Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Jr., and Lafayette College President Dan Weiss joined Air Products Senior Vice President Alex Masetti today in announcing the company's investment of $300,000 over six years in Easton's West Ward. The company joins Lafayette Ambassador Bank and Easton Hospital in supporting the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership operated by the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley. Air Products will receive tax credits from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development for its contributions.
The company was particularly attracted to the Partnership's Urban Ecology Project because it complements the company's own commitment to responsible environmental stewardship. The West Ward Neighborhood Partnership recently declared its intention to make the West Ward "the greenest urban neighborhood in Pennsylvania" through a wide range of initiatives, including green building rehabilitation, weatherization, community and backyard gardens, tree planting, environmental education, water testing, and more.
Also attracting the company to the project was the active involvement of Lafayette College. Also attracting the company to the project was the active involvement of Lafayette College. Lafayette is a nationally ranked liberal arts school with strong programs in the humanitites, sciences and engineering . Lafayette College has played a prominent role in the Urban Ecology Project; students have participated in Tech Clinics, community service projects, and the study and design of green rehabilitation of West Ward buildings.
In announcing the company's investment, Masetti said, "Tomorrow's engineers will have to understand the relationship between economic growth and environmental stewardship. This project is cutting the edge in training students to strike the balance necessary to save the planet while creating economic opportunity and building strong neighborhoods. Air Products is proud to be a part of it."
The West Ward Neighborhood Partnership serves the area bounded by Sixth Street to the east, 15th Street to the west, Butler Street to the south, and Bushkill Creek to the north. To date, more than 300 new trees have been planted, over 50 residential facades have been improved, and nearly 70 sidewalks have been replaced. Funding was provided to the Boys and Girls Club to start and operate the teen center on Northampton Street. The 600 block of Northampton Street has been streetscaped. Additionally, commercial signs have been upgraded, porches painted and repaired, and murals and mosaics created.
Photo Credit: Ugly Easton