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Series: Reimagine Rural
Aerial view of Shamokin, Pennsylvania

Transforming coal country in Shamokin, Pennsylvania

Shamokin, Pennsylvania is a former coal town on its way to becoming an outdoor recreation destination after decades of decline. In this episode of Reimagine Rural, Tony Pipa returns to his roots to learn how an abandoned mine remediation project is helping spur community renewal. He speaks with local leaders and residents who are bringing their vision to life with the support of key public resources.

Get more research about rural policy here.

Participants in this episode:

  • Jim Backes, chair, Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area Authority (AOAA)
  • John Brown, former Shamokin mayor (2019–22)
  • Betsy Kramer, revitalization coordinator, SEDA-COG
  • Dave Porzi, director of operations, AOAA
  • Andy Twiggar, Shamokin investor
  • Rick Ulrich, Shamokin mayor (2022–present)
  • Kathy Vetovich, Shamokin business owner
  • Kim Wheeler, executive director, SEDA-COG


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