Yesterday, I reported to you on a Lehigh Valley Planning Commission (LVPC) survey conducted in March and April, with over 1,000 responses, telling us what we like least about the Lehigh Valley. What do you like most? Here's what the survey says:
1) Parks, Trails and Recreational Activities (61%).- Whether it's outdoor basketball at Cedar Beach, or a bike trail that extends from Allentown to Easton and points south, it's hard for any community to compete with Lehigh Valley parks
2) Natural Lands and Farmlands (59%).- The Lehigh Valley lost 80 percent of its farms between 1930, when there were 5,032 farms, and 2007, when only 1,002 farms remained. The acres of land devoted to farmland has dropped 53 percent, from 323,000 acres in 1930 to 153,000 in 2007. Pennsylvania leads the nation in preserving farmland, but the best way to preserve farmland is by preserving the farmer. The number of farmers under the age of 35 dropped by 37 percent between 1997 and 2007. Only 17 percent of farmers actually own the land they farm because land values are prohibitive.
3) Proximity to NYC and Philly (55%) - Unfortunately, this is what also makes the Lehigh Valley a warehouse magnet.
Other LV positives are 4) mix of urban, suburban and rural (47%); 5) near family and friends (46%); 6) cost of living (46%); 7) cultural and entertainment activities (40%); 8) historic sites and architecture (38%); and 9) proximity to work (37%).