On April 27th Lower Merion Township held a unveiling of their newly installed Cynwyd Heritage trail interpretive signage. The signage was part of a Preserve America grant to develop trailhead and interpretive signage promoting the railroad industry heritage of the Cynwyd Heritage trail.
The Cynwyd Heritage Trail is approximately two miles long and runs from SEPTA’s active Cynwyd Train Station to the Manayunk Bridge and on to Belmont Avenue along an unused portion of SEPTA’s Cynwyd Line. Construction of the trail was completed in 2011 and it is estimated that thousands of residents and visitors use the trail every year.
In a partnership with the Lower Merion Historical Society, Lower Merion Township developed 16 interpretive panels highlighting various features of the railroad industrial history of the Cynwyd Heritage Trail including locations of former factories, mills and train stations. The signage contributes to the living history of the trail and educates trail users of the importance of this historic transportation corridor.
“Lower Merion Township applied for and received designation as a Preserve America community in 2008,” said Carissa Hazelton, Planning Technician for Lower Merion Township. “Preserve America is a federal initiative administered by the United States Department of the Interior and the National Park Service which encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the Preserve America program include promoting knowledge about the nation’s past, strengthening regional identities and local pride, increasing local participation in preserving the country’s cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities.”
In addition to the 16 interpretive panels Lower Merion Township also installed 18 other panels displaying trail maps and rules and regulations. To display their 34 fiberglass embedded panels, they used three different exhibit bases and frames a long the trail to display their panels.
“Four wall mounted frames are hung in SEPTA’s waiting room and in a public vestibule within the historic Cynwyd Train Station, which serves as a primary trailhead and connection to the Bala Avenue commercial area,” said Hazelton. “Twelve low-profile exhibit bases are located along the trail to create outdoor classroom spaces and highlight points of historical significance and five triangular exhibit bases which hold trailhead signs are also located at each of the primary access points to the trail.”
“Pannier was referred to us by a local graphic artist who had seen their work,” said Hazelton. “Robin and the staff at Pannier were responsive, professional and courteous. Pannier manufactured the graphically rich interpretive and trailhead signs to National Park Service standards and the signs exude pride in quality workmanship.”