Project Leader: Elisa Mayes Project Dates: February 13 - December 16, 2011 Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The dog days of summer were upon us this past month! I have been particularly hands-on in Greensboro this month, between the Farmers’ Markets, getting ready for Art Blast over Labor Day weekend, and attending community meetings. Mid-way through the month, I attended a full day of meetings relating to both the Lock Power House brownfields site, and the annual review of Greensboro’s Elm Street plan. In the morning, Darlene had gathered together a power-house of people from important groups to discuss future plans for the Lock Power House that the borough owns. I arrived early to help her set up the Log Cabin with agendas, place cards, and a looped powerpoint presentation. There were people from Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), SPC's Power Smart program, the Army Corps of Engineers, Carnegie Mellon University's Brownfields program, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Introductions were made and a brief history of the Lock Building was given, and then potential issues (structural, environmental, and property-wise) were discussed. We then walked down to the building and toured the property, and then came back to the Log Cabin to discuss next steps over lunch. Immediately following the Lock Building meeting, Bill Fontana from the Pennsylvania Downtown Center (PDC) began his annual review of the Elm Street program. Over the course of the afternoon, he met with each Elm Street committee individually: Safe, Clean & Green, Image & Identity, Design Team, and Neighbors & Economy. Bill discussed project timelines, feasibility, and future goals with each committee. Then, after meeting separately with Darlene, Bill met with the Neighborhood Advisory Council (NAC), which is a group comprised of the chairperson of each committee. They all discussed successes, places where some of the goals need to be re-evaluated, and future steps for Greensboro's Elm Street program. After the last meeting was over, I stayed to help Darlene clean up the Log Cabin. What a long day, but I learned a lot about brownfield sites and got to see how a community development plan works in action!
Greensboro’s Farmers’ Markets were pretty average all month, seeing between 70-100 customers each week and not adding any new vendors. Several of our Saturdays were rainy, which might have resulted in lower customer counts. After one of the first markets of the month, Darlene held a meeting with our current farmers/vendors. We discussed the possibility of continuing the market through October, the feasibility of having a winter market, and any suggestions that they might have for improvements/things that they'd like to see done differently. All of the vendors agreed that they'd like to see the market go through October, so I'll be assisting with that through the end of the month.
Program-wise, we have officially launched the River Towns Program in all five towns! Cathy and I traveled to Rices Landing to meet with the residents of the town, where we discussed projects that would be most beneficial to the community and what residents felt were the highest priority. Also, as part of our marketing plan, we’ve all been responsible for creating day-trip/weekend get-away itineraries for each of our towns/the region (respectfully). I also finished our River Towns newsletter, and our first publication will launch very soon.
As a team, the River Towns Outreach Corps worked together a lot this past month. Earlier in the month, we traveled down to Friendship Hill National Park to assist in some of the planning for their Festifall event in September. From Friendship Hill we headed straight down to West Virginia to ride the Cheat Lake bike trail. It was only about 8 miles total, with beautiful lake-side scenery to take in the whole ride! At the end of the month, we all got together again to ride the Mon River Trail bike. We started in Fairmont, West Virginia, rode our bikes north through Morgantown, and continued on to Point Marion, PA. All in all, we logged about 30 miles on our bikes – not to mention it was a GREAT teambuilding activity!