Ryan Fielden May update

This May was full of events and activities that kept me working hard throughout the month. I wrote a report that synthesized the results for the Brownsville town assessment that was conducted in late April. Community members seemed to agree on many aspects of the borough that need to be added or changed. Some key topics included keeping the streets clean of garbage and adding more trash cans and recycling opportunities, installing public restroom facilities and water fountains, designing an informational sign to be placed at Riverside Wharf Park and window clings to be placed on storefronts, and eventually attracting a canoe/kayak rental shop and a B&B or hotel to start their business in Brownsville.

I attended a National Road Heritage Corridor presentation and a Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau meeting that were in Brownsville this month. Both stressed the importance that the historical buildings and landmarks have regarding tourism here in Brownsville. Dunlap’s Creek Bridge, the Nemacolin Castle, and the Flatiron Building, just to name a few, are all very important historical structures that have the potential to attract more and more tourists if they are adequately promoted.

The Market Street Arts Festival also took place this month in Brownsville. It featured artists, artisans, food vendors, competitions in writing, musical composition, and visual arts, a range of musical performances from opera to classic rock, art exhibits, historic site tours, hands-on art activities, and an archeological dig. Marah and I set up a table to promote the River Town Program while enjoying some great live music and delicious local food.

Helping out at clean-ups and plantings throughout the region was a great way to help our towns while enjoying the beautiful weather we have been having. The Point Marion park clean-up went very well, and the entire park was ready for the busy Regatta parade that I also attended at the end of the month with Jenna and Sam. I helped plant flowers and trees, remove weeds, spread mulch, and water plants at the park in Fredericktown. Brownsville also had a flower planting at the community garden, which Sam and I attended and had a great time helping local residents beautify their town. After planting flowers, Sam and I went to the first concert in Rices Landing for the concert series she is organizing this year.

Going on a familiarity hike that I planned on the Warrior Trail for our RTOC crew was one of my favorite events this month. We hiked three miles in and unfortunately had to turn around due to us having an outdated map. The trip was fun for us regardless, and we will be picking up a new map soon and helping to clean up and better mark the trail later this summer.

Finally, on my free time, I was able to go see a couple concerts including The Avett Brothers and Portugal. The Man. I also biked the 18 miles from Connellsville to Ohiopyle State Park, where I camped for two nights and enjoyed swimming in the waters of the Youghiogheny River.