June 12, 2018

Trail Tuesday’s

Borough of North Wales Bike Share & Parkside Place in Upper Gwynedd

I like to multi-task.  Well actually, as a wife, mother, employee and a whole bunch of other things I simply have to multi-task.  I decided this week would be a great opportunity to do that with my Trail Tuesday Blog. I have been wanting to try out one of our free Bike Share’s that we have throughout the county but I also wanted to check out the trail at Parkside Place in Upper Gwynedd.  So I decided to do both!

The Bike Share is located at the North Wales Borough Hall at 300 School St. North Wales PA.  They have 2 cruiser bikes and 1 adult tricycle. All you need to do to utilize this FREE service is:


  1. Have a photo ID
  2. Have a properly fitted helmet
  3. Head on over to the Borough Hall between the hours of 8-4, Mon-Fri

That’s it!  I went over on a beautiful day last week and met with Borough Manager Christine A. Hart and Assistant Borough Manager/Zoning Officer Alan R. Guzardo.  They helped me get set up on the cruiser. I even got a brand new bell and basket to go with my new ride! All I had to do was show my driver’s license, sign a waiver and a log and I was off.  

I cruised down School St. to N 4th St. and then to Parkside Place.  I did this on the sidewalk, which I later found out is a big no-no. Whoops. Well at least I can say I learned something!  The Parkside Place Park is huge. Here are some things you can find at the park:


  1. Pavillion
  2. Gazebo
  3. Basketball Courts
  4. Tennis Courts
  5. Playgrounds
  6. Sensory Garden
  7. Amphitheater
  8. Hiking and Biking Trails
  9. Exercise Equipment
  10. And my personal favorite, Pickleball Courts


I guess I am naive but I have never heard of pickleball before.  I watched as about 10 people were in a very serious game and I was intrigued.  According to Wikipedia, pickleball is apaddle sport that combines elements of badminton, table tennis and tennis.  All of which are pretty fun, so I imagine this would be too! The players that day looked very serious about the game, which made me want to grab a paddle and join in.  Unfortunately, I had to keep going because I was getting hungry from all the exercise I was doing, but I am definitely putting pickleball on my bucket list.


I rode through Main St. afterwards and made a stop at Alice’s Bakery.  I got the best salted caramel cupcake I have ever had, and some to go for my family.  Then I returned to Borough Hall and dropped off the bike and accessories. I really did not want to leave, my ride was so enjoyable.  If you want to try out one of our free Bike Share’s throughout Montgomery County, you can go to the Programs tab and click on Free Bike Share Program.

Or call us at 215-997-9100.  I may be multi-tasking my way through a cupcake/pickleball game.  But leave a message, and I will get right back to you.











By: Tiffany Marrero


June 5, 2018


Trail Tuesday’s….

Just kidding.  Not today! With all of the rain we have been having, I opted out of hitting the trails this week.  Instead, Anthony and I had the privilege of heading over to Souderton High School to present an award, along with the DVRPC, to Souderton SAVE:  Students Against Violating the Earth.

The Partnership TMA nominated Souderton SAVE to win the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s Annual 2018 Air Quality Excellence Award.  We nominated this excellent group of high school students because of their mission and dedication to a greener earth. This volunteer group of about 200 talented high school students have been researching, planning and implementing various projects and initiatives to save the earth.

The students provide about 2,000 hours of volunteer time in the community, including 3 recycling days where over 30 tons of recyclables are collected.  They host a summer camp for over 100 children in Pre-K through 4th grade packed with environmentally based activities.  And get this… with no model or blueprints, students of SAVE, took the initiative to research, design, and create a campus which includes a functioning environmental demonstration home, a solar powered sustainable energy classroom building called CONNECTIONS, and a seven acre nature center on a wooded lot next to the district’s West Broad Street Elementary School!

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission presents an Air Quality Excellence Award each year to groups or businesses that work hard to find solutions to this issue.  The DVRPC works with organizations like ours to help improve air quality, but it really takes individuals like you and I, changing our everyday actions to get us where we need to be.  SAVE is leading the way for change in this area, and is helping high school aged children to pay attention and get passionate about this.

What I love about this is these kids are being taught to remain responsible, to not take things for granted like clean air, and to be shown they can individually make a difference.  What’s even better, is that when you put several hundred of those “individuals” together with the same goal, you can make a HUGE difference. And that is what SAVE is trying to do. Along with the help of their teachers who lead the group, Ian Burling & Kim Wilson, this group was the first that we thought of when we were told nominations for the award for 2018 were available.  Anthony was quick to submit SAVE, and we were delighted when they were chosen as the winner!

Souderton SAVE invited us along with Sean Greene from the DVRPC to their school to present the award.  All of this was recorded by our very own local celebrity, Richard Curtis (a.k.a. Kelly Ripa’s almost co-host of Live with Kelly!) and host of his very own new game show, The Class-H, coming to Fox 29 in October 2018.



On behalf of the Partnership TMA, I would like to send a big Congratulations to the Souderton SAVE group!

By: Tiffany Marrero






May 29, 2018


Trail Tuesday’s

Featuring:  Evansburg State Park in Collegeville

Technically, summer officially begins on June 21.  To me, summer begins Memorial Day weekend. That is the start of outdoor events, grilling, fireworks and trips to the park.  I spent the beginning of this Memorial Day weekend over at Evansburg State Park, which is a 36.5 acre park located in southcentral Montgomery County between Norristown and Collegeville.  I began my research prior to visiting and found out that the first European settlers to the area were Mennonite farmers who used Skippack Creek to power their industries. Even now there are remnants of the Mill and houses throughout the park that are reminders of this early American life.  This is showcased at the Friedt Visitor Center, a historic farmhouse built in the 1700’s which is now home to an exhibit that showcases the lifestyles of the German Mennonite families that owned the home for 190 years.

Walking up to the home, you will find a herb and sensory garden, well, and root cellar.  Arrangements can be made to tour the home with a park ranger by contacting the park office at 610-409-1150.


The park has many other things to offer besides its rich American history.  There is fishing along Skippack Creek, where brown and rainbow trout are stocked from pre-season through Memorial Day, and then warm water fish such as smallmouth bass, catfish, sucker, carp, pan fish and eel are stocked.  There is also an ADA accessible f ishing pier* in the picnic area off Cedar Lane.






If fishing is not your thing, here are a list of other things you can do:

·         Hiking - 6 miles of trails from easy to moderate difficulty

·         Mountain Biking - a 5 mile trail that can be accessed at the trailhead at Fern Ave. Just remember that biking is prohibited along the hiking and equestrian trails

·         Picnicking - there are over 150 picnic tables, charcoal grills and bathrooms.  Picnic Pavilions are available for rent up to 11 months in advance. Call 888-PA-PARKS to reserve.  Otherwise they are available on a first come/first serve basis.

·         Playgrounds and play areas

·         Horseback Riding - A trailhead parking lot for horse trailers is on Skippack Creek Road.

·         Organized Group Tenting – There are 18 sites that hold up to 5 people that include flush toilets, picnic tables and fire rings.  Call 888-PA-PARKS to reserve

·         Hunting – Over 1,000 acres are open to hunting and trapping during established seasons.

·         Baseball! – A regulation softball field is located on Skippack Creek Road.

·         Golf – Skippack Golf Course includes a clubhouse, is open to the public, and features an 18 hole par 71 course.  Visit for more details and to make reservations.


* There are also ADA accessible picnic tables, parking spaces, and sanitary facilities at the main day use area at May Hall Road*


I stopped in at the visitor center when I was there and spoke to the park manager, John Gribosh.  He said the park is a generally quiet place to visit, despite the many recreational opportunities available.  I asked about those water hydrants I saw throughout the park, and he said there is a deep well in the park that pumps to a 300,000 gallon tank that sustains these.  They are a safe source of drinking water for visitors (and really fun to use!).

This park was a quiet and serene place that I would highly recommend.  There are so many things to do here, you may have to visit more than once to enjoy everything this park has to offer!  If you do, don’t forget to protect yourself from ticks and poison ivy. Poison Ivy is heavy at this park, and the best thing you can do to avoid it is to be aware of it.  You know the old adage, “Leaves of three, let them be!” Which I was. And I had a wonderful and itch free time.

By: Tiffany Marrero






May 22, 2018

Trail Tuesday’s

Featuring: Whites Road Park in Lansdale

I have a confession to make.  I never even knew White’s Road Park existed, even though I grew up in Montgomeryville and went to North Penn.  I don’t know how I missed it. Maybe it is because my grand-mom had a pool, so we had no need to join a public one.  Maybe it was because we lived closer to Peace Valley Park, and my family was always very consistent, once they found something they liked they stuck with it.


I think I need to break that tradition with my own family because finding all these amazing places I never knew about in Montgomery County is really filling me with a new sense of adventure!  I don’t even think to call this place a “park” is doing it justice. It should be called a recreational smorgasbord of fun. Or something like that.

Located at 400 White’s Road in Lansdale, this 33-acre park features a 0.6-mile walking trail, natural amphitheater, playgrounds, pools, tennis court, basketball court, snack bar, picnic tables, tot lot and portable toilet.  When I visited it was about 1:00 pm on a Monday afternoon, and there were a few people just sitting in their cars, windows down, enjoying their lunch breaks. The first thing I noticed was the pool. Edit: POOLS. This park has a large lap pool, wheel-chair accessible pool and children’s pool/splash area.  In case you get hungry, you can head over to the Cool Eats snack bar. The menu features hot dogs, specialty burgers, fries, wraps, and pizza. The dessert menu is even better, featuring hand-scooped ice cream, slush puppies, and other frozen treats like Chocolate Eclair Bars and Choco Taco’s (my personal fave!).

Despite the warm temperatures, I decided to jog through the trail and was pleasantly surprised by the interesting scenery.  I never felt bored. The trail has a nice mix of little hills and windy paths, bridges and little rock-filled streams, playground, open spaces, and picnic tables.   

Every time I turned there was something new to look at.  One of the park maintenance people told me that there were currently 16 deer in the park, but I did not get to see one.  The park was pretty occupied with dog walkers, joggers, power walkers and mom's with their children so I think they may have been in hiding.


As I was about to end my jog, I came down the trail and saw a big open space to my left, and a huge natural amphitheater at the bottom.  The area is a huge open space with several benches and a long stretch of lawn area. This is where Lansdale Borough hosts the Free Performing Arts Series on Tuesday evenings in the summer.   You can find the 2018 schedule here:


I ended my jog by finding a nice bench under a shady tree to stop and take a break.

I thought of the many days my family spent at the park as a child, riding bikes, on the playground and having picnics.  And although I may not have been exposed to diversity in locations, I was taught the benefits of being with family, enjoying the simple pleasures in life and good old fashioned outdoor fun.  And for that Mom & Dad, I thank you.

By: Tiffany Marrero


May 15, 2018




Featuring: Liberty Bell Trail in Hatfield Borough


Last week I explored a larger size trail of over 5 miles in Horsham, so this week I thought I’d try to find something on the smaller size.  I am all about setting attainable goals, so if you are interested in starting a fitness routine but have been sitting on your couch all winter, like some people I know (me), then the Liberty Bell Trail in Hatfield is where it is at.  


At just about 0.5 miles long, and with a soft stone and sand path, this little trail begins at Liberty Bell Plaza, a redeveloped square with a town clock, picnic tables, stores and the Trolley Stop Deli.  It was originally planned along the Liberty Bell Trolley Line, intending to provide connections totaling 25 miles, from Philadelphia through the suburbs up to Allentown, according to Borough Manager Mike DeFinis.  Hatfield Borough is the only piece of the trail that was actually implemented and completed.























I walked the trail a few times, midday during the week and also early evening during Hatfield Boroughs popular Roll and Stroll that was held on May 14, 2018.  The trail was a nice way to get in a short walk, and would be a great addition to a running route around the borough. The most populated part of the trail was the former bridge about 1500 feet northeast of Main St.  This is where the local teenagers were hanging out discussing the fishing they plan to do this summer there. I made sure to hit Mom’s for some water ice, and also picked up a to-go cake at Jacquie’s Pastry Cafe for my husband.  



The Partnership TMA is passionate about our air quality, as well as keeping cars off the already congested roads.  Last week I let you in on the many health benefits of walking, but remember you can help us all have a better place to live, now and for the future, by making small changes to your everyday routine.  Next time you want to run some errands in downtown Hatfield, leave your keys at home and hit the pavement. For your convenience, Borough Hall has our new Hatfield Borough Walking Concierge brochures available for free.  These brochures detail the stores and restaurants in and around Hatfield Borough that are easily accessible via walking.





Parking for the trail is available off of East Lincoln Ave. at Liberty Bell Trail Plaza.












By: Tiffany Marrero





May 8, 2018


                                                                                                                   Trail Tuesday’s!


I am going to say something that I really hope I do not have to regret.  Spring is here to stay!  Put away your boots and sweaters!  Break out your open toe shoes and tank tops! 

I know.  You have heard this before.  Like, pretty much all of April.  But I think by May 8 I am safe at this point to confidently say the worst of winter is officially over.  To help celebrate this wonderful occasion that all of us in Montgomery County can truly appreciate, I am declaring a new holiday.  And I call it…drum roll please…Trail Tuesday’s!

I am setting out to investigate and enjoy the plethora of walking trails that we have to offer in our beautiful county.  I think it is honestly easy to take for granted as a Montgomery County native.  We all know that walking is good for us.  The benefits are undeniable, and even though you have heard them before I thought I would give you a little refresher:




  1. Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss
  2. Lifts your spirits
  3. Increases energy
  4. Strengthens memory
  5. Protects against heart disease
  6. May decrease risks of certain cancers
  7. Saves money on health care
  8. Protects the environment if you walk vs. drive

Add to this list the fact that all you need to walk is a comfortable pair of sneakers, it makes it a no-brainer to add this activity to your daily routine.  Even though you can pretty much walk anywhere to begin to see the benefits for your own health and the environment, a beautiful and easy to access walking trail can make it that much better!  That is why I am setting out to explore the best walking trails in Montgomery County.

I started my adventure visiting the Horsham Powerline Trail in Horsham Township.  For those of you that do not know about this gem, it is a 5.15-mile long trail that runs from Cedar Hill Rd Park up through Lukens Park.  I spoke to Mark Hudson, Director of Administration for Horsham Township, and he told me that this trail was initiated as a collaboration with Peco Energy.  They lease the land to the township, and the township, in turn, made the entire trail accessible to their trucks and crews for maintenance.  It is home to the Horsham Freezer 5K, which supports the St. Vincent de Paul’s food bank and the Horsham Rec Center each December.

There are several parking lots that you can use to access the trail:

  1. Cedar Hill Rd Park
  2. Kohler Park
  3. Horsham Township Library
  4. Jarret Road Park
  5. Whetstone Tot Lot
  6. Lukens Park


The Trail System preserves part of the rural atmosphere and protects home values in the area.  It also provides an alternative means of transportation which enhances the sense of community and well-being. The trail connects playgrounds, dog parks and picnic sites, and is available for walking, biking, skateboarding and rollerblading.  In short, the Trail makes Horsham Township a better place to live and work! 





Here is a link to the printable map:

Horsham PowerLine Trail

So why don’t we all take advantage of this glorious (albeit a little late!) spring weather and take advantage of this newly declared holiday!  

By: Tiffany Marrero



April 16, 2018








There are lots happening in the transportation world and that was evident last week when the Partnership TMA hosted a Transportation Summit.  Attendees listened to reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, SEPTA, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission and Montgomery County Planning Commission.

Highlights from the event included:

  • 20 PDOT projects will begin in Montgomery County in 2018 worth approximately $180 million


  • The 611 bridges by the Turnpike will begin construction in July and it will go through October with detours of ramp traffic in the evening


  • The 5 Points Intersection improvements will begin later this year


  • The Turnpike’s Northeast Extension widening and reconstruction from Lansdale to Quakertown is now in the process


  • Cashless tolling with no tickets just EZ Pass or license recognition is the future for the Turnpike


  • SEPTA is continuing the rollout of SEPTA Key – while it is now implemented on the buses and trollies, you can see the work being down to get ready for rail implementation possibly this summer


  • The SEPTA app has been updated to provide real time information with everything being GPS based


  • DVRPC reviewed their Long Range 2045 Plan and highlighted the demographic and technological shifts that will influence the region’s transportation and land use growth


  • Montgomery County shared information on local bridge and road repairs, the Bike MontCo plan, and the Lafayette Street reconstruction project

Each speaker answered questions from the audience and discussed possible solutions relative to local transportation issues.

