Friday, April 18, 2008

Celebrate the wonders of the Earth this April

April is the month of the Earth. Earth Day happens every year on April 22. Even if you can't do something on that day, please consider honoring the Earth and all it provides to us this month by attending an event and/or performing some community service. The following are some events happening in the area:

April 19-27, 2008 is National Wildlife Week Visit the website for the National Wildlife Federation and find out how to become a Citizen Natualist or look up some youth service projects you and the kids can do together.

Visit the Earth Day Network Website and look up Earth Day events Worldwide, sign the Sky Petition, register to vote, or find out how to contact your politicians to let them know how you feel about earth-friendly legislation.

Pennsylvania Events
April 19, 2008
Take some time out to visit Westmoreland Earth Day on April 19, 2008 from noon to 5pm at St. Vincent College Carey Center in Latrobe. This is an awesome family friendly event that I personally had a booth at last year. Admission is free. This year they will have live shows, animals, carriage rides, an Indian re-enactment and more. It is a great time all around and I highly recommend it.

April 26, 2008
Come join Friends of the Mon on April 26, 2008 for the semi-annual Pricedale Pride Community Spring Cleanup. (just outside North Belle Vernon) Participants meet at 114 Johnson Ave at 10am. This event is part of the PA Cleanways Road Adoption Program and the Great PA Cleanup. All supplies are provided including bags, safety vests and gloves for everyone by Westmoreland Cleanways. Rostraver township is providing garbage pick up and disposal. This is an event I have organized since last spring and this is our third clean up. So far we have removed more than 50 bags of garbage and even more tires from just a 1/2 mile stretch of road. Here are some pictures from our first cleanup last spring. For more information contact me at

April 26, 2008
Or join our sister event in Monessen at the Schooner Youth Center on the same day. Youth are invited to come and help paint offices in the Youth Center. For more information contact Jennifer at

May 3, 2008
Conservation Connection at the Zoo is Saturday, May 3rd at The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. An opportunity for Regional Conservation Organizations and the Public to to meet and share ideas at this wonderful Pittsburgh venue. The event will feature a Classic American Buffet, Behind-the Scenes Tours, Speakers, Children's activities and more! Tickets and information are available now through April 26th at or 412-951-0601.

West Virginia
April 18, 2008
Join Main Street Kingwood for an evening of fine Art and fine Wine on Friday April 18 at the Kingwood Community Building. $5.00 per person. With each $75.00 purchase of art your table will receive a bottle of wine. Main Street members will be furnishing hor d'oerves at the tables. For more information on the event or to get tickets call Nancy at 329-1384 or Claudia at 282-8565.

April 19th, 2008
WVU GOLD-BLUE SPRING GAME WVU Mountaineer Field Morgantown, WV
Come out and see the 2008 Mountaineer football team scrimmage at Mountaineer Field, Saturday, April 19 starting at 12:00. All proceeds go to WVU Children's Hospital

April 19th, 2008 to April 20th, 2008
Spring Tonic menu, Beer battered deep fried ramps, ramp burgers, ramp salad, friend potatoes & ramps, ramp sampler plate, hot dogs, corn bread and beans, batter dipped deep fried fish, biscuits and gravy, salt risin' bread deserts, Uncle Jim's donuts, funnel cakes, sassafras tea, White Buck farms Jams and Jellies & relish, Ramp wine and ramp cheese tasting. Ramp cooking demonstrations and fresh ramps for sale. Many local crafters. No admission. Take I-79 to Exit 1. To sell crafts or for camping call 304-879-5500 or email or visit our web site. April 19 and 20 from 10am to 5pm at the Mason-Dixon Historical Park.

April 19th, 2008
EARTH DAY 5K - MAGP SPRINT #3 Hazel Ruby McQuain Waterfront Park,185 Garrett St. Morgantown, WV 26507
The Earth Day 5K has been organized to create awareness of environmental issues and to inform our county residents of what they can do locally to help imporve the quality of our earth. It will include many festivities such as volunteer community cleanup, environmental education booths, live music, food, and children's activities. Registration: Race fee is $15 per person if postmarked by April 11 and $20 if sent after this date or received on race day. Race day registration will be held between 9:45-10:30am.

April 20th, 2008
Enjoy the Kids Race and Cross Country Mountain Bike Race in Bruceton Mills, WV at Big Bear Lake. Registration opens at 9AM; Kids race at 10AM; Start Time: Sport and Beginner 11:30AM and Expert 12:noon Fees: Kids Race $5.; Main Event WVMBA members $30, non-members $35. Directions: Off I-68 Exit #29 Hazelton, WV, follow signs 3 miles south to Big Bear Lake. Camping on site: Primitive $5.00 per person, RV and Tent sites $10.00 per person

April 26th, 2008
Enjoy this 5L run, walk, and shorter Kid's Race with refreshments and activities for the kids before, during, and afterwards. Early Registration $15.00 and MUST BE POSTMARKED BY APRIL 14TH. Race Day Registration $18.00 - Make checks payable to Parents Place. HELPING LOCAL CHARITABLE AND COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS. To Register online, go to or
Jack Roberts Park, Morgantown, WV

April 26th, 2008
Parent's Place is hosting its 5K run/walk on April 26, 2008, starting at 10 am. This event will take place at Jack Roberts Park in Morgantown's First Ward and travels through nearby White Park. Lot's of fun and activities for the whole family. Registration is from 8:45 to 9:45am. No registrations after 9:45am. All pre-registered runners are guaranteed a t-shirt. Cost before April 14 is $15.00 and after April 14 is $18.00. To Register online, go to or
Jack Roberts Park, Morgantown, WV

April 26th, 2008
The Friends of Deckers Creek Youth Advisory Board is proud to present the 2008 Skate Jam on April 26 from 11:-4:00pm at Marilla Park. This event is a celebration of Earth Day and Global Youth Service Day. Many scheduled activities - for more information please call the FODC office at 292-3970 or email Concessions sold by the Greater Morgantown ARea Youth Commission and listen to music.
Marilla Park Morgantown, WV 26501

April 26th, 2008
WVU ZUMBA INSTRUCTOR EVENT Rec Center Dr. Morgantown, WV 26505
WVU Zumba instructors are hosting an event to raise funds for the Mountaineer Boys and Girls Club at the WVU Recreation Center. Zumba fuses hypnotic musical rhythms and tantalizing moves to create a dynamic workout system designed to be FUN and EASY TO DO! All ages event! A $10 donation is requested but not required.

Don't see an event in your neighborhood? Contact me if you'd like help to organize one, whether this month or anytime in the future. I would also be happy to announce your event if you send me the time, place, date info. Please send at least two weeks ahead if possible.

I am pleased to announce that Friends of the Mon has recently been adopted as an initiative of the Brownsville Area Revitalization Authority. We finally have funding for an AmeriCorps OSM/VISTA position that will begin sometime this May. This means that FOM will now have a full-time staff person to work on and assist with area projects. Stay tuned for updates to the website in the near future and more opportunities to get involved.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Mon River Summit in Morgantown on April 7 at the Waterfront Hotel

Mon Valley Summit on April 19 at California University, Natali Center from 9am to 2pm, cost is $7, to register write to

Johnson Ave Cleanup in Pricedale/North Belle Vernon on April 26 from 10am to 12pm, for more info and directions contact

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

National River Cleanup Week

American Rivers promotes a National River Cleanup week every spring, this year during May 31-June 8. For local groups that register, they provide free trash bags (if you register early) and a customized website space that helps volunteers find info on your cleanup.

Learn more here

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Upcoming Summits on the Mon

There are two great events coming up that none of you should miss.

On April 7, 2008 at the Waterfront Place Hotel the 3rd Annual Mon River Summit will be held. Topics include: proposed lock fees and other boater issues, discussion of commerce on the river, and more

On April 19, 2008, the Mon Valley Summit will be held as and I will post more information as I recieve it.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Community Service for the Betterment of All

An excerpt from an article on voluntary national community service. I must say I agree wholeheartedly with the proposal outlined in the article and hope you will support it as well.

"The time has come for a bold program of national service that challenges every American to strengthen our nation through service, and that invests in our young people. Service should be both an expectation and a rite of passage for every citizen, and in turn, the nation should offer access to the American dream to all who serve. We need the equivalent of a GI Bill for the 21st century, but one that rewards many forms of service beyond the military.

Our goal is no less than to make national service a defining element of American democracy. Universal national service can achieve what many programs and initiatives have failed to do: Capture the imagination and spirit of the American people by asking them to put their hearts and hands to work for the benefit of our nation. What better way to show the whole world the true potential of our American community of liberty? What better way to lead the greatest mass democracy in history into an even more celebrated future?"Full text

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grants and Awards Update from PA Environment Digest

Grants & Awards
This section gives you a heads up on upcoming deadlines for grants and financial assistance as well as nominations for awards and other recognition programs. NEW means from last week—

· February 19 – PennVEST Infrastructure Loans/Grants for April 15 Meeting.·

February 20— USDA Conservation Innovation Grants

· February 22— Allegheny County Global Warming Poster Contest

· February 22— Clean Water Begins and Ends With You Student Art Contest

· February 29— Chesapeake Bay Small Watershed Grants

· February 29— Chesapeake Bay Stewardship Fund Grants

· February 29—NEW. Schuylkill River Heritage Area Regular Grants

· March 12—NEW. PEC Western PA Environmental Awards

· March 17— Community Action for a Renewed Environment Grants

· March 31 – PAEP Karl Mason Environmental Award.

· March 31—DEP Host Municipality Inspector Grants

· March 31—Pa CleanWays Litter Hawk Youth Award Program

· April 1—NEW. Write On! Wetlands Challenge Student Competition

· April 2 – WREN Water Resources Education Project Grants

· April 4—NEW. Schuylkill River Heritage Area Mini-Grants

· April 25— DCNR Community Conservation Partnerships Program Grants

· May 1—NEW. PA CleanWays’ Sue Wiseman Student Scholarship

· May 20 – PennVEST Infrastructure Loans/Grants for April 15 Meeting.

· June 20— DEP Section 902 Recycling Development Grants

Go To: PA Environment Digest Calendar Page

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Money-Saving Tip: Low-e film for your windows

Did you know you could purchase a Low-e film for your windows? So even if you can't afford to replace your windows right now, you can apply this film that will either block or reflect the sun's heat. What a great idea!
Here is the newsletter where I found this tip:
Here is a website where you can get more information on the material:

Friday, February 1, 2008

Recommended Reading-Creek Clips

Below I have posted the contents of the latest edition of Creek Clips put out by the Eastern Coal Region Roundtable. It is an excellent publication I highly recommend. You can subscribe to Creek Clips on the website at Happy Reading!

Federal Grants

Funding for AMD Projects Available
By Dave Hamilton, Program Specialist, OSM, Harrisburg, PA and Andy McAllister, Watershed Coordinator, WPCAMR
-The Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program (WCAP), an initiative of the US Dept of Interior Office of Surface Mining (OSM), received $1.5 million for federal fiscal year 2008 beginning October 1, 2007. The WCAP was started in 1998 to promote clean-up of streams and watersheds impacted by Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) by encouraging partnerships among funding agencies and other individuals and organizations.
-Awards are made to not-for-profit organizations (501(c)(3)), especially small watershed groups, that undertake local acid mine drainage (AMD) reclamation projects. The maximum award amount for each cooperative agreement is $100,000, in order to assist as many groups as possible to undertake actual construction projects to clean up streams impacted by acid mine drainage. Normally, the WCAP participation level cannot exceed 30% of the total project cost.
Some of the eligibility criteria include:
• Projects to be considered must address land or water that has been adversely affected by coal mining activities that happened prior to 1977.
• The state's Abandoned Mine Program must not be opposed to the project
• The project must be able to show tangible results.
• An operation and maintenance plan must be developed.
• There must be demonstrated public support for the project.
-Eligible projects in the following states will be considered for funding: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
-The WCAP has been a vital part of AMD remediation throughout the coal regions of Appalachia and could be considered as matching funds depending on which other funding source is tapped. Check with your primary funding agency to find out if they will accept WCAP funds as match.
OSM is looking for eligible, good quality, technically feasible projects that will fully obligate the available funds by the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 2008).
For more information on the particulars of WCAP, contact:
In Pennsylvania:
David Hamilton - OSM office Harrisburg, 717- 782-4036
In Ohio:
Max Leuhrs - OSM office Columbus, 614-416-2238 ext. 110
In West Virginia:
Nancy Roberts - OSM office Charleston, 304-347-7162 ext. 3043

EPA Water Quality Cooperative Agreements
Region 3 is soliciting proposals from eligible applicants interested in applying for Federal assistance for Water Quality Cooperative Agreements (WQCA) under the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 104(b)(3) for unique and innovative projects to be conducted within the states of Delaware (DE), District of Columbia (DC), Maryland (MD), Pennsylvania (PA), Virginia (VA), and West Virginia (WV) that address the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program. Specifically, the Region is requesting projects that will advance NPDES program strategies to implement watershed-based efforts, reduce impacts of wet weatherflows, demonstrate collaborative innovative approaches to control or reduce pollution to protect and restore water quality on a watershed basis, etc. Projects awarded assistance under this announcement may involve geospatial information.
Closing Date: Feb 19, 2008
Expected Number of Awards: 2
Estimated Total Program Funding: $136,044
Award Ceiling:$136,044
Award Floor: $50,000
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
more info here

EPA has made available $3 million in CARE grants (Community Action for Renewed Environment program grants) for communities to reduce pollution in their neighborhoods. The CARE program is a competitive grant program giving local communities a way to organize and take action to reduce the toxic pollutants in their air, land and water. Proposals are due by March 17. EPA will conduct three conference calls on Jan. 18, Feb. 11, and Feb. 27, for prospective applicants. To apply, go here.
To learn more about the CARE program, go here.

NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants
The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into NRCS technical manuals, guides, and references, or to the private sector. CIG does not fund research projects. Instead, it is a vehicle to stimulate the development and adoption of conservation approaches or technologies that have been studied sufficiently to indicate a likelihood of success and to be candidates for eventual technology transfer or institutionalization. CIG funds projects targeting innovative on-the-ground conservation, including pilot projects and field demonstrations. Applications are accepted from all 50 States. There are eight review groups for FY 2008 applications: Water Quality- Livestock; Water Quality-Not Livestock; Water Quantity; Soils; Atmospheric; Grazing Land and Forest Health; Wildlife; and Energy. Applicants may indicate which of these review groups should review the application.
Original Closing Date for Applications:
Feb 20, 2008
Expected Number of Awards:
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Award Ceiling:
Award Floor:
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:
More info Here.

Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands
This solicitation is for proposals for fiscal year 2008 funding through the Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands program, administered by the Federal Transit Administration in partnership with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. The purpose of the program is to enhance the protection of national parks and Federal lands, and increase the enjoyment of those visiting them. The program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems in parks and public lands. Alternative transportation is "transportation by bus, rail, or any other publicly or privately owned conveyance that provides to the public general or special service on a regular basis, including sightseeing service. Such term also includes a non-motorized transportation system (including the provision of facilities for pedestrians, bicycles, and non-motorized watercraft)." Federal land management agencies and State, tribal and local governments acting with the consent of a Federal land management agency are eligible to apply. For more information on project eligibility and how to apply, please follow the link below for the federal register notice. For additional information, please visit their website.
Original Closing Date for Applications:
Feb 29, 2008
Expected Number of Awards:
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Award Ceiling:
Award Floor:
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:
more info Here.

Non-Federal Grants

Small Watershed Grants Deadline Approaching
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is soliciting proposals for organizations and local governments for the Chesapeake Bay Small Watersheds Grant Program.
Proposal deadline: Feb. 29, 2008
Go Here for More information: Brian Kittler at (202) 857-0166 or

Free Computers
Mylan has used computers that are given away to Non-profit organizations.
All the non-profit organization needs to do is scan/email, fax or mail
a request on the organization's Letterhead making sure to include
contact information and with a signature, requesting computers. Please
specify the number of computers you need and state why you need them.
After you receive your computers please send a thank you letter on
letterhead using the same contact information.
Please send the request to Jacqueline via the fax at 304-554-6950 or
email at
You can also snail mail you letter to:
Jacqueline Loud
Mylan Pharms R & D Division
3711 Collins Ferry Rd
Morgantown, WV 26505

Please remember that it may take a few months for the paperwork to be

Shade Trees for Rural Communities
The Rural Maryland Council and the TREE-MENDOUS MARYLAND Program of
the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service are undertaking a
pilot project to identify rural communities that want to plant shade
trees. These trees can:
Provide shade in a public parking lot
Add greenery and shade along a town street
Re-green a local park
Trees must be planted on public property
One to ten 1"- 1 ¼" caliper trees per community will be provided
They are only taking the first
10 projects submitted. 1-10 trees per community. Must be on public
land. Please visit here for more info.

Apply by February 14, 2008 for consideration for a spring planting
project. As this is a Pilot Project, only the first 10 projects will
be considered. For an application or information,
or call 410-260-8510.

NiSource Challenges Company Communities
NiSource is currently accepting applications for the Environmental Challenge Fund. The Fund provides support for local natural resources and wildlife enhancement projects in company communities in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The Fund is interested in a wide variety of well-planned, concrete environmental projects, from wetland restoration and watershed projects to exotic species control and reforestation.
Grants generally range between $500 and $5,000.
Applications must be submitted (preferably online) by February 28, 2008.
Visit here for more info.

WV Promise mini-grants
West Virginia's Promise mini-grants are awarded to assist communities/organizations who are committed to building bigger and better community collaborations for children and youth.

The mini-grants will focus on Promise 2 Safe Places
Applications are due May 1, 2008
For information about West Virginia's Promise contact Pamela Dugan, phone, 304-661-1460. Email:

Trainings and Meetings

Hope and Hard Work Trainings
The Eastern Coal Regional Round Table is seeking determined citizens' groups or organizations that are concerned with cleaning up their local watershed, improving their community and learning how to find the money to make improvement possible. The ECRR is offering the opportunity to participate in a three-part training program called Hope and Hard Work.

Spring training sessions will occur during March 26th-28th at Canaan Valley Resort for Northern Coalfields groups and April 9th-11th at Breaks Interstate Park for groups from the Southern Coalfields. The ECRR will cover participants', lodging, food, and registration expenses.

If your group is interested in this opportunity for free training focused specifically on the coal-impacted counties of Appalachia, please contact us by email ( or by phone (304.329.8409).

Bernadette DeBlander and Paul Sturm on Construction Site Runoff and BMPs "The Good, The Bad, and The Illegal: Construction Stormwater and Water Quality in Maryland – What You Can Do to Help Protect The Chesapeake Bay Watershed," February 29, 2008. University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, MD. Hosted by The University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic and Waterkeepers Chesapeake with funding from the Ward Kershaw Environmental Symposium Fund.

Go here for more info.

Leadership Plenty Training

March 4-7, 2008
Ramada Plaza Hotel, South Charleston WV
The West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service is offering all nine modules of the LeadershipPlenty training March 4-7, 2008 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in South Charleston.
The LeadershipPlenty program is a nine-module skill-building program based on the premise that every person has assets to bring to the community table. The program teaches skills in partnership development, conflict management, and taking action.

This hands-on interactive training will begin promptly at 10:00am on Tuesday, March 4. It will be finished by 4:00pm on Friday, March 7. The registration fee of $165 covers lunches and breaks on all four days. If you or your agency would like to be invoiced for registration and lodging, please indicate this on the registration form. Directions to the Ramada Plaza Hotel will be emailed to each registrant.
Through a grant from the WV Development Office, a limited number of scholarships are available to those who live or work in designated distressed or at-risk counties. Please contact Moya Doneghy at 558-0111 for an application.

Upcoming Conferences and Workshops- Virginia

Feb. 23, Charlottesville: Virginia Citizens for Water Quality Winter Meeting. More information:
Stacey Brown, (804) 615-5036 or;
Or go to the Web site.

June 9-14, Blacksburg: Beyond Wetlands-Engineering the Landscape. Eighth Annual American Ecological Engineering Society Meeting: More information: Cully Hession, (540) 231-9480 or;
Or go to the web site.

June 14-19, Richmond: American Society of Mining and Reclamation Annual Meeting.
More information: Lee Daniels, (540) 231-7175 or;

Nov. 3-6, Asheville, N.C.: Biennial Southeast Regional Stream Restoration Conference. Organized by North Carolina State University. More information: Cathy Smith, (919) 515-6780 or Or go to the website.

Subscribe to Creek Clips at

APRIL 22-23, 2008
To register and view agenda go here and click on 2008 symposium.
Or Call Jeff Skousen at 304-293-6256.

The West Virginia Environmental Education Association Annual Conference
2nd Annual statewide conference March 18-20, 2008 at WVU Jackson's Mill in Weston, WV. For more information contact Eriks E. Janelsins, Director Schrader Environmental Education Center, Oglebay Institute, Wheeling, WV 26003

Last Chance to Sign Up For NE Brownfields Development Forum on February 12, 2008
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Present The Northeast Brownfields Development Forum February 12, 2008, Philadelphia Marriott Hotel
For full program details and to register please visit ICSC's website.
If you've got a contaminated property available, here's a great networking/marketing opportunity with developers. There are still a limited number of tables available to reserve for displaying property information (table reservations are free with registration).
If your community has any kind of contaminated properties (e.g.
brownfields, superfund, abandoned gas stations, RCRA, FUDS, etc.) and you are looking for retail reuse options and a superb networking opportunity, this is the event for you.
For more information, please contact Tony Raia at 202-566-2758 or
For information on US EPA's Brownfields Program, go here.
For full program details and to register please visit ICSC's website.

Could YOU use some training?
ECRR's Hope and Hard Work Training is just the ticket.
(pssst...and it's free...)
send your info:
ECRR is pleased to announce Adam Webster as its first Executive Director.
If Creek Clips is forwarded to you by friends or co-workers, we ask that you please consider subscribing. Subscription is FREE and it helps us keep a more accurate count of our readership. Thanks!

Visit our website:

Friday, January 25, 2008

Miner's Memorial in Everettville, WV

The members of the Everettville Historical Association are working hard to raise enough money to erect a Miner's Memorial on the site of the Federal No. 3 Mine Site where 149 men and young boys lost there lives many years ago. EHA President Carol Thorn has herself lost a relative to mining when her grandfather, Harold Gordon Smith, was killed in an accident at Arkwright No. 1 mine in 1965.

The EHA has lofty goals of not only a memorial but an entire park dedicated to miners and the collective coal mining heritage. They have come a long way already with the 25 acre site of the Federal No. 3 mine donated by Consol Energy. Word has it they are only about $5000 away from making the memorial a reality.

