Kiski River backers seek votes for $10,000 state grant
Kiski River improvements could gain a $10,000 state grant if enough people take part in online voting before Jan. 18.
For the second time in two years, the Kiski is in the running for the state's River of the Year designation.
In 2000, the Kiski and the Conemaugh rivers were named River of the Year.
Last year the Kiski was one of three finalists, but it lost to voting for Stony Creek River.
Kiski River backers don't want that to happen again.
This year, Kiski River supporters are vying against people pushing for the much larger Monongahela, Schuylkill and Lackawanna rivers and several others.
The Kiski was in third place, with about 12 percent of the vote, on Jan. 2. But that slid way back early this week to about 9 percent of the votes, compared with 32 percent for the Schuylkill, 28 percent for the Monongahela and 21 percent for the Lackawanna.
“The Kiski is beautiful,” said StrongLand Chamber of Commerce President Allan Walzak. “It's 10 miles long. And it's come back from a tremendous amount of pollution.
“We need people to vote.”
The Kiski meanders from Saltsburg, at the confluence of the Conemaugh River and Loyalhanna Creek.
It flows about 10 miles past Avonmore, Apollo, North Apollo, Parks and Leechburg on its way to the Allegheny River near Freeport.
Along the way, StrongLand has installed public-use boat ramps, river access and parking at Saltsburg, Salina, Roaring Run, Avonmore, North Apollo and Hyde Park.
That work has paid off by attracting at least three river-based businesses, hundreds of kayakers to the annual River Sojourn tour and an undetermined number of visitors who buy gas and eat at area restaurants, according to Walzak.StrongLand wants to use the $10,000 to acquire land for more public-use sites and to make it more attractive to tourists.
The river was slowly cleaned up by addition of a municipal wastewater treatment plant added in the 1970s and numerous projects to reduce acid mine drainage, said Kiski Valley Watershed Association President Bob Kossak. Water quality steadily improved from 20 years ago, but even 10 years ago orange rocks — indicative of acid mine drainage — could still be seen on the bottom of the river.
“It hasn't been like that for quite a while,” Walzak said.
Kossak said the river quality supports trout, walleye, sager and bass.The Kiski Valley Watershed Association stocks the Kiski with trout at least three times a year.
The River of the Year program was established in 1983 by the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 3 charged in East Deer home invasion
- Harmar-based company’s expansion into Tarentum adds jobs
- Elks Lodge member robbed at gunpoint in New Kensington
- Authorities investigating grocery store robberies Plum, Monroeville
- Butler County initiative aims to find employment for struggling job-seekers
- Harrison fire victim helps others while on road to recovery
- Hays ‘eagle cams’ reinstalled for 2015 nesting season
- Donations increase with virtual food drive
- Penn United Technology carries on Toys for Tots tradition
- Return of Verona’s Doughboy statue delayed
- Valley reaches out to brighten East Deer cancer patient’s holiday