City Beautiful Movement · Greenbelt · Parks · Public Involvement

The Harrisburg City Beautiful Movement and the Capital Area Greenbelt

The City Beautiful Movement arrived in Harrisburg in 1900. During the nineteenth century, sewage and trash were dumped directly into the Susquehanna River. Water was then pumped out of the Susquehanna into people’s homes. Typhoid was wide-spread throughout the City. Through the City Beautiful Movement, Harrisburg issued bonds to create a riverfront park. Today the riverfront park is part of the Capital Area Greenbelt.

The Capital Area Greenbelt Association wants you to get involved! Please visit their website to provide comments on if you use the riverfront walk, how often, and what improvements you’d like to see! They would also love for you to join them on one of their guided walks, each with a different theme – history of the area, gardening, and environmental conservation.

Below are pictures of the river from the late nineteenth century and today.

Please check out the YouTube video!


2 thoughts on “The Harrisburg City Beautiful Movement and the Capital Area Greenbelt

  1. Barbara, I really enjoyed taking a walk in the Harrisburg park with you! I have to ask, do you think the people enjoying the park at lunchtime were playing Pokemon Go? It seems like a lot of people were looking at their phones and again out toward the water. So funny!

    I appreciated how you took the time to narrate key information about each location – especially the time capsule. My immediate reaction was “oh I wonder if they’re open it this year!” and you immediately said “We’re not going to open it this year though, we’re going to wait another 100 years.” Excellent job predicting the next question.

    I know what the random dinosaurs are! It’s part of the “Dinomite Summer 2016” art exhibition: Apparently, there are quite a few around downtown. Should be fun to find!

    I also really liked how you started with older pictures and told the story through the city improvements. Harrisburg really is a beautiful state capitol, it’s such a shame that it doesn’t get more attention in our Commonwealth. Thanks again for the fun tour!


  2. Thank you, Erica. I’m glad you enjoyed the video. That is so funny about Pokémon Go – that would actually explain a lot! It has always been a gathering place for lunch, but it does seem like they were all concentrating especially hard! What a fun idea!

    I also love it that you know about the dinosaurs! Right after I read your post, I heard on the radio that they were putting up the final one yesterday. They are all over the city, but I just hadn’t put two and two together.


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