The Lebanon Valley is bordered by the Kittatinny Ridge to the north and Furnace Hills to the south. Frequently described as “rural” or “open,” the county has retained much of its original character from its founding in 1720: a forested and farm-field landscape bounded by Berks, Schuylkill, Dauphin, and Lancaster counties—the Dutch Country Region.
People live in and visit Lebanon County for the quality-of-life assets that nature provides, including scenic views, easy access to state and local parks, migrating birds, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area, Swatara Creek Water Trail, Lebanon Valley Rail-Trail, and many other outdoor recreation opportunities. However, the loss of farmland and scenic views, fragmentation of forests, expansion of sewers, and increasing traffic are harbingers of major changes.
Over the next 20 years, the trends of changing demographics, growth, farmland loss, possible water shortages, air and water pollution, changes in climate, and increased demand for outdoor recreation will shape future growth. The biggest challenge facing Lebanon County is promoting sustainable economic growth while maintaining a high quality of life, low cost of living, good health, and the unique sense of place that has been the region’s hallmark for hundreds of years. The careful protection, management, and use of natural resources are essential to the long-term sustainability of nature and the local and regional economies.
Click the links below to see how Lebanon County’s natural assets are essential to our everyday life: