Marah Vecenie July update

The month of July was a blur. Between planning our River Fest in California, cleaning up the parks in California, Point Marion and Rices Landing, and organizing our regional meeting, I feel like there was little time to think of anything else. Luckily Ryan, Jenna, and myself got to attend a four-day music festival in Ohio half way through the month to break up all the madness. August was here in no time, and sadly we realized that our position with the Corps and our towns is halfway over.
My progress made on River Fest has brought on a sense of relief as it gets closer. After panicking to plan this fundraiser in only a few short months and having no experience in this type of event planning before, I’ve completed a lot of the tasks that I thought I wouldn’t be able to accomplish on my own. I was able to book several local bands from the area to play back to back for both days of the festival, obtain a stage that was donated from a club in town, and also locate a sound guy to help make things run smoothly. We have a few food vendors as well as craft vendors coming to fill the streets too. There will also be a firework show and a car show for community members to come and enjoy during River Fest. I’ll let you know how it went in next month’s blog. Fingers crossed!
As I mentioned above, we had workdays in three of our towns to help open up view corridors, clear trash and other debris, and remove invasive species. We spent more time in California creating view corridors by cutting down small invasive trees and other vines so that at River Fest people will be able to sit at the benches in Wyatt Park and be able to see the river. After seeing what we as a Corps did to improve the park, the Recreation Authority donated monies to hire a tree service company to get the stuff that we couldn’t. The park looks incredible now compared to what it used to. In Rices Landing there was quite a bit of trash in and around the water that we cleared out and also pulled bags upon bags of weeds from the old lock wall where people now park their trailers and trucks when they go out on the water. We spent another day in Point Marion working on the Sheepskin Trail, helping to move down trees from a storm as well as other brush and trash debris.
Towards the end of the month we all got to go to Point Marion for a public art workday. When we first started the program, one of the first things we did was help with the public art project by making mosaic leaves for the mural. Now it’s finally almost done, all seven panels, to be hung on the side of a building in town as a beautiful representation of Point Marion. Recently we helped to complete the mosaic image of the Monongahela River and the bridge that crosses it. One of my tasks in helping with the mural was to design a barge (pictured below). I’m sure Jenna will post a photo of it once the mural is complete later in the year. We will be going again at the end of August to finish up.
Until next month…!