"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Friends of the Riverfront

Location: PIttsburg, PA

Website: www.friendsoftheriverfront.org

The Three Rivers Heritage Trail is a wonderful pedestrian trail and greenway system in the Pittsburgh region running for 24 miles along both sides of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers, it is an almost complete public route for cyclists, walkers, runners, and in some places rollerbladers.

The Friends of the Riverfront was established to create and is dedicated to the continued expansion of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. We advocate for and build multi-use trails, parks and continuous public access along our three rivers through active partnerships with communities, public leaders, citizens and organizations from around the region.

Now incorporated into the new edition of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail map is the Three Rivers Heritage Trail Signage Guide.

Pittsburgh's dramatic landscape and history are portrayed in dozens of signs located along our riverfronts.

From the Pittsburgh Pirates to Mister Rogers to Andy Warhol and the steel industry, let Pittsburgh explain itself to you while touring one of the best urban trail systems in the country.

Friends of the Riverfront is a founding member of the Allegheny Trail Alliance, a group of seven rails-to-trails organizations working to construct the Great Allegheny Passage— a 152-mile continuous biking and walking trail linking Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA, ending at Point State Park.

It also has with a 52-mile branch to the Pittsburgh International Airport called the Montour Trail. Friends vigorously addresses stumbling blocks to trail completion in the City of Pittsburgh and offers technical and advocacy support to other trail groups trying to finish the Great Allegheny Passage.

In Cumberland, the Great Allegheny Passage connects to the and continues to Washington, DC. The entire trail is not yet complete, but a continuous 100-mile portion from McKeesport, PA, to Meyersdale, PA, nears the Maryland border. This section of trail takes you through scenic Ohiopyle State Park and Confluence for the best white water rafting and recreational amenities in the region.

Also along the trail, you can rest at any of the numerous restaurants, bed & breakfasts and shops that are now catering to trail travelers. All along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail and Great Allegheny Passage as well as other regional trail systems, there is abundant opportunity for economic development and environmental restoration to the widespread disrepair caused by the loss of coal mining, rail and steel industries.

As Friends of the Riverfront continues to push for the development of the few remaining "missing links" in the trail system in the City of Pittsburgh, we have started to engage adjacent municipalities along the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers in an effort to establish regional connections and generate economic opportunities and environmental regeneration in smaller riverfront towns.