Ryan Fielden August Update

It seemed like August came and went in the blink of an eye. Cat, our new RTOC member, got settled in, and work is going much smoother now that we are at full strength again. The month was filled with work days in our towns and volunteering at local festivals and events. One of these was the Fayette County Fair. Sam, Marah, and I sat at the RTOC information table, and afterwards we had a great time petting the fair animals and gorging on fried food.

We were in Point Marion quite a lot this month. Our crew cleared view corridors and removed invasive species so that visitors to the park could see the river better. There were many invasive trees of heaven and Japanese knotweed to cut and pull out that day. Point Marion also needed help with their public art piece. We went three times during the month to cut glass and glue the pieces on the mural. The artwork is looking great, and it is getting very close to being ready to grout!

Greensboro was in need of some assistance in their park with clearing view corridors and invasive species removal as well. We thought it would be nice to do this before Art Blast, Greensboro’s biggest event of the year, so that attendees to the festival would be able to appreciate the river just that much more. I volunteered at Art Blast by helping kids make their own pins and by manning the voting station for the People’s Choice Award for their favorite piece of art in the art show that weekend.

In California, Wyatt Park was overdue for a riverside trash pickup. Jenna and Sam brought their waders and fished out debris from the river while the rest of us picked up trash from the bank and adjacent hillside. River Fest was the following weekend, which was located across the railroad tracks from the park. This was the first annual River Fest in California and was organized by Marah of RTOC. I helped out at the festival by moving tables and chairs, helping vendors set up and take down, emptying trash, and tabling at our RTOC information tent. The festival went very well, and local residents are planning to continue the event next year.

In my few days of free time this month of August, I managed to see Old Crow Medicine Show play with The Lumineers in Pittsburgh. That was a fantastic show; Sam, Marah, and I had a blast enjoying some great live folk/ bluegrass music. I also went camping a couple times, once at Ohiopyle State Park and the other at Laurel Ridge State Park.