The memorial has already been designed and will contain all 149 names of the miners killed at the site. Many had been buried in pauper's graves with no marker so this would be the first and only memorial to their memory. It will measure 8 feet high and 18 feet long and will display names, dates of death, and miners logos on both sides.

They are having a fundraiser "elimination dinner" to raise the additional funds. The tickets are being sold at $25 each or 2 for $40. The prize is $1000. To buy tickets or make a donation, contact Carol Thorn at

Early Rostraver and Elizabeth Townships in PA

Information taken from the Bi-Centennial Book - Between Two Rivers
Rostraver Township, one of the original townships of Westmoreland County, was established on April 6, 1773. The first boundary began at the mouth of Jacob's creek and ran down the Youghiogheny River to where it joins the Monongahela; then up the Monongahela River to the mouth of Red Stone Creek, and then by a straight line to the place of the beginning. Alexander Mitchel and Samuel Biggard were the first elected overseers of the poor of the township and Eysham Barnes was elected supervisor.

Early families of the township were: Howell, Findley, Weddell, Poser, Fullerton, Pinkerton, Houseman, Robertson, Caldwell, Steel, Wilson, Hutchinson and McClure.

Some believe that the first real settler in what was called Rostraver Township was Joseph Hill who came from Cairall County, Maryland in 1754. When he was about 18 years old he had made considerable improvement on lands which he occupied near where Braddock's Army passed through the township in the following summer. His lands were near the Rehoboth Church.

The territory that is known as Elizabeth Township was part of Rostraver Township and the county seat was at Hanna's Town, three miles from Greensburg. In fact, in early years Elizabeth Township formed a part of the three counties of Bedford, Westmoreland and Allegheny. This area was included in the large tract of land that was granted to the Penn Family by the King of England, "in appreciation for services rendered."

Under the terms of a treaty of November 5, 1768, all territory from a point where the Susquehanna passed the New York line, down to the southwest corner of Pennsylvania including the Allegheny, Conemaugh, Monongahela and Youghiogheny river valleys was called "The New Purchase" and embraced Westmoreland County. By an act of September 24, 1788 Allegheny County was organized from Westmoreland with the following townships: Moon, St. Clair, Mifflin, Versailles, Plum, Pitt and Elizabeth (named for Elizabeth Bayard).

Excerpted from

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hope and Hard Work Trainings


Greetings! The Eastern Coal Regional Round Table is seeking determined
citizens' groups or organizations that are concerned with cleaning up
their local watershed, improving their community and learning how to
find the money to make improvement possible. The ECRR is offering the
opportunity to participate in a three-part training program called Hope
and Hard Work.

Spring training sessions will occur during March 26th-28th at Canaan
Valley Resort for Northern Coalfields groups and April 9th-11th at
Breaks Interstate Park for groups from the Southern Coalfields. The
ECRR will cover participants' lodging, food, and registration expenses.

Each attending group representative will participate in one of two
course tracks; water quality monitoring and fiscal sustainability. The
water quality monitoring track will teach groups how to effectively
monitor acid mine drainage (AMD) and wastewater contamination and how to
use this data to obtain funding to implement cleanup projects. The
fiscal sustainability track will focus on obtaining funds to build the
size, effectiveness, and capacity of your group or organization. A
topic based agenda can be found on the next page.

Two representatives from each group must commit to all three sessions -
the spring training, the summer practicum and the fall training.

We hope that you will join us in embarking on this exciting project to
restore Appalachia's watershed communities! If your group is interested
in this opportunity for free training focused specifically on the
coal-impacted counties of Appalachia, please contact us by email or by phone at 304.329.8409. If you know of other groups that may be interested in
participating, feel free to pass along this information!

