Laura’s October Update

The month of October has been one of phasing out our involvement in projects, and looking ahead to planning some new ones for next year’s corps. Greensboro had their last Farmers’ Market, and we lucked out with GORGEOUS weather and our largest vendor selection yet. The town saw close to 100 people coming through to listen to The Huffs perform, and enjoy some pumpkin painting activities! It was a very bittersweet day for me, though; I realized that I would probably never see most of our vendors/farmers again. Being able to work with them and help to organize the events each week has been my absolute favorite part of the program, and I will definitely miss spending my Saturdays there with such wonderful people. In other Greensboro news, the town is continuing to meet monthly for Elm Street projects, in addition to hosting meetings for the Sprout Fund Seed Award public art piece that will be erected in town next year. As a corps, we have been engaging in more projects together across the towns. In preparation for our Funders Tour, Ashley, Jeff, and I spent many long hours in all of the towns – putting together planters, brightening up building facades with a fresh coat of paint, and cleaning up the parks and downtown areas. After all of the hard work we’ve been doing for the program and in our towns, it was nice to have a representative from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and a representative from the R. K. Mellon Foundation join Cathy, Kent, the Vice President of PEC, and Donna Holdorf, along with community members in each town, for our first official funder’s tour. I was only with the group as they toured Greensboro, but Darlene was able to show them the Monon Center and old lock power station, and discuss some of her project ideas in moving forward with the community and region. I also participated in an RTOC project update meeting near the end of the month. Among the many topics that were discussed, the highlight was our recent partnership with the National Parks Service (NPS) and their Rivers, Trails, & Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program. We discussed how this partnership will unfold in 2012, and what it means for the “towns” and next years’ corps. I have also been continuing to put out our monthly newsletter, which has been both a challenge and an accomplishment for me. This is the first time I’ve ever worked on such a large-scale publication, and I enjoy putting together the articles each month. And, in an evening that was both fun and beneficial, the SCA corps volunteered at a local community brew festival. The first-annual event drew nearly 200 people to Connellsville and supported local organizations, brewers, and several of the local trail groups!