Deckers Dash, Water Festival on Tap in Oct.

Morgantown Dominion Post
30 August 2013

ONE PART OF Friends of Deckers Creek’s (FODC) mission is to promote the enjoyment of the Deckers Creek Watershed. Through the years, we’ve done this in a variety of ways, from holding outdoor events where residents discover the interesting animals and plants that share their home (our recent Owl Prowls) to youth skate jams and art workshops.

FODC has worked with the Mon River Trails Conservancy to promote the use of the Deckers Creek rail-trail, for exercise, commuting and recreation. And we have our Outdoor Learning Park between the creek and rail-trail in Sabraton.

We ’ve also hosted fall fundraisers that encourage people to get out into and experience the watershed. These included Carp Fest, with activities and workshops that celebrated Deckers Creek and introduced young and old alike to many watershed issues. And more recently, the Deckers Creek Adventure Day — an “Amazing Race”-style event in which participants ran and biked on the Capterton and Deckers Creek rail-trails and canoed in the Monongahela River. Along the way, teams tested their brains and brawns by completing mental and physical challenges.

For 2013, we’re evolving yet again. We’re hosting the Deckers Dash 10K run, scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Oct. 5. The course begins and ends at Hazel Ruby Mc-Quain Riverfront Park and travels along the Deckers Creek rail-trail and through FODC’s Outdoor Learning Park. Register online at, or download a registration form from our website deckerscreek .org. Businesses can show their support by sponsoring the Deckers Dash. For info on the race and sponsorship opportunities, contact Liz Wiles, executive director, at

Not a runner but still want to support this event? We need volunteers to assist with many details leading up to and during the race. To get involved, contact Hannah Spencer, volunteer coordinator, at Hannah@deckers

Fundraisers are critical in ensuring FODC has the ability to respond to the multitude of opportunities, requests and reported watershed issues received each week, which are not funded through specific grant programs.

With funds raised through the Deckers Dash, FODC can maintain the Outdoor Learning Park, participate in more educational events, and respond more quickly and effectively to potential threats to the watershed. The Deckers Dash is your opportunity to play an integral part in restoring and revitalizing Deckers Creek and the larger community.

After the Deckers Dash, stick around or come on down to Morgantown’s first West Virginia Water Festival. Friends of Deckers Creek is excited to be partnering with BOPARC and the Morgantown History Museum/Flatboat Project in hosting this event at Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 5.
The water festival is modeled after many others held throughout the country, and will offer hands-on, interactive presentations on a variety of issues about water — from water quality and creek insects to stormwater management and the role of soils in the health of a watershed.

But this water festival will be unique in that it also will host activities that highlight the role of water — rivers, lakes, creeks — in recreation, history and commerce. Festival-goers will learn about the Morgantown Flatboat Project that is recreating a historical flatboat to serve as an educational tool, among other things. There will be opportunities to check out new kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddle boards. Fishing groups will be on hand to reveal good fishing spots in the region and when best to fish.
And of course, live music and food are on tap for the day.

FRIENDS OF DECKERS CREEK is a nonprofit watershed group. Its column runs monthly. To contact the group, call 304-292-3970 or visit