Linda McKenna Boxx
Linda McKenna Boxx was there to take a dream – that of a 150-mile trail connection from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland – and turn it into a reality that is now known as the Great Allegheny Passage, which is one of the most popular rail-trails in the United States. She provided the leadership to hold together this massive undertaking and worked tirelessly to build partnerships and encourage cooperation among myriad organizations working to make the trail come to life. While no one could imagine how long it would take for the project to be finished, Linda’s dedication remained strong.
Linda was also instrumental in forming the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), an idea that had been floating around for years. Linda worked with members of the PPFF Board to implement various ideas, such as fundraising and engaging a strategic planning firm to develop the organization’s first marketing and business plan. While Linda is no longer with PPFF, she remains a strong proponent of the friends group chapters, which total more than 40 today, and contribute tens of thousands of volunteer hours to the state’s parks and forests each year. She received the Foundation’s Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award in 2015.
Linda continues to serve the community in a variety of ways. She serves as chairperson of the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation, and provides support for a wide range of projects including the remediation and protection of land and waterways, the development of community and recreational facilities, and the rehabilitation of landmark buildings. She also serves on a number of boards, including the Fallingwater Advisory Committee, the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.