The month of July has been both our hottest and most hands-on month thus far! In the beginning of the month, Ashley and I walked the Mon River Bike Trail from Point Marion to the West Virginia, and then continued along the trail for a bit into West Virginia. Not only was the West Virginia portion of the trail beautifully maintained, but it’s also easily accessible from Point Marion (1.5 miles from the town’s park). Around the middle of the month Ashley and I became involved in a project through the Fish and Boat Commission: an intern took photos & video along the Mon, recording GPS points, making notes of historical sites, old locks, recent locks, alternate waterways (Dunkard & George’s Creek), launch areas, bathrooms, eating establishments, etc., and we helped him gather all of his data! This will be used for a water trail map that highlights the section of the Mon between Point Marion and Greensboro. I also attended Greensboro’s annual Paddle on the Mon event, hosted by the Fish and Boat Commission in partnership with Nathanael Greene Historical Society. We paddled for about 2 hours on the Mon, heading up towards the lock and dam right above Greensboro (by the Hatfield Power Plant) and then paddling back down towards Mon View Park before finally coming ashore. Despite the fact that it was a very hot and sunny day, there were between 40-50 (mostly middle-aged) participants at the event! It was a great opportunity to engage local residents in recreational opportunities on a river that connects so many aspects of the region. It was also a great experience for us (the outreach corps) to get some feedback about what paddlers found interesting about their Mon River paddling experience.
Greensboro’s 4th of July Farmers’ Market was a great start to a new month! I ran Ice-Cream Making as the Kid’s Activity, and we had red & blue food dye, and 4th of July sprinkles for the kids to put on their finished product. Over 150 people came throughout the day! As the month progressed, we continued to see customer counts above 80 each week, and were even able to add some new vendors to our event. Near the end of the month I ran the Kid’s Activity again, this time to make homemade Play-doh – what a fun project! Other projects in Greensboro have been picking up as we cruise past our half-way point in the program. After the town assessments throughout the month of June, we have all been busy synthesizing the results of the surveys and prioritizing projects to work on for the next few months. I have also been working independently on demographic information for Greene County, obtained via the borough manager, which we will be analyzing and using for marketing purposes.
I’ve also been actively compiling and editing the River Towns marketing plan that Cathy, Lori and I developed. We discussed strategies to attract a variety of demographics to the area, and different ways we could market events and/or packages/itineraries to those groups. One way we will go about doing this through our regional newsletter that will be sent out in August. As we move into August, more projects will be getting underway and we will be actively working with our communities’ action teams to make sure that they are as sustainable as possible!