Registration now open– August 17th paddling trip!

Join the River Town Program for a half-day paddle along the scenic Monongahela River from Brownsville to California. The trip, approximately 4.5 miles, will include educational presentations, as well as a short  side trip up Red Stone Creek, a tributary to the Mon. Trip leaders will point out interesting features and provide information on water quality while on the water. Registration is required.

This trip is open to all ability levels and is ideally suited to beginners due to its relatively short length.


Subject to Change

9:00 a.m.                     Check-in

9:45 a.m.                     Welcome from Mayor Lester Ward (tentative)

9:50 a.m.                     Background on Historic Brownsville, Norma Ryan, Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation

10:20 a.m.                   Safety talk and paddling instruction

10:30 a.m.                   Put-in

12:30 p.m.                   Take-out at California Public Boat Launch

We encourage participants to stay and enjoy California’s 2nd Annual River Fest.


Adult- $10

Children under 16- $5

Cost includes water, Gatorade, and snacks; shuttle service; educational presentations; a commemorative t-shirt; and ACA one-day insurance.

Participants can bring their own canoe or kayak or rent a canoe from our partner, Wilderness Voyageurs (details below). If you bring your own equipment please be sure to bring a personal floatation device for everyone in your canoe/kayak. All participants must wear an approved PFD on the water.

Equipment Rental

Don’t have a boat? No problem! Please contact our partner, Wilderness Voyageurs, to reserve a canoe, paddle, and approved personal flotation device (PFD). Cost: $15/person. Call Wilderness Voyageurs at 1-800-272-4141 or 724-329-1000. You must reserve a boat in advance; no rentals will be available on the day of the event.


More details and online registration are available at For questions regarding the River of the Year Paddling Series, call 412-481-9400 or email


Sample Itineraries Released; New Tool for Promoting River Towns

The River Town Program, with the assistance of community volunteers, has created a new tool for promoting the six Mon River Towns– Sample Itineraries. Visitor attraction campaigns often create sample itineraries to help first-time visitors plan out their trip. These itineraries highlight the many activities and attractions in the River Towns and make suggestions for restaurants and lodging. While the list is not exhaustive, it is intended to convince a first-time visitor that there are enough resources and attractions to make a visit worth their time. We are confident that once they are in the region, they will be won over by the beautiful scenery, the authentic communities, and the exciting events along the Monongahela– PA’s 2013 River of the Year!

Check out the itineraries under the “Plan Your Trip” tab.

Herald Standard Features Upcoming Kiva Workshop

The Herald Standard featured the article “Pittsburgh group to offer small business loans” in its July 11, 2013 edition. 

“The River Town Program will hold a meeting July 16 to discuss the availability of small business loans through Kiva Zip Pittsburgh.

The project, said Cathy McCollom, director of the River Town Program, aids entrepreneurs in securing zero-percent loans from international individuals. “This is about people lending to people and believing in their ideas and abilities,” she said. “Anyone who aspires to build a livelihood based in the hospitality and outdoor recreation industries on or near the Monongahela River should come and listen in.”

Participating towns within the River Town Program include Point Marion, Greensboro, Rices Landing, Fredericktown, Brownsville and California. The River Towns Program is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council to assist distressed communities along navigable rivers develop outdoor recreation.

McCollom said Kiva Zip does not place restrictions on the types of business. Borrowers should have an annual income of less than $100,000 to qualify. First-time loans are up to $5,000.

The meeting will be held at 16 Race St. in Brownsville from 5 to 7 p.m. A light dinner will be provided. For more information, call Amy Camp at 412-918-6563 or email her at”

River of the Year Merchandise Going Fast!

If you’ve seen your friends and neighbors in Mon “River of the Year” hats and t-shirts and wondered where you could get one, have no fear! Merchandise is still available. Stop in to the Brownsville Area Revitalization Corporation (BARC) office in Brownsville during normal office hours, or call Laura at the River Town Outreach Office at (724) 364-7017.  See the Merchandise catalog to see what’s available.