TTOC Town Updates – September


West Newton
Plans for a native wildflower rain garden alongside the Great Allegheny Passage in West Newton have been approved. We will be planting the garden this week using a no-till method. Ideally this will help with a rainwater buildup problem in the area.

A self-guided historical downtown West Newton walking tour brochure is in the final editing stages.

~ West Newton

We have harvested 389lbs of produce so far, and although the local soup kitchen is no longer running, the food bank is always willing to receive our donations. The killing frost is potentially less than a week away, so we will have one more harvest, and then put rye cover crops on the surface of the soil so the root systems can protect it over the winter months.
Although there has been a frequent debate between residents and the city council on their decision to remove funding for garbage cans throughout the city, certain residents found a grant outside the one the council had dismissed. With multiple clubs organizing town beautification days, combined with having disposal units at our disposal, this town does have a chance to brighten its appeal.

On the 26th I helped the Garden Club remove dead plants form the third street beds, and pop the dead heads off of the marigolds. I had the chance to talk to two new Garden Club members, and introduce them to some hands on work that the Garden Club takes on quite regularly.

~Joe Crumbley

The Adopt-A-Bioswale program has some hold-ups, but the good news is it’s far enough along for the people in charge of the grant to take over once this program has ended. .
The bioswale signs have been ordered for the first round of businesses signed onto the Adopt-A-Bioswale program. When received, these signs will be posted in adopted bioswales, advertising the adoptee business.

~Joe Crumbley and Cara Madden

Confluence has a big event coming up this October. Pumpkinfest is a great event featuring hay rides, a Largest Pumpkin Contest, pie eating contest, Classic Car Show, a parade and lots of arts, crafts and food vendors. The festivities begin on Friday, October 5, at 11 am and continue through Sunday, October 6.
Recently, as part of Trail & Town beautification, the Trail Town Outreach Corps removed invasive species from the Ramcat trailhead at Ohiopyle State Park. The area consisted of a long flowerbed that volunteers had planted some years ago and included native species of Joe Pye Weed and coneflowers. As we worked on the area, trail users on the Great Allegheny Passage bike trail thanked us for our service. It’s a good feeling to have people who use the trail appreciate our efforts.

~Michelle Rapp

– Plans for several wildflower plantings have been made by TTOC and have been approved by Somerset County Rails-to-Trails and Rockwood Borough Council; these plantings are set to take place within the next few weeks.
o Locations for planting include: around the gazebo on the north side of the trail head, around the bike statue on the south side of the trail head, and in town behind the new patriotic mural/monument.
– The Trail Town Program will not be assisting with a new kiosk on the trail. There will not be an upgrade of the trail head kiosk, rather, community members and business owners said that they prefer to update it themselves. Updates will include the business directory.
– Trail season is winding down, so there is not much else to report at the moment.

– The beautification project for the south side of the trail head is in its final planning stages. I am still partnering with Jan Dofner, owner of the Levi-Deal mansion B&B. As of now, land preparation (i.e. stripping sod, tilling land, etc.) will take place no later than the second week of November; this is the biggest most time-consuming task. After the land is ready, a week later, we will have someone deliver the sugar maple trees, as well as dig separate holes (9-10) and help Jan and I plant.
o The second phase of the project, the interpretive signage, will be planned out during the winter months.
– Meyersdale hosted their train stations 100th year anniversary celebration, Saturday, September 29. This event showcased the train station’s history and community pride.

~Rachael Christie