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Maximizing potential of Harrisburg’s “Crown Jewel”

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The Dauphin County Commissioners want to partner with the city of Harrisburg to boost development on City Island. A recent report shows there’s potential in maximizing the recreational hub.

As the spring season approaches, City Island’s potential pops. But why should you have to wait for the warm weather to enjoy what Dauphin County leaders call a “crown jewel?”

Representatives from Urban Land Institute presented a report to the Dauphin County Commissioners about developing City Island.

Short-term recommendations include:
1.Engage the public and legislators and build a case for supporting the island.

2.Establish "Friends of City Island," a volunteer organization that could host fundraisers, apply for grants and work with stakeholders throughout the area to advocate for the island.

3.Create programming that promotes social diversity, like youth camps.

4. Develop opportunities for business sponsorships.

5. Create and maintain a City Island website

Long-term recommendations include:
1. Improve wayfinding and signage on City Island

2. Work with Capital Area Transit to improve service to and from the island

3. Develop a marketing campaign to successfully brand City Island as a safe, attractive and appealing destination.

4. Investigate rebuilding the Walnut Street pedestrian bridge to the West Shore

5. Secure committed revenue sources to improve security and maintenance and fund centralized management.

Dauphin County Commissioner, George Hartwick says, "Let's look at this crown jewel, let's talk about its potential, look at realized opportunities that we may be missing and beginning the dialogue is the reason to have the discussion."

City Island Stakeholders say establishing a management structure solely for City Island is a top priority in year-round success.

A similar report was conducted in 1984. Since then, the Senators' stadium was built, along with other recreational staples.