of the Codorus Creek waterfront in York City.
Blanda Nace: The stadium is not only a catalyst for economic development but it's also a visible sign of the larger change underway in the City of York and the surrounding municipalities, as the Codorus corridor is converted from its past industrial use into a publicly accessible gem, to get down to the water. In addition to the city, county, state and federal government agencies, local non-profits and private donors have taken steps to help "recapture the riverfront."
Host: Under the Brownfields law, EPA provides financial assistance to eligible applicants through four competitive grant programs: assessment, revolving loan, cleanup, and job training grants. In addition, Brownfields funding support is provided to state programs. Regarding the grants given to the City of York, EPA Brownfields Project Manager Andrew Kreider says…
Andrew Kreider: Well, for this particular site, EPA provided grant funding for environmental assessment activities at several parcels in the area. And in addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has designated portions of the corridor to receive accelerated redevelopment assistance through their Brownfields Action Team. And as a result of this initial funding, private funders have "stepped up to the plate," so to speak.
Host: Blanda Nace says it took many years to plan and there were numerous hurdles faced in this redevelopment venture, but he agrees it was well worth it.
Blanda Nace: A new era of baseball in York has really begun. It's been such a long time since York had a home team, and something really to root for. And despite all the hurdles that we faced during construction, seeing so many families and smiling kids at these games when you go to the Stadium, is really what's most rewarding.
Host: Brownfields sites strive to environmentally restore, as well as productively re-use, sites that were once a drain on their communities. The aptly named York Revolution's new home does just that--a site once littered with industrial debris, now a place full of life and community. Countywide, residents are seeing and responding to the improvements in the City of York, and they're beginning to come back. Indeed, the City of York is the site of an environmental revolution, and yes, the revolution has begun.
Closing Music Begins…
Host: For more information on Brownfields grants, visit our website at: www.epa.gov
And thanks for joining us on Environment Matters, our new series of podcasts.
Umpire Shouts "Play Ball!" as Music Dies Down