Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. ~Mattie Stepanek

This quote is taking on more meaning for our little town these days. At the Forest City Outdoor Town Action Team meeting, held on Thursday, January 5th, the Center Street Park Project was discussed. The Action Team had a proposal in hand, from Paul Bechtel of McLane Associates, a landscape architecture firm, to proceed with plan development for the Park. Professionally developed plans are a first step and key component to support the Park as the Action Team investigates available grant opportunities and community partners to push the Center Street renovation forward. The Action Team turned to the Greater Forest City Business Alliance for support and collaboration to obtain the needed funding for this initial stage.

In 2022 the GFCBA held 3 fundraising events to raise funds for our community, totaling $10,000. One of those events, the 2nd annual Big Backyard Poker Run, held in July, dedicated the funds raised to the Center Street Park Project. The Poker Run was a success, raising $1700.  The Action Team asked the GFCBA to release those funds to cover the costs of the proposal.  Additionally, a remaining balance of $755 was needed. The GFCBA Board voted yes, unanimously to fully provide the $2455 to retain McLane Associates. The Action Team would like to extend a great big THANK YOU to the GFCBA for their hard work and dedication to our community!

If you would like more information on how you can get involved with the Center Street Park project or either the Forest City Outdoor Town Action Team or the Greater Forest City Business Alliance please email either forestcity.actionteam@gmail.com or gfcba13@gmail.com.

 

 

ATTENTION ALL BUSINESS OWNERS IN THE GREATER FOREST CITY AREA!

The Greater Forest City Business Alliance has begun our 2023 membership drive. If you are currently a 2022
member, we thank you for your continued support and encourage you to join again for 2023.  If you are new to the area or
new to this organization here is your chance to become a member of this dynamic, ever-growing Alliance.

This letter serves as a reminder of membership benefits, including:
● A community, business-focused organization, dedicated to commerce and community advocacy
● Opportunities to increase patronage from new residents, visitors, and locals
● Opportunities to engage in community leadership and volunteerism
● Free advertising on our website: www.visitforestcitypa.com
● Free advertising on our Facebook page and Instagram account

With the professional help of Golden Owl Consulting, our website and social media have grown with followers, views,
and likes. Our media efforts are an excellent source to interact with the community and advertise our diverse membership,
local events, initiatives, and resources. We encourage you to visit these sites, refer to the enclosed media summary sheet,
which includes media statistics and growth from this year. Make the most of these perks!

In 2022, the GFCBA ramped up our fundraising efforts with 3 events. Our Glory Days 80’s Jam in February, our first
annual Trail Trot in honor of Donnie Teague in May, and our second annual Big Backyard Poker Run in July, raised over
$10,000! We are so thankful for our supportive members and community for the success of this year’s fundraising efforts.
These monies will be used to match grant money for community projects and town beautification.

Main Street Forest City hosts 4 annual festivals in which you can participate and advertise for your business. Easter on
Main, Trail Town Festival, Halloween on Main, and Christmas on Main draw many local residents and visitors to
downtown Forest City. Plenty of potential new customers!

We are currently over 100 members strong & ask for your support so that we may continue to work on your behalf for growth and community achievement.

Please reach out to us at gfcba13@gmail.com with any questions regarding membership or download your application here!

The Outdoor Town Action Team (FCOTAT) met on September 1, 2022 at Elegante’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, Forest City. During the year-long Outdoor Town program, the FCOTAT established 8 Goals, also known as Action Items for Forest City and the surrounding area. These Action Items were identified as top priority by the Forest City community. Listed below are the Action Items and a summary of FCOTAT efforts for each to this point.

September meeting highlights include the following:

• Goal: Improve Main Street – Improve Building Facades.

Gus Fahey reported that the façade program had 23 applicants initially apply and 8 with full applications as of mid-September. Thank you to Gus of Valley in Motion for heading this project. Gus is assisted by a three-member team, including the FCOTAT Committee Chairperson, Katie Zefran, who will help determine recipients.

• Goal: Improve Main Street – Create Murals.

The first mural has been completed and was dedicated at Forest City’s Trail Town event on August 6th. Kudos to all those involved to bring the beautiful mural to Main Street.  The FCOTAT intends to identify resources and grant opportunities that can support bringing more murals to town and the D&H Trailheads.

