July TTOC Town Updates


West Newton
– I have begun formatting and arranging the photos and info for a historic walking tour brochure of West Newton
– We have acquired the necessary support from the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter and Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast for our plan to plant wildflowers along the GAP trail in West Newton
~Cara Madden

– Yough River Trail Council meeting: Proposed cancelation of giant dumpster near trail at Dunbar, but prevalence of waste concluded that garbage would plague the trail if they did. Issue of others dumping couches, beds, and other items not allowed in container.
– Connellsville City Council meeting 7-8:30 p.m. –cutting budget on garbage cans throughout city, despite litter problem. This has been caused by costly bags and lid-less cans causing workers to poke holes in them to lift into the truck, putting garbage water in the streets, as well as having to pay workers to pick them up. I find it interesting that the city council didn’t come to the same conclusion as the Y.R.T.C. on the same issue brought up in both meetings. Multiple people including myself brought up town clean up/beautification events, but it’s going to take more than community members cleaning up when the waste disposal budget is getting cut.
~Joe Crumbley
– Earlier this month a number of TTOC members attended a meeting at Highlands Hospital to discuss their application for a fruit tree orchard through the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation. In the coming weeks, Rachael and I will be playing a role in researching and writing the grant with Highlands Hospital.
~Cara Madden

– We have received example signs & pricing info to make informed decisions about which signs to be used in the Adopt-A-Bioswale program
– Once a number of businesses have signed onto the program, we will hold a bioswale cleanup night to discuss proper bioswale maintenance
– Joe and I attended the Clean Water Camp in Ohiopyle on July 17th. The event was organized by the Mountain Watershed Association to educate the community about watershed awareness and how to protect clean water. Joe and I talked about how bioswales filter water, and discussed our role in the Ohiopyle Adopt-A-Bioswale program. We then walked event attendees through a few bioswales, to see firsthand how they impact the environment.
~ Cara Madden

– In Confluence, the Creative Arts Center worked with volunteers to create two murals along the Great Allegheny Passage. The colorful murals are located on the Ramcat underpass that crosses over the bike trail. The artist, Eddie Maier, outlined the design and we all painted the sections. It was like a giant paint-by-numbers! On one of the murals, there are mosaic fish created with pieces of stained glass and mirror. The fish really catch the light and add life to the murals. Creating the fish was one of my favorite parts as some of the local kids and I had a great time picking out the mosaic pieces, fitting all the pieces into the fish just the right way, and seeing how our collaborative efforts created a really nice art piece.
– The next big event in Confluence is the Mount Davis Challenge which is a bike race from Confluence to the highest point in Pennsylvania on August 4. I will be volunteering to help direct the bicyclists as they race the course up and down the mountain.
~Michelle Rapp

– The mural in the center of town, in front of the monument appears to have been completed. Owing tribute to our great nation’s patriotism, the mural consists of a bald eagle alongside the American flag.
– There has not been a lot going on in Rockwood the past few months, so I don’t have a lot to report on town happenings. However I do have some information about projects that I will be working on in this trail town:
-I am currently in the planning/preparation stages for my beautification projects within the town. I plan on re-staining the gazebo in the main area of town, as well as following through with other side projects that will help me to meet my requirements. A bike loop is also on my list for projects to complete during my time with the SCA. Planning on this loop will begin next month!
~Rachael Christie

– The July 1st (Independence Day) Celebration was a hit within the community! Although business owners claim that there weren’t as many participants as previous years, the turnout was still decent.
– I have also begun the planning stages for a historic walking tour that will highlight culturally, as well as historically significant buildings, businesses, and whatever else the town deems important. I plan to team with Meyersdale’s Historical Society for this project so that I can better learn what locations should/need to be highlighted. This project is mostly a way to educate tourists/trail users, while also offering a fun, alternative activity to another bike loop throughout town. This tour will have concise, but detailed information about Meyersdale’s historic places that deserve to be in the spotlight.
– Another beautification project is underway with the revamping of the Meyersdale trailhead near the train station. This area has been unkempt for some time and it needs a little TLC to help create a warm welcome for trail users entering into Meyersdale. I will be partnering with Levi Deal’s owner, Jan Dofner, to create a detailed plan for this plot of land; she will be with me throughout the entirety of the project, from planting to the creation of interpretive signage. I don’t want to give all of our ideas away just now, but if you keep posted to my updates each month, you can find out more!
~Rachael Christie

Frostburg and Cumberland
– Not a whole lot is going on in Maryland, although Mountain Maryland Trails are waiting on feasibility studies for trail improvements.
– Trail of Dreams, a bike ride and train ride between Frostburg and Cumberland is coming up in early August.
– The Frostburg Farmers Market is very successful this year.
~Michelle Rapp