We look forward to building new partnerships with you that will
strengthen and expand on the good work of groups like yours in Coal

Sincerely yours,

Sarah Walters

Eastern Coal Regional Roundtable
119 S. Prince Street, Suite 209
Kingwood, WV 26537

Monday, January 14, 2008

Get out and enjoy nature with some winter hiking

The weather has been decent so why not dust off those Nikes and get out and enjoy nature. I recently enjoyed the Yough River Trail between Cedar Creek Park (near Belle Vernon) and Smithton. Even in winter it is beautiful and I can't wait to see it in springtime. This section contains a marker for the location of the Port Royal Mine shafts and remembrance of the disastrous explosion due to a buildup of damp gas occurring in the early 20th century. Several miners were entombed and many would be rescuers killed. Interestingly, I also read that there had been three mine tunnels under the river connecting the mines on either side, something I had heard about but thought was just legend.

This sight has nice facilities, mostly closed for the season, but has pit toilets still open to the adventuresome. There is seasonal bike rental, camping, a trail shelter and boat access. A very nice area I plan to explore further next weekend when I hike the Cedar Creek Gorge Trail. The marker says there is a century old apple tree to see along the trail to reward my efforts.

There are not a lot of hikers out this time of year so trails are peaceful and quiet, just me and my dog. So why don't you get out there and enjoy it too. And if you need someone to hike with, drop me a line. See you on the trails.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Keelboats and more

Keel-boats were some of the first vessels to sail the Monongahela. These large, flat river boats were used to haul freight and were controlled by oars. The keel-boat had walkways along the sides for men to propel the boat with poles. They would stand at the bow facing the stern, stick a long pole into the river bed and walk toward the stern, thus propelling the boat forward. The only way to make a return trip in a keel-boat was to pull her against the current, using ropes and trees for leverage. Being that this was exceptionally hard work, keel-boats were usually just disassembled at their destination. The wood would then be recycled into houses and whatever else was needed.

Brownsville, PA was a
n early hub of commerce due to it's location on the National Road and the Mon River. Laid out in the early 1700's, Brownsville quickly became a keel-boat building center. Soon steamboats were being built there as well. As mentioned in a previous post, the New Orleans was the first steamboat to sail from the Mon to New Orleans, but it did not return. The first ship to return was the privately owned vessel, Enterprise, built in Brownsville and owned by the Monongahela and Ohio Steamboat Company (owned by Fulton and Livingston).

First captained by Israel Gregg, the Enterprise was launched in 1814 and was only the 4th steamboat
west of the Alleghenies. She transported passengers between Brownsville and Louiville, KY proving that steamboat commerce could be practical on the Ohio River. Command was transferred to Henry Miller Shreve late that year to carry munitions cargo to American troops in New Orleans. On her return voyage the Enterprise became the first to make the trip from New Orleans to Louisville.

Check out this site on keelboat replicas called, appropriately enough,

More steamboat history:

Sources: wikipedia and,

Monday, January 7, 2008

Mon River Summit 2008

The Mon River Summit 2008 will be held on April 7, 2008 at the Waterfront Place Hotel in Morgantown, WV. The summit is a place to discuss issues involving the Mon River in both WV and PA. Interested parties should contact me for more information.

Take a stand and get involved. Be a true Friend of the Mon.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. I meant to publish this interesting tidbit last week, but computer troubles prevailed.

You may already know of the famed Mon River steamboat called the New Orleans, named for it's final destination. Built by Robert Fulton, L.R. Livingstone and Nicholas Roosevelt (ancestor to the Roosevelts of presidential fame), this mighty steamer made the very first trip from the Mon River in western Pennsylvania all the way to New Orleans at the Gulf of Mexico.

Some whereabouts in Ohio, while waiting for rains to bring up river levels, Nicholas decided to take a short trip back up the river just to prove it could be done. Upon his return, the waters were up but he was delayed further when his wife went into labor. They waited until the child was born, then finally went on their way.

The New Orleans was never meant to return to the Mon, but she did run a few supply runs on the Lower Mississippi before her retirement. She and her builders will be forever remembered as pioneers in the race to harness the mighty waters of our great nation.