June was an interesting mix of important projects and some slower times in-between completing our assessments and then outlining how the rest of the year will progress. In the beginning of the month, we all mapped the businesses in our towns onto a Google Maps printout of the towns. This will be helpful for us to visually address key areas in the towns where the most important businesses are, allows us to know where we can direct people for specific services that they might need/be interested in, and provides a reference point for areas where improved signage would be useful. We also had our town assessments throughout the month of June, and at the end of the month the team sat down with PEC’s consultant Cathy and her partner, Kent, to discuss goals for the River Towns program and what directions we will be taking in the next few months. We discussed short term and long term goals for each town, and then larger regional projects that we will be focusing on in the coming months.
We’ve also been busy looking at different ways to promote the River Towns as a regional project, part of which has been developing a smartphone application for region-wide activities along the Mon. As a team we have been putting together places and events that visitors in the area might be interested in checking out. We have our River Towns Facebook profile up and running again, so be sure to check it out! My next big project is working on a monthly regional newsletter, which I’m really excited about – it will definitely start to tie all of our towns together on a more regional level.
I’ve also been lucky enough to be spending at least one full day each week in Greensboro working out of the borough building with their Elm Street manager on several different projects. However, my main responsibility is to organize all of the monetary additions/expenses from the Farmers' Markets. I also wrote an article for the newspaper featuring two of our produce vendors, and put together a kids activity that I will be running at the Farmers' Market over the 4th of July weekend. On the first Saturday of the month we had our most successful Farmers' Market to-date, with almost 200 people coming through between when the market opened (8am) and closing (noon) and three of our vendors selling out before 11:30.
In the middle of the month, the River Towns team got to experience one of the many river recreation opportunities in the region, first hand! Jeff, Brad, Elisa and I explored water recreation and supported local businesses in Ohiopyle when we booked a whitewater rafting trip through Wilderness Voyagers on the Lower Youghiogheny River. Ashley and a member of the Trail Town team took Ashley's canoe out to Yough Lake in Maryland and spent the day paddling around the area there. Later in the month, the team participated in Fayette County’s Wednesday Walks program at Friendship Hill; the program gathers people together each Wednesday for several weeks in the summer, meeting in different towns/at different trails, and walking around for a few hours getting some exercise while learning about the history of the area. At the end of the month Ashley and I rode the bike trail from Fredericktown to Crucible to assess the trail and get a sense of the area around it. We found the trail from Fredericktown to Rices Landing to be really nice and clean, with public art and picnic tables/benches placed along the trail with a nice view of the Mon. It was a great end to a productive month!