Giving back has always been a big part of our mission. We've watched our outdoors community grow each year due in part to volunteer opportunities that not only cultivate this community, but create new stewards of the river and forest as well. We hope you'll join in the efforts!
Creek, River and Lake Clean-ups
Allegheny River & Conewango Creek Clean-up
Since 2009, more than 2,800 volunteers have donated almost 23,000 hours and have removed almost 400 cubic yards of trash and 100,000 lbs of metal from the watershed. They have pulled out television sets; microwave ovens; lawn chairs; refrigerators; 55-gallon drums; more than 1,300 tires and have filled many bags of recyclable metal, glass, plastic and aluminum. "It takes a village", couldn't be more true when it comes to these efforts, with more than 100 local organizations and businesses pitching in to make this annual clean-up a success.
Ready to get involved? Check out the Allegheny River Clean-up website for dates and times of clean-up events.
North Country Trail Association
With more than 200 miles of land trails in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF), there is always a need for volunteers to help maintain these special places. AO has adopted a stretch of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) in the ANF, and encourages others to get involved!
The ANF is home to 96 miles of the North Country Trail, with an active local chapter. In 2016, regular trail maintenance, including clearing and cutting back branches, removing fallen trees, improving drainage and mowing was done all along the length of the trail. Other trail improvement projects they accomplished last year included:
- A 24 foot long bridge was built over Root Run with financial assistance from Shell Appalachia and ANF Chapter funds. Volunteers from the ANF Chapter and Allegheny Outdoor Club (AOC) assisted the USDA – Forest Service and four men from the FCI-McKean Cooperative Inmate Work Program in moving the material to the site and building the bridge.
- Installation of wire mesh on bridges was done throughout the year. The wire mesh provides a nonslip treadway to prevent hikers from slipping on the wood surfaces. A total of 1886 feet of wire mesh was laid down covering 74% of the total bridge footage.
- Bog bridges were built by Chappel Run to circumvent beaver activity and by Coon Creek to span a boggy area. One bridge in the Upper Sheriff drainage was extended and stabilized.
- Fifteen campsites were marked and refurbished. More will be done next year.
- The staircase at Fox's Dam was rebuilt.
- A reroute in the Tionesta Scenic area was completed last January. This 0.35 mile path directs hikers along the ridgeline, keeping them out of the soggy headwaters of Cherry Run.
- A small stone staircase in the Lower Sheriff valley was built to allow hikers to avoid a seep area.
- Fifteen students from the Outdoor Club at Allegheny College worked north of Red Bridge to do some much needed side hill benching, trail clearing and water work. They hope to return in the spring to complete another project.
Their goals for 2017 are just as exciting as their accomplishments in 2016! Trail work days are fun, you get to meet other chapter members and you contribute to the quality of the trail! Contact the ANF chapter to get involved!