Sustainable Business Fellow
During the first week in June Jake had the opportunity to attend many of the World Environment Day Events including the Water Matters Conference and the Paddle at the Point World Record setting. He was able to volunteer and participate in both of these events. He also attended the New Pittsburgh Collaborative water conference debrief and a Smart Transportation event.
Throughout June Jake has been focusing on two key projects: the Green Office Challenge and the Transportation Transformation. The Green Office Challenge will engage the region’s business community in a fair and friendly competition that promotes sustainable business practices. The competition will provide a guide of measurable actions for businesses and property owners to implement, and therefore result in measurable change.
The Transportation Transformation is based around an article in the National Geographic Magazine that looked at Pittsburgh’s commuting data and the massive impact small changes in our habits could make. This event will try to realize the goals set forth in the article and promote using alternative modes of transportation. Jake has worked to structure and present both of these projects on behalf of Sustainable Pittsburgh and the PCI. A key focus in July will be securing funding for these projects.
Outside of Sustainable Pittsburgh Jake has been working with the other Green Cities fellows to prepare for their Community Day in Hazelwood. He attended a Hazelwood Initiative meeting where he Miriam and Adam asked the community what they would like to see happen on the day of the event. He has also continued to spend time working with the Hazelwood Food Forest planting shrubs and pulling weeds. He will be spending time in July working with the Food Forest to plan for the Community Day happenings.
Corridor clearing 10,560 ft
Retread 1050 ft
Check steps 18
Blow down Trees removed 60
Drainage dips installed 78
Bern removal 450 ft
Garbage removal (campsite) 48 lbs
We ha another fantastic week in the Joyce Kilmer/Slick rock Wilderness! The focus of this hitch was Stratton Bald trail. This beautiful trail is located on the western edge of the wilderness. The trail mostly follows a ridge line from Rattler Ford campground at 2000 ft 61/2 miles to Bob Bald at 5341ft. The forest is diverse along the way ranging from old growth popular stands, to Hemlock forests, and Rhododendron thickets. There are many blueberry bushes along the way to which we stop for an occasional berry here and there. Of course we make sure there are plenty for the bears! We have noticed on the ground the presence of black bears getting plenty of black and blueberries!
The group faced the challenge of digging drainage on a 0% slope in many places. The water has nowhere to go but down most of this trail, so getting a slope in drainage is a ton of work. We installed 78 drainage dips in about ¾ of a mile of damaged trail. In that one section 18 more check steps were installed and we plan to do more! Since we have witnessed all kinds of trails we are really learning why trail science has come so far! This trail was not built like they teach us today and the repercussions of that are some extreme maintaince issues due to heavy erosion.
The lower half of the trail does not have the same problems. It was well designed and is benched into a side hill. There were sections that we needed to rebench, but the trail was in overall good shape. We are also working on reestablishing the corridor on this section. The wilderness always tries to fill in a trail and we work hard to open it back up. Over 2 miles were trimmed back using loppers and the weed whip. Also 60 trees were removed from across the trail tread.
The group is all troopers about digging and lopping. Our trails have needed a bunch of work and everyone puts in their fullest each day. We had several heavy rains this week and everyone remains in good spirits. A wise man once told me “A rainy day on the trail is better than any day in an office”. I thought of this quote several times this week, and found myself smiling at the rain.
The Youth Action Crew is an initiative aimed at providing the youth of Connellsville, PA with opportunities to engage in community service projects. Additionally, it is aimed at providing them with the tools necessary to run a self-sufficient organization, plan events, fund-raise, and change culture through action. Currently, there are 7 core members with a number of other kids who regularly attend events.
The current focus is cleaning up a community park to restore it to it's once great setting by cleaning up trash, painting over graffiti, and planting.
Each team member is assigned to be the main contact in one or two towns. For each town the team member keeps in contact with the towns through attending Borough Council meetings and/or Merchants Association meetings, participating in community events, maintaining dialogue with small businesses, and checking on the trailheads. Through having a local contact in each town, TTOC has a presence in the local communities, while working at the regional level.
The Satellite Office contacts are listed here:
West Newton: Adam
TTOC works to promote all the Farmers' Markets along the Passage. Here is a link describing the markets:
TTOC is working in partnership with Buy Local - FayPenn Economic Development Council, Connellsville Cultural Trust, and the City of Connellsville to coordinate the Connellsville Farmer and Artisan Market to be held every Saturday from July 3 - September 4. The market is held in Yough River Park in Connellsville from 8:00am to 1:00pm. TTOC will be selling produce from the Connellsville Community Gardens to raise money to go back in the market and gardens.
In 2009 TTOC and the Connellsville Cultural Trust hosted a small market on Sunday nights in conjunction with the Lions Summer Concert series. The market was started at this event because the concert series was a known event that had drew people into town on Sunday night. The decision was made to move the market in 2010 to a more traditional time of Saturday morning and in the River Park due to a location that is accessible by community residents and trail users.
TTOC is excited to work with the market because southwestern Pennsylvania is a rich agriculture area and there is an unfulfilled niche for more direct agriculture sales. TTOC looks forward to developing plans for CSA's for individuals, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants.