Young Conservationists to Focus on Mon River
Washington PA Observer Reporter
13 February 2013
By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
BROWNSVILLE – A corps of young conservationists has arrived in the
Mon Valley to work this year promoting tourism and recreation in
six towns along the Monongahela River from Brownsville south to
The four interns from the Student Conservation Association have
been assigned to the River Town Program, which is in its third and
final year of developing a cooperative approach to promoting the
Mon in the six municipalities, which also include California
Borough, Fredericktown, Greensboro and Rices Landing, said Lindsay
Baxter, a program manager with the Pennsylvania Environmental
Council, which launched the project.
“This is the year we focus on transitioning the ownership to the
communities,” Baxter said Tuesday following an announcement that
the SCA interns will work from an office in Brownsville’s Historic
Flatiron Building at 69 Market St.
Among the team’s first big projects will be helping the towns
organize a March 12 party to celebrate the Mon’s winning $10,000
for being voted 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year through an
online contest sponsored by the state Department of Conservation
and Natural Resources.
The prize money will be given to Brownsville Area Revitalization
Corp. to sponsor such events as river sojourns along the Mon so
that people “will see it in a new light, hopefully,” Baxter said.
The volunteers in each of the six towns already have accomplished
goals, including the expansion of a river dock in Fredericktown,
and they will finish this year erecting “gateway signs” welcoming
people to the municipalities, she said.
The SCA team will be assigned to the River Town program through
December, and it will be up to the association whether that effort
will be repeated in 2014.
Dennis Slagle, a businessman in Fredericktown, said in past years
the corps worked as a liaison between the communities and
Environmental Council, performed clean-up work along the Mon and
painted the East Bethlehem Township building. Slagle, owner of Bee
Graphix, said he expects the program will be funded again next
The change this year involves relocating the group’s headquarters
from Connellsville to Brownsville.
“We’re really excited that they’re going to be living and working
in one of the river towns,” Baxter said. “These are young recent
college grads kind of getting their feet on the ground.”
Norma Ryan, who works with the River Township program through
BARC, said she, too, is excited that the corps will be in the
“The fact that we won River of the Year and River Town being part
of all that is a very positive fit for us,” Ryan said.