• Goal: Improve Main Street – Enhance streetscape to include bike racks, planters, and street trees.

Planters and flowers were planted at the beginning of the summer thanks to assistance from the Mountain View Garden Club and donation of flowers and materials from Blueberry Hill Farm Greenhouses. Katie Cicilioni, FCOTAT member, GFCBA Secretary and President of the Mountain View Garden Club, oversaw the project with assistance from MVGC members, GFCBA Members and Main Street neighbors. Main Street business owners were asked to assist with maintaining the flowers during the summer. The Center Street Park Project has gained a little momentum. A local resident has volunteered to be on the team to help create the Park. The Marywood University architecture program has not yet responded to a request to review the project. It was suggested that Johnson College may also be a positive resource for project assistance as well. The FCOTAT anticipates to partner with FC Parks and Rec to collaborate on this project.

• Goal: Build Business and Community Development by recruiting investors/developers for new retail, unique shops, restaurants and lodging.

No information to report at this time. The FCOTAT would appreciate anyone interested in assisting with this initiative to reach out to us. Please email us at forestcity.actionteam@gmail.com

• Goal: Connect Outdoor Assets – Create safe bike/pedestrian routes.
It was noted that PennDOT has not yet released the Multi-modal grant for sidewalks. The intention for this grant application would be to connect Erie Street and Main Street. Application for this grant will be evaluated by the FCOTAT when it opens.

• Goal: Undertake Marketing – Market Forest City as a Trail/Outdoor Town.
The GFCBA remains a supporting entity for this action item. The 2022-2023 Forest City Brochure and Map are available, with nearly 3500 of the 5000 printed for this year distributed to date. The GFCBA intends to print an additional 2500 for 2023 with the support of grant funding. The GFCBA also maintains a professionally managed website and social media, highlighting member businesses, area attractions, and events.

•Goal: Connect Outdoor Assets – Create better connections to allow snowmobilers off-road access to downtown restaurants & Turkey Hill

No information to report at this time. The FCOTAT would appreciate anyone interested in assisting with this initiative to reach out to us at forestcity.actionteam@gmail.com

• Goal: Enhance Erie Street and Forest City Trailheads.

The FCOTAT was granted permission by the Borough at their September meeting, to apply for the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau Room Tax Grant. The grant funds earmarked to introduce the beginning of a “sculpture trail” from the Forest City Trailhead. The sculpture will mark the Wi-Fi available at the trailhead. Long-range plans encompass a series of sculptures, placed through town. An artist and design have been agreed upon for this initial project. The Greater Forest City Business Alliance has graciously agreed to collaborate and support this project with matching grant funds, not to exceed 25% of the awarded funding. $7000 will be the asking amount for the grant.

The Erie Street Trailhead Welcome Arch project has not had further progress at this time. However, the FCOTAT is working with students from Forest City Regional and Career Technologies along with Rail-Trail Council to complete this project.

The FCOTAT spent the final portion of September’s meeting discussing the importance of reaching out to Forest City’s Main Street business owners to further clarify the committee’s role and intention with projects to support our commerce. The team agreed that a presentation and Q & A session would serve best to accomplish face to face communication. The presentation will be scheduled after the holiday season into 2023.  Prior to the presentation, an invitation will be sent via mail and email.

The Outdoor Town Action Team conducts its meetings the first Thursday of each month at Elegante’s starting at 6 PM. The next meeting will be Thursday, October 6, 2022.   We invite interested members of the community to attend. For further information or questions please contact Juliann Doyle, Board Member at 570-499-4908 or jdoyle@nep.net. All are welcome!

Thank you for being a part of the Greater Forest City Business Alliance and a Forest City Business owner.  Especially, in these times, we strive to make this town more of a destination.  We continue to develop a vibrant community atmosphere for people to visit, shop, and stop for a bite to eat.

As autumn and winter approach, we are hoping to decorate the town, particularly on Main Street.  On Wednesday, October 26th from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. we will be hosting a “Trunk or Treat” event, together with a Headless Horsemen, pumpkin painting, costume contest, and some good old-fashioned fun.  This event is planned to bring more people to patronize

your business and organizations.  For this event, your business or group will have the opportunity to sponsor and carve a Jack O’Lantern.  The pumpkins, with your business name prominently featured, will be displayed on the 500 block of Main Street.

Furthermore, in a two-for-one decorating opportunity, all proceeds from your pumpkin sponsorship will go towards the Holiday Light Fund.  Our current Main Street Lights are in desperate need of replacement, so new ones are needed across our town to create an inviting atmosphere for the December Tree Lighting Ceremony.

In the upcoming holiday seasons, please help us to help you and our town draw more people to our local businesses.  Donations, no matter how small, are important and your donation, of any amount, will sponsor your pumpkin!

For more information or to sponsor a pumpkin please contact Main Street Coordinator, Paul Daugevelo at rosal@nep.net.

 

The Greater Forest City Business Alliance held its Second Annual “Forest City’s Big
Backyard Poker Run” on Saturday, July 30th, 2022. It was a gorgeous day to take a ride
through our vast and breathtaking region and visit many of the GFCBA member restaurants.
 
The event was open to all vehicles. In total, 44 participants made the rounds to Jake’s
Elk Lake Tavern, Elegante’s PIzzeria, AJ’s Bar & Grill, Simpler Times, The Stonehouse, Chet’s Place, The Beacon Bar & Grill and the Candlelight Inn. At each stop, participants received a “card” via a game such as balloon darts, cornhole, a Big Six wheel, duck ponds, and Bingo. Each participant carried a scorecard, donated by Panorama Golf Course, and their suits and numbers were recorded. The event concluded with an after-party at the Mountain View Restaurant in Clifford with good food and music by DJ Donna Diva. Two $500 prizes were awarded for the best and worst hands. Maureen Neubert took the top spot for best hand and Paul Roberts won for worst hand.
 
The $1600 raised from this year’s run is earmarked to be used toward the beautification
of Forest City’s Center Street Park. The GFCBA plans to collaborate with Forest City’s Parks and Recreation Committee and Forest City’s Action Team to identify the best use of these funds. This success of the Poker Run was made possible through the hard work of the GFCBA’s fundraising committee. The group meets monthly to organize fundraisers and identify causes that can promote the connection of our area’s natural resources to our local commerce. The Poker Run evolved originally to draw attention to our many member restaurants who were hit hardest by the pandemic. Michelle LaPenta, of M & M Auto, did a fantastic job leading this event.
 
The GFCBA would like to thank our 2022 sponsors, whose support of our organization
and vision is essential to our success. Our Antique Level Sponsors included the following: Hornbeck Chevrolet, Clifford Home & Auto, First National Bank, Forest City Marketplace, Jake’s Elk Lake Tavern, M & M Auto, Pioneer Construction Co. Inc., White’s Crossing Sports Shop, and Ms. Marie’s Salon. Our Vintage Level Sponsors included Forest City Family Health Center, Simpler Times, McAndrew Law Offices, P.C., Briechle Law Offices, P.C., Creamworks, Inc. The Beacon Bar & Grill, Kresock Insurance Company, The Forest City News, Inc., and Senator Lisa Baker. Our Classic Level Sponsors included Cube Auto Supply, William H. Wolfe Jr. Well Drilling, Trinity Banquet Facility, K & W Oil, and Panorama Golf Course. Additional thanks to The Uniondale Fire Company for your sponsorship of the game at Chet’s Place. And thank you to Cable’s Deli and The Samuel Company for building the Big 4 Wheel! We are sure the wheel will make an appearance for many fundraisers to come!
 
Next year’s Big Backyard Poker Run is scheduled for July 29th, 2023. Save the date! It’s a good time, benefits our community and takes you on a fabulous country ride!
Antique Sponsors for GFCBA Poker Run Vintage Sponsors for the GFCBA Poker Run '22

On Monday, August 1, 2022 Forest City Borough Council voted positively on an
ordinance accepting the Forest City Outdoor Town Action Team as an advisory board to their Community and Economic Development sector under Councilwoman Amy Bean. The Action Team was originally formed in 2021 to participate in a program called “Outdoor Towns”, which was made possible by a grant through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and matched by Forest City Borough Council and the Rail Trail Council of NEPA. Recognition by Forest City Borough Council as an advisory board was a crucial structural step to allow the Action Team to investigate projects and resources that can help to address meaningful changes and progress identified by our community as important, through the Outdoor Towns Initiative.

