“Brownsville River Town project options being reviewed”

From HeraldStandard.com, by Christine Haines, April 30, 2012.

A group of Brownsville residents and others involved in the community were given a difficult task Friday: to view the town as if it was the first time.

“Look at your community now with different eyes. Put yourself in a visitor’s place,” said Cathy McCollom of McCollom Development Strategies.

McCollom’s firm is overseeing the River Town Program of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The program involves six communities along the Monongahela River, with the goal of using outdoor recreation as an economic stimulus.

Read the full article.

“Cal U. students to present park ideas at public workshop”

From the Observer-Reporter, April 27, 2012.

Ten teams of California University of Pennsylvania students will present projects designed to improve local parks and riverfront trails during a public workshop Saturday at the California borough building.

The presentation is part of a collaborative effort between Cal U.’s Parks and Recreation Management Program, led by Dr. John Confer, and the River Town Program, launched by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council in 2011.

The projects focus on enhancing Rotary Park, Mechanic Street Park, Szalay Park and the Project 70 lands, as well as connecting them with a looping riverfront trail. The presentations were created by 40 students and include plans for a variety of features such as a natural playground, amphitheater, overlook vista, wildlife blind, Frisbee golf course, climbing structure, modular skate park and nature, exercising and mountain bike trails.

“Greene County tops all in celebrations”

From the Observer-Reporter, April 23, 2012.

This past weekend demonstrated there is plenty to do in Greene County, and these handful of events are just the beginning of what makes Greene County notable – its festivals, pageants and fairs.

It’s fair to say in Greene County, April is anything but the cruelest month, and these events surely support that notion.

The 11th annual Buckin’ B Cattle championship bull riding got the month off to a roaring start Friday and Saturday at the Greene County Fairgrounds.

Also Saturday was the W.A. Young Foundry Hammer-In in Rices Landing that shared the day with the 18h annual Child Fest held at the county fairgrounds with free food, entertainment and prizes for all children in attendance.

This event particularly stands out because in spite of budgetary cutbacks over the years, family services agencies, businesses and schools have been able to provide childhood fun for families with kids from infants to age 9.

The Greene County Library System gave away books, and everything about Child Fest is free, including the food.

That speaks to the dedication and collaboration among the agencies, which somehow work together to make this happen.

Again Saturday – yes, it was a full day – the Mason-Dixon Historical Park’s annual all-you-can-eat ramp buffet was held in the Red Barn on Buckeye Road near Core, W.Va.

But if you missed that, another ramp festival is planned for Mason-Dixon Park April 28 and 29 in Mt. Morris.

Ramps, as you must know, are wild, onion-like plants that are turned into culinary creations by creative gourmands, and people travel from everywhere to sample the unusual fare.

And this is just the beginning, not for the season, but just for April, and rounding out the month will be the Enlow Fork Wildflower Walk April 29.

Of course, there is American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life May 5 and 6; Dock to Lock 5K run/walk May 12 at Greene River Trail in Rices Landing; Sheep and Fiber Fest May 19 and 20; Rain Day in July; Bituminous Coal Festival in August; ’50s Fest and Art Blast on the Mon in September; and the Harvest Festival in October.

Soon, there will be calls for entries for Jacktown Fair Queen, Greene County Fair Queen and Coal Queen.

Other counties have celebrations, as well, but we don’t believe they are in the same league with those that occur year-round in Greene County.

Behind all this, however, are many dedicated workers and planners who go the extra mile to put on entertaining events for county residents. And from what we have seen over the years, they have succeeded.

From now until the Christmas parade, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

We cannot help but look forward to another summer of fun.

“Monongahela River has gone from filthy to fine for fishing”

From the Observer-Reporter, April 22, 2012, by George H. Block.

“John Dino and I were sitting in lawn chairs drinking a cold one and watching a small flock of geese fly by. While we were really fishing, John couldn’t resist asking me if I noticed that one leg of the V formation was longer than the other.

‘Yes,’ I answered.

‘Do you know why?’ he asked.

‘No,’ I answered.

‘It has more geese,’ he replied.

Why do I put up with it?

Sometimes, it is nice to just relax by a body of water, sit back and fish. Moving or casting for crappies can tire me out, as can working a stream for trout.”


“Wildlife is abundant in and around the once-dead Monongahela River”

From the Observer-Reporter, April 22, 2012, by Scott Beveridge, Staff writer.

ALONG THE MONONGAHELA RIVER – To confuse predators, a killdeer laid its gray-speckled eggs in gravel alongside the Monongahela River, only to see the area overtaken one day by journalists covering a bridge implosion.

To protect the nest from being trampled by reporters that July 2011 morning at U.S. Lock and Dam No. 4 in Charleroi, river workers there barricaded the eggs with three orange construction cones before the Charleroi-Monessen Bridge fell into the water following a series of controlled blasts.

“These big, gruff people are getting out there to protect the killdeer eggs,” said Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Jeffrey Hawk, while discussing wildlife along the Mon.

A dead river in places by the 1960s, heavily polluted with acid drainage from abandoned coal mines and steel mill drains, the Mon since has made a tremendous comeback, state and federal officials say.