•I have completed a rough draft of the downtown West Newton historic walking tour brochure. When complete, the brochure will be available at the West Newton welcome center. With this brochure, visitors can take a self-guided tour through town by way of fascinating historical buildings.
•On Friday, August 31 the Trail Town Outreach corps performed a field work day in West Newton. We weeded the garden beds in front of the welcome center, and picked up trash from the lawns and parking lots surrounding the trail heads. This clean up was in preparation of the annual Labor Day Poker on the Great Allegheny Passage in West Newton, organized by the Westmoreland Yough Trail Chapter.
•On Monday August 27, some representatives from the USDA department or Rural Development took a tour of West Newton, to discuss initiatives of the Trail Town Program. We took an interesting walk around town as TTOC members answered questions regarding our projects.
~ Cara Madden
•The YRTC and TTOC did a cleanup/beautification project of Connellsville near the Caboose, as well as near the 3rd st. raised garden beds on August 16th, from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30a.m. We did approximately .4 acres of beautification prior to the Connellsville triathlon, pulling weeds, cutting brush, and picking up trash.
•The Connellsville Triathlon attracted between seventy and eighty people, well over what the organizers had expected. Cara and I helped out by directing runners where to go near Yough River Park, but there was some confusion where the lead car was supposed to guide the runners, and a large section of competitors went the wrong way. I seemed to notice that myself when some of the first people out of the swimming section were well behind others after the running section, and their fitness levels not matching their current place in the race. Overall it went well, but there was some disappointment with the overall direction of the race.
~ Joe Crumbley
•Over Labor Day weekend, the 24th annual Music In The Mountains Festival was held in Ohiopyle. The free event included arts & crafts vendors, food, and a diverse selection of musical entertainment; all located by the Ohiopyle falls!
~Cara Madden and Joe Crumbley
•At the beginning of August, Confluence had the first annual Mt. Davis Challenge. It’s a 42 mile bike race that goes to the top of Mt. Davis and back to Confluence. The bicyclists raced up hilly back roads and traversed the highest point in Pennsylvania! The day started off sunny and hot and all of the 42 volunteers gathered in central square to prepare for the race. After going over safety instructions and getting our assignments, we headed off to various stations to direct traffic or provide water to the racers. I volunteered to do traffic control at intersection 5 – I made sure to keep an eye for vehicles so the bicyclists could race safely. It was going very well until about mid-way through the race and a thunderstorm starting brewing up. Even though the rain made the roads more dangerous, all the cyclists made it back to Confluence. It was a crazy day with the changing weather, but it was a lot of fun and really cool to be part of the race!
•This weekend, cyclists will be enjoying That Dam Ride – a loop starting in Boston or Connellsville and riding to Confluence to stay overnight.
•On October 5, 6 & 7, Confluence will be hosting Pumpkinfest. It will be a lot of fun with a parade, largest pumpkin contest, arts & crafts fair, 5K run/walk, and live music!
•Beautification project #1 took place, the last Thursday of August. Along with the help of my co-workers, we were able to stain the ENTIRE gazebo at the south side of the trail head in one day. We applied two coats of stain, making sure not to miss any of the small detailing. This was a more time-consuming process than I had anticipated, but it was well worth the hard work that my team provided.
oPermission and special thanks for this project goes to RAMA and my project partner, owner of one of the local businesses in town.
•Plans for more town beautification are underway and will be finalized after September’s RAMA meeting. Plans so far consist of several plantings along the trail head, as well as in town. A trail clean-up will also be in order some time next month.
•The 100th anniversary celebration for Meyersdale’s train station is set for next month, Saturday, September 29. I, along with many others will be volunteering/participating in this historic celebration. Plans for this exciting event are still underway.
•The trail head beautification project for Meyersdale is in the final planning stage. The issues and doubts about the reality of this trail improvement have been wiped out, and now we can continue to move forward. The project consists of three separate phases that will be completed at different times (funding dependent).
1. Maple tree planting (400 ft. of land, planting of 10 maple trees with 40 foot space between to allow for mature growth).
2. Interpretive signage (create and design educational plaques that outline the maple sugaring process).
3. Plant cover crop (native wildflowers such as crown vetch, etc. to shield ground and enhance the welcoming entrance into town).
o It is projected that the tree plantings will convene in the early November, allowing enough time for the trees to establish themselves in the soil prior to winter.
•Frostburg is having a 200th anniversary celebration! There will be live music, parades, the Queen’s Ball, history demonstrations, and an arts and crafts fair.