Following their formal designation by Borough Council on August 1st, an organizational meeting was held on Thursday, August 4, 2022 at Elegante’s Pizzeria for the Forest City Outdoor Town Action Team (FCOTAT). The board for the FCOTAT has been identified as follows: Katie Zefran – Chairperson, Deb McNamara – Co-Chairperson, Erin Debish – Secretary, Suzanne Atcavage – Grant Team Leader, and Juliann Doyle – Marketing Team Leader. President of Forest City Borough Council Robert Lesjack attended the meeting, providing direction and insight for organizational structure, meeting management and the role of this team.

Discussions on job descriptions, grant opportunities, the Sunshine Act, collaborating with other FC Borough entities and organizations, the Erie Street Trailhead Welcome Arch, and the Center Street Park Project were included in the evening’s discussion. The group spent a significant amount of time reviewing their role and responsibilities. A key component that they will work to emphasize is their place within the Borough Council and community structure. The FCOTAT are not intending to be the designated leaders for the many projects and visions that were identified in the Outdoor Towns Action Plan. Rather, the FCOTAT is dedicated to collaborative efforts with Forest City Borough and it’s entities, other Forest City based organizations including but not limited to Rail Trail Council of NEPA, the Greater Forest City Business Alliance, Forest City Historical Society, Greater Forest City Industries, NEPA Sno-Trails, and Forest City Regional School District. The FCOTAT intends to serve the community as a “work horse” to identify and pursue grant opportunities, collaborate and assist with projects and promote a united vision among our many community based organizations.

The next meeting of the FCOTAT will be held on Thursday September 1st, 2022, 6pm at
Elegante’s Restaurant and Pizzeria.

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The 2022 Trail Town on Main Light Parade will be held on Saturday, August 6, 2022. 

The parade will begin at 9:00 pm with lineup starting at 7:30 pm in the Vision 2000 Industrial Park off of Route 247 in Browndale.   

Leading up to the parade, starting at 3:00 pm, Main Street will be filled with vendors of all kinds, showcasing our local business community!  

We invite all community members & visitors to attend this event on Main Street!

If you would like to participate in the parade please print and submit your participation form found below!

 

RACE REGISTRATION

Sponsorship Letter

Sponsorship Levels

 

The Greater Forest City Business Alliance is excited to announce the First Annual “Forest City Trail Trot 5K and Community Walk” to be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022, on the D & H Trail!  Race location is at the trailhead, located in Forest City, on Commerce Boulevard.  The 5K race start is scheduled for 10 am with a 1 mile “Community Fun Walk” to follow immediately thereafter (approximately 10:45).

In January, 2022, Forest City lost a longtime resident and “running icon”, Donny Teague at the age of 91. For all who knew Don, he was “always running”.    He was known and will be remembered for his true love of the sport, boundless energy, and his colorful and attention-grabbing outfits when hitting the pavement.  He was also a faithful supporter, advocate, and statistician for the Forest City Regional Cross-Country Team, for more than 20 years.  He was committed to the success of those student-athletes and made sure each team member had the support they needed to cross the finish line.  He was out on the course until they were in.  We are honored to name this race in his memory.

In line with Donny’s joy of running in, around, and through Forest City and beyond, funds raised from this race will be earmarked to support projects connecting local commerce to our region’s outdoor experience.   Forest City received a grant in 2021, through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and matched by the Forest City Borough and RailTrail Council of NEPA.  This grant allowed Forest City to create an Action Team – made up of many members across several organizations – to participate in a program called “Outdoor Towns”. The purpose of this initiative was to take a close look at the natural resources and assets we are surrounded by and identify any barriers to marketing and connecting Forest City to them! The voice of our community was heard… and visions and projects that can help to support Forest City as a wonderful place to live, work, and play have been identified.  We have an amazing “Big Backyard” – it was “Don’s Big Backyard”…and we need to support it!   So, funds from this race are earmarked to support this initiative!