The PTMA event was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County, McMahon and Associates, Lansdale Borough and Transnet. 


By: Peggy Schmidt








April 4, 2018


The Partnership TMA does Travel Training!

One of the really fun things I get to do as part of my job with the PTMA, is “Travel Training”.  We teach high school children how to use public transportation so that they are empowered to have choices to be mobile in any circumstances.  According to The American Public Transportation Association, there are many benefits to having access and utilizing public transportation.


Public Transportation Enhances Personal Opportunities

  • Public transportation provides personal mobility and freedom for people from every walk of life.
  • Access to public transportation gives people transportation options to get to work, go to school, visit friends, or go to a doctor’s office.
  • Public transportation provides access to job opportunities for millions of Americans.

This March, we were pleased to be invited to the Upper Merion High School to teach a class of about 25 children.  I went along as a Travel Trainer In-Training, with our Deputy Director Anthony Johnson. Anthony is a seasoned Easter Seals Certified Travel Trainer, and I was looking forward to learning from the best!  We brought plenty of Septa Bus Schedules and started the training teaching the kids how to read one. We also made sure to discuss the most important thing: Safety! One of the most important things is to remain alert.  Be aware of your surroundings, while walking to and from the bus or train stop, while waiting, and then again while riding. Septa has a great video about making safe choices while riding. You can access it here:

    How do I remember?


    This is the acronym Anthony gave the kids to help them remember what they need to bring along when taking public transportation.

    C= Cash

    H= Hand Sanitizer

    E= Emergency Numbers

    C= Cell Phone

    K= Keys

    S= Schedule

    After 3 classes, we were able to finally take our field trip.  We gave the kids several ideas of where we could go, and ended up choosing the Philadephia Premium Outlets in Limerick.  We walked from the Upper Merion High School to the bus stop at Dekalb Pike. We took that to the Norristown Transportation Center, and that took us directly to the Limerick Outlets.  We walked around for a couple hours and everyone had a nice lunch in the warm food court. Then we headed back. The kids all seemed to have a good time, and everyone got home safe. If your school is interested in learning more about our Travel Training program, contact me at

    By: Tiffany Marrero




    March 19, 2018

    Trippin’ on SEPTA

    There is a lot going on with SEPTA in our region. So I thought it was important to go out and experience it for myself so that we can give our members and friends the most up to date information.  A “pretrip” as we call it in travel training also demonstrates how easy or difficult travel might be.  The pretrip provides you with some helpful tips through our mistakes, I mean experiences.

    Let’s start with the new shuttle busing from the Lansdale Train Station to all the rail stops up to Doylestown.  SEPTA is undergoing track repair and during the midday, six trains into and out of Center City will stop at the Lansdale Train Station. Passengers going north will disembark at Lansdale, board a SEPTA bus and ride to Doylestown. “Wow”, we thought at the PTMA.  “This is going to be crazy.”

    So on Friday, I decided to try it and see what the new shuttle busing trip was actually like. 

    Since I was originating in Lansdale and going to Doylestown, I went and purchased my ticket at the Lansdale Ticket counter.  The bus departs on the Track 2 side and a SEPTA employee is there telling everyone when and where the bus will be.  The bus was about 5 minutes late, but if you ever have driven in the North Penn traffic during the morning, it is a miracle it was only 5 minutes behind. Boarding was smooth and the bus was full but not overly crowded.  I felt sorry for the driver who had to negotiate tight turns down some streets that were not meant for such large vehicles. Then of course there was traffic. 

    Two things to keep in mind:

    The next item that we wanted to experience was getting a SEPTA Key card

    As the spring approaches, several of our travel training classes as well as the teachers wanted to get the card.  And since the students travel on the bus to their jobs and tokens were being phased out, we thought it was an appropriate time to go and get one.  I took the train to Jefferson Station, walked up to the top of the stairs and found SEPTA’s passenger service representative.   She gave me great directions to the Market Street L (you do not have to leave the station to do this) where the Key kiosks are located.  Once I found them a SEPTA Key Ambassador prompted me through the machine to get one.  Here is want I learned:

    If you are using a credit card, be sure you know the zip code that is connected to your card.  I did not know mine by heart, so I had to search for a business card in order to proceed.  You must load at least $10 on your card.  The machines take credit, debit cards and cash, but you want to check to be sure the machine that you are using is taking what you have. The day that I was there the cash machine was not working.  Follow the prompts to the machine and you should have no problem.  I set mine up for a travel wallet, which is what we will use for our students.   The most difficult part of the day was finding the kiosk, and avoiding the temptation of the Cinnabon by the Market Street L entrance.

