Samantha Lichtenwald July update


I started the month of July in Michigan. For the fourth of July, I spent a week camping in the woods and swimming in a nearby river. I even tried my hand at spear fishing and speared 6 fish! My mom and brother drove me back to Pennsylvania and spent a few days in the area, exploring Pittsburgh, checking out the coke ovens along the G.A.P. near Adelaide, and meeting my co-workers/new friends. After taking a long trip home to Michigan, I returned to the office in Connellsville to dive back into my town and regional projects.
I continued promoting the Rices Landing concert series and even had help from Chip and Evan with SWPA Rural Exploration (Chip’s band played on July 14th, at our most successful concert yet with over 125 in attendance!). Since Rices Landing doesn’t have a recycling program, I began a recycling initiative at the concerts so people can recycle plastic, glass, and metal cans, instead of throwing them away. With half of the concert series behind us, I’ve been looking for funding for 2013 and additional advertisement such as banners.
I spent a weekend in Boston, MA for the Outdoor Nation Summit. The SCA hosted a volunteer service project on Friday afternoon; we took a ferry to Peddocks Island, where we worked with rangers from the National Park Service on various clean-up projects for the afternoon. I met a lot of interesting people and had a great first time seeing the Boston Harbor Islands. At the Summit, I met up with SCA Green Cities fellow, Zach! Our team sat on the bike trail near the water, watching sail boats and brainstorming for our project proposal, Deals for Wheels (an incentives program giving people discounts at various businesses in Pittsburgh who use active transportation to get to their destination). We spent the night, camping on Georges Island (which was a rare treat as there is no public camping on the island!). On Sunday, we presented our proposal to the other 16 groups, and received $750 in grant money for our project! Zach and I explored Boston after the Summit, taking lots of pictures of the beautiful city!
RTOC spent a day in Pt. Marion working on the public art project, a glass and ceramic mural. I worked with Ryan cutting and fitting glass to create the Mon River in the mural. We also spent a day pulling out 27 bags of weeds from the Lock Wall in Rices Landing! Marah and I spent an evening at the Fayette County Fair, telling people about the River Town Program and other river/environmental programs in the area.
Cathy (from McCollom Development Strategies) and I visited Fredericktown, speaking to business owners about our program and a few new projects we will be starting in August, including signage and façade improvement initiatives. I met some great new contacts in Fredericktown and was really inspired to accomplish as much as I can in Fredericktown over the next five months!