Awards will be presented for:
5K Runners/Walkers
Overall male, first place
Overall female, first place

Female 17 years old and under: first, second, and third place
Male 17 years old and under: first, second, and third place
Female 18 – 29 years old: first, second, and third place
Male 18 – 29 years old: first, second, and third place
Female 30 – 39 years old: first, second and third place
Male 30 – 39 years old: first, second and third place
Female 40 – 49 years old: first, second and third place
Male 40 – 49 years old: first, second and third place
Female 50 – 59 years old: first, second and third place
Male 50-59 years old: first, second and third place
Female 60-69 years old: first, second and third place
Male 60 – 69 years old: first, second and third place
Female 70 (+) years old: first, second and third place
Male 70 (+) years old: first, second and third place

One Mile Community Walkers – No chip – 1st. 2nd, 3rd place in order across the finish line!  This one is all for fun!

Timing Services to be provided by Scranton Running Co.

For more information please visit Forest City Trail Trot 5K – In Memory of Donny Teague | Facebook Event.

Starting on March 1, 2022, you can register for the 5K.  There will be an early registration discount available until April 2, 2022.

You can download the sponsor information and sponsorship levels here as well, which offers a variety of ways to support the event, beyond monetary donations.

We hope to see everyone on May 7th and thank you for your support!

GFCBA 5K Run May 7 2022

RACE REGISTRATION

Sponsorship Letter

Sponsorship Levels

The GFCBA is a registered 501(c)6 organization.

Town meeting sets priorities for Trail Town/Outdoor Town plan.

Fifty two area residents and interested citizens attended a meeting Thursday, Sept. 9, at the Forest City Area Historical Society to begin to prioritize actions toward the establishment of Forest City as a Trail Town/Outdoor Town.

This session was the 4th in a series of meetings held in conjunction with a $10,000 Commonwealth of PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources grant directed toward determining a plan of action to set Forest City on a course to “cash in” on recreation as way to resurrect area businesses for the future.

The Group, designated as the Action Team, is spearheaded by the Greater Forest City Area Business Alliance, and the D& H Rail Trail Council.  Susanne Atcavage, President of GFCBA, along with GFCBA Team Leader Erin Debish, and  Lynn Conrad, executive director of the Rail Trail Council, made the presentations.

After presenting a list of 38 action items which were produced over the past six months, attendees were asked to come forward and place colored stickers on the actions which they prioritized in each of five categories.

The most priority appeared to be directed toward vastly improving signage to direct visitors to Forest City and the Rail Trail, and then to get them from the Trail Head up to Main Street, to help improve the business climate.

The 15 priorities selected by the attendees from the 5 different categories were as follows:

Main Street Aesthetics

  1. Building façade improvements
  2. Murals and public art
  3. Streetscape enhancements such as garbage/recycling cans, doggie cleanup posts, etc.

Erie St. & FC Trailhead Enhancements

  1. Murals 
  2. Directional signs & maps directing to Main St. business district
  3. Clean up and design a unique and inviting atmosphere on Erie St. 

Connect Outdoor Assets to the Main St. Business District

  1. Safe and  clearly marked bike/pedestrian routes from D&H and O&W trails, the Lackawanna River and Kennedy park
  2. Create signage to connect Main St. business district with trails, Kennedy Park and Lackawanna River.

Business and Community Development

  1. Attract lodging: B&B, Motel/Hotel, Air B&B
  2. Attract Retail businesses
  3. Attract Restaurants

Marketing Efforts

  1. Market FC as a Trail Town/Outdoor Town
  2. Market to attract youth to the outdoor town initiative and to become future entrepreneurs and residents.
  3. Create interactive social media specific to Outdoor Town/Trail Town initiative.

The Action Team also announced a draft version of its Vision Statement for Forest City:

 Forest City is a welcoming small town with a big backyard for embracing visitors for outdoor recreation that embraces visitors and is a place where family, business, culture, ideas and sense of community thrive.

Audience members added comments following the summary of the priorities.  Sean Sheare of the Snowmobile and ATV Club commented on the economic impacts of those sports to the area.  

Others talked about the need to search out grants to achieve many of the objectives, even including the hiring of a fulltime person to seek the grants.

An idea for transportation from the Trails included a trolley or short bus to the Main Street.

GFCBA Pres. Sue Atcavage summed up the evening’s work by stating that it was going to be a huge job to undertake the TrailTown/Outdoor Town initiative and to secure the needed funding from grants , donation and other sources.  She said it would include the use of professionally done and creative social media usage. It would also require the cooperation of Borough Council and other area governmental and civic organizations.

She said the Action Team is on a fact finding mission and that 2021 is a planning year. She stressed that more discussions will be taking place and  there is a great need for volunteers and donations  to make the various priorities a success.  Suggestions can be made to any Action Team member or to the Alliance at gfcba13@gmail,com or to Rail Trail at trail@nep.net.

 

Article courtesy of The Forst City News. 

 

Forest City News Outdoor Towns Article'

The GFCBA was in fundraising mode on Saturday, July 31st and are pleased to report that their First Annual Poker Run was a success, with just over $1700 raised! The intention of this year’s event was to draw attention to our members in the food and restaurant industry who were greatly affected by the pandemic.  The funds raised will be used by the GFCBA to support local projects for town aesthetics and economic growth.  Many of the grants the GFCBA pursues for those purposes require a percentage of matched funding.  So, this fundraising effort directly supports those objectives.  

1st annual poker run tshirt

The day of this Poker Run was a gorgeous Saturday, and the 75 participants made their way through the Greater Forest City Region, with stops at Arlo’s Tavern, Jake’s Elk Lake Tavern, Chet’s Place, Simpler Times, Frank’s Place, The Beacon Bar and Grill and The Stonehouse.  At each stop, participants received a playing card, showcasing our Vintage and Antique Sponsors.  Shirley’s Restaurant and Elegante’ Pizzeria also supported us at the start of the event, providing food and drinks to registrants.  

classic car overlooking jakes elk lake tavern's lake

The success of the event was largely due to the support of our GFCBA Member sponsors. Many thanks to the following businesses:  ANTIQUE Sponsors:  4 Season Small Engine Repair, Clifford Home and Auto, Comprehensive Physical Therapy, Hornbeck Chevrolet, M&M Auto, NEP Telephone Company, and Elegante’ Pizzeria;  VINTAGE Sponsors: Briechle Law Offices, Cable’s General Store, Christ Episcopal Church, Debish Design Studio, Elk Mountain Ski Resort, Rail Trail Council of NEPA, Richard Kresock Insurance Co., Senator Lisa Baker, Simpler Times, The Stonehouse, White’s Crossing Sports Shop, William H. Wolfe Jr.Well Drilling, and Zazzera’s Supermarket;  CLASSIC Sponsors: All in A Basket, Camp Bluestone, Colachino Masonry, Cube Auto, First National Bank, Forest City Area Historical Society, Genco Dental Care, Honesdale National Bank, Jake’s Elk Lake Tavern, Kelley’s Salon, M.S. Marie’s Salon, S & J Tile, The Forest City News, and The Samuel Company.  

three poker run attendees

We would like to recognize Jake’s Elk Lake Tavern for their creativity and generosity.  Jake’s hosted a “Bean Bag Toss” at their stop with a $1 donation to play.  From that, $150 was raised and donated to the Browndale Fire Department.  

bean bag toss game at jakes elk lake tavern

After all stops were made and five hours after the start of the event, everyone convened at the Mountain View Restaurant in Clifford for a fabulous barbecue meal. Cable’s General Store graciously donated the desserts and DJ Dennis kept the atmosphere lively with music! Two $500 prizes were awarded for “Best” and “Worst” hands, along with a  50-50 drawing, and other donated prizes.  When the event was finished, moving over to the Clifford Fireman’s Picnic was another great community event!

party at mountain view inn after poker run

The date is set for the Second Annual GFCBA Poker Run – July 30th, 2022.  Like this year’s event, the event will be open to all licensed cars, trucks, and motorcycles.  The purpose is to support local, support our area and above all else have fun.  We thank everyone who supported our first Poker Run and we look forward to a bigger and better event in 2022!

three attendees in poker run tshirts

 

For all of the First Annual Poker Run photos visit our Facebook page!