ShareThis Page

'Last Paddle Trip' hails Monongahela honor

| Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
JIM FERENCE I TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Rayanne Mentzer of Monongahela and Ursula Smith of Elizabeth stand next to a Captain Morgan statue on Smith's boat, the Ursula, at the Monongahela Aquatorium Rockin' on the Mon concert July 27 in Monongahela.

When the aptly named Last Paddle Trip is held next month, it will be the final opportunity for the river of the year to be showcased.

These paddling trips are part of a yearlong celebration of the Monongahela being designated as Pennsylvania's 2013 River of the Year, a designation voted on by the public and bestowed by the DCNR and Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds and Rivers, noted Davitt Woodwell, vice president for Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

The Last Paddle Trip will be held Sept. 7, spanning the river from Charleroi to Monongahela. The cost for the 9.5-mile trip is $20 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 15.

The cost includes water, Gatorade, snacks, a lunch, shuttle service, educational presentations, a commemorative T-shirt and insurance for the day.

Participants must provide their own boat or can rent one. Wilderness Voyageurs is renting boats and can be reached at 800-272-4141 or 724-329-1000.

The first sojourn on the Monongahela River was held in Point Marion. On Saturday, a guided paddling trip was held between Brownsville and California. The trip launched at Brownsville's Public Wharf and was taken out at California's public river access.

Each of the four sojourns accommodates about 25 participants and is led by members of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council people and staff from Wilderness Voyageurs. The river of the year designation was formerly chosen by a committee. But in recent years, it has been selected by voting from across the state. Pennsylvania's Organization for Watersheds and Rivers oversees the voting.

“Getting river of the year shows a lot of people in the community care about the river,” Woodwell said. “I want to see it promoted, used more, understood more and address issues it may have, such as water quality, land use, more access points, do you want to do more with interpreting it, and water quality issues.”

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is a statewide, nonprofit environmental organization which works on such issues as storm water, trails, ecotourism, energy and climate.

Participants can sign up for the paddle trip on line at http://pecpa.org/event/river-year-paddling-series-charleroi-monongahela.

These trips are part of the River Town Program, a community and economic development project of Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The River Town Program, a project of Pennsylvania Environmental Council, helps communities to recognize the river as an asset around which potential community and economic development can occur, and thus a resource worthy of protection. For PEC, this program serves as a model for implementing collaborative solutions to environmental protection and restoration.

Woodwell said river sojourns are held each year, sponsored by trail and watershed groups and DCNR. Some sojourns extend over several days and involve camping as well.

The Pennsylvania Environmental Council generally promotes sojourns across the state each year. But for 2013, the group is only involved with the sojourns along the Monongahela River.

A sojourn is a way to bring attention to recreational opportunities afforded by Pennsylvania's rivers and streams,” said Woodwell.

“It's one way to draw attention to them, to their benefits as well as issues like water conservation and habitat.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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.