    All in all, I am glad I went out there and experienced it all for myself.  So don’t be afraid – just be sure to give yourself plenty of time.


    By: Peggy Schmidt





    March 12, 2018

    5 Things I Learned While Taking Public Transportation For The First Time (to the Philadelphia Flower Show!)


    1. You're not the only one that gets a little confused

    Growing up in the suburbs of Montgomery County, my family had 2 cars and I was never introduced to public transportation.  Maybe you are in the same boat.  When I started working for the Partnership TMA, a Transportation Management Association that works to help educate the community on how to ease congestion and enhance mobility, I realized I needed to see for myself if public transportation is something I should add to my life.  So when my boss suggested I take my first SEPTA trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show, I was pumped.  And a little nervous.  I had to get some travel training from our Deputy Director, Anthony Johnson.  He explained how to read the train schedule (up and down, as opposed to bus schedules which are read left to right), and to read the schedule looking at your destination first, to make sure your train is stopping where you are going.  I thought I was the only one who would feel a little lost at the station, but as soon as I walked in I heard plenty of people asking plenty of questions at the ticket counter.  Phew.  I am not the only train virgin in the whole of Montgomery County.






    2. Don't bring coffee, unless you are prepared to drink the entire thing or hold it for an hour with never putting it down.

    I thought I was pretty smart for making my way to the station early, a cup of joe in hand, muffin in my backpack.  No.  As soon as I sat down on the bench, I realized there was literally nowhere to put my cup without it spilling over.  Not to mention that the train picked up what seemed like a hundred passengers as we made our way through each stop, meaning I had a seatmate and it was crowded, with zero access to a trash can.  The muffin was useless in my backpack as well, with not enough hands (or a napkin) to even remotely appear ladylike while eating it.  Next time I will opt for bottled water.






    3.  It is actually cleaner than I thought!

    Armed with hand sanitizer and baby wipes, I thought for sure I would be at the very least, minimally grossed out.  The station, train, seats and even the passengers were clean, polite and calm.  That's not to say I didn't use my hand sanitizer.  It is flu season people, and I am not crazy.



    4. Using Public Transportation is actually relaxing, not stressful like I thought.

    Hundreds of strangers, trains traveling different directions, what seems to be a thousand lines and stops with no access to a bathroom.  It seems like it would be chaos.  During the ride, I found myself being so relaxed that I actually ended up putting on my headphones and playing a meditation app.  It was far less stressful than bumper to bumper traffic and trying to find a parking spot in Philly (all the while spending the amount of a car payment to park).  I don't know if I will be able to go back to Philly via car.  I am officially spoiled.



    5. People are nice.

    After the show, which was incredible, I was having trouble locating where to exit to be able to head to where I wanted to go.  One of the flower show workers escorted me all the way out to the exit I needed to ensure I did not get lost.  Then, I headed over to Reading Terminal Market for some lunch.  Dibruno's makes a mean Arancini Ball (in case you were wondering).  After lunch, I felt a little turned around.  I asked two separate security guards near the convention center for directions. They patiently showed me how to get back to Jefferson Station.  Then at the station, I realized I was unsure of what train to board and where.  So I headed to the information desk, and told the woman there I was heading to Lansdale, and she told me exactly where to go, Track 1 B for the 1:20 home.



    All in all, I would say my experience riding public transportation for the first time was a success!  I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of finding my way, with the help of my travel training and a few good people along the way.  If you can, head on over to SEPTA to get your pass and ride tickets for the Philadelphia Flower Show, which runs until March 11.  And while you are at it, pick me up some Arancini Balls will you? 5 Things I Learned While Taking Public Transportation For The First Time (to the Philadelphia Flower Show!)




    By: Tiffany Marrero  

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