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Latrobe officials float to promote use of Loyalhanna Creek

Date: 5/4/2012

By Joe Napsha

Published: Friday, May 4, 2012, 10:54 p.m.
Updated: Saturday, May 5, 2012

Latrobe has an underused resource that could spread economic benefits while improving the quality of life for area residents -- Loyalhanna Creek -- as it flows through the city and Derry and Unity townships, state and local officials and environmentalists said on Friday.

To do that, Latrobe needs better public access to the creek, said Ann Powell, the borough’s code enforcement officer, and police Chief James Bumar after a waterway tour of the Loyalhanna from the Mission Road bridge to Longs Road bridge in Derry-Unity townships.

Latrobe officials were joined by about 10 representatives from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the state Fish and Boat Commission and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, all of whom saw the beauty of that 6-mile stretch of the creek, as well as the environmental challenges.

"We need to figure ways to get in and out of the water," Powell said.

Latrobe has no public boat launch ramps into the creek, which is part of the flood control zone developed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Latrobe-Unity Parks & Recreation Commission plans to create a boat launch at Cardinal Park at the western end of the city. Participants in the canoe-and-kayak tour also saw the need for public access at the eastern end of Latrobe, giving waterway users a put-in and take-out point that follows the creek through the city.

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