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Y Walk Wednesdays Return to Wilkes-Barre on June 8th

Y Walk Wednesdays Return to Wilkes-Barre on June 8th

Member Press Release Community

LUZERNE COUNTY, 06/02/2022 - Do you want to learn more about the new murals and public art in downtown Wilkes-Barre, or what King’s College is doing to attract undergraduates? Y Walk Wednesdays is a series of free, guided, early evening walks on Wednesdays throughout the summer that feature downtown history, public infrastructure, architecture, nature and new developments in Wilkes-Barre. 

The walks are coordinated by the Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA and are sponsored by the Wilkes-Barre City Health Department, with funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant to encourage people to get active outdoors over the summer. 

“People are always surprised at the diversity and richness of history, buildings and things to do downtown, especially if they haven’t visited recently,” said Jim Thomas, CEO, Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA. “The Y is happy to be a historic institution here, making people aware of the many facets of downtown, and helping people to exercise and learn at the same time.” 

All walks begin at 6:00 p.m. and leave from the entrance of the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, corner of South Franklin and West Northampton Streets. Walks are approximately 90 minutes long and are led by volunteer leaders. In case of rain or extreme heat, the walk is postponed until the same time the following evening. Contact the YMCA’s front desk after 5:00 p.m. to find out if a walk has been postponed or cancelled, (570) 823-2191. 

The free walks are not limited by number of participants, and pre-registration is not required. 

June 8 Millionaires and Mansions: An architectural and social history stroll past some of 19th and early 20th century homes of Wilkes-Barre's leading families.
Visit Wilkes-Barre’s oldest house, and learn about its restoration.
Walk Leader: Tony Brooks, Wilkes-Barre Preservation Society. 

June 15 A Walk on the Wild Side: The Kirby Park Natural Area: Explore the natural wonders of the park’s riparian forest and the important role it plays as part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This walk is about two hours long. Please bring shoes that can get muddy.
Walk Leader: Vinnie Cotrone, Riverfront Parks Committee

June 22 Keeping the Susquehanna Out of Our Living Rooms: Emergency management agencies work together to plan and keep the Valley safe from flooding. Tour the Levee System, pump stations, and portals downtown and learn about related public safety efforts.
Walk Leader: Laura Holbrook, Luzerne County Flood Protection Authority 

June 29 Journey Through Kings College: Wander through King’s campus and surroundings and discover the history of the buildings and plans for new facilities and functions.
Walk Leader: Michelle Landon, Director of Undergraduate Admissions 

July 6 Storm Water Management in the Wyoming Valley: Learn about the storm water threat and how municipalities and property owners can make a difference.
Walk Leader: Matt Mitchell, Storm Water Division, Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority 

July 13 Tour the Luzerne County Courthouse: Tour the Luzerne County Courthouse, a newly restored neoclassical gem from Luzerne County’s coal baron period.
Walk Leader: The Honorable Richard M. Hughes, III, Judge 

July 20 What’s New Downtown: Downtown Wilkes-Barre is resilient and adapting to meet the challenges of today. Take part in this walk to learn more about new developments.
Walk Leader: Larry Newman, Executive Director, Diamond City Partnership (Downtown Wilkes-Barre’s development organization) 

July 27 Churches and their Afterlife in Downtown Wilkes-Barre: Many denominations of Christian faith have called downtown their home. Tour historic churches and learn about how the buildings and denominations are adapting to new uses and a new century.
Walk Leader: Matthew Schooley, First Presbyterian Church 

August 3 Murals and Public Art Downtown: From mid-century modern sculptures on Public Square to murals completed this year, Wilkes-Barre’s downtown is full of public art. Tour and learn about past and recent works of art.
Walk Leaders: Shelby Monk, Diamond City Partnership, and Kevin Harger Blizzard, Team Beezy/Leadership Northeast 

August 10 Gather Community Space Tour: Tour downtown Wilkes-Barre's newest community space and learn about the community facilities they offer, as well as upcoming programming.
Walk Leaders: Bill Frey and Jonathan Kadjewski, Gather Community Space 

August 17 Walking Your Way to a Healthier You: Learn about the ways walking can improve your physical and mental health, and develop a healthy walking plan.
Walk Leader: Cody Tsevdos, Cawley Physical Therapy  

August 24 LCTA Walk to their Future Facility: Join the Luzerne County Transportation Authority in a walk to the former Murray Complex to learn about LCTA’s new facility HQ, LCTA’s 50th anniversary, and how the transit authority is modernizing its boarding/payment options, and other innovations.
Walk Leader: Robert Fiume, Luzerne County Transportation Authority Executive Director 

August 31 Tentative: The 109th, the Pennsylvania National Guard and the Kingston Armory. Learn about the Pennsylvania National Guard, the storied 109th Field Artillery Regiment, and tour the Kingston Armory that serves as its home.
Walk Leader: Pennsylvania National Guard staff For more information, call the YMCA at 570-823-2191 or visit the YMCA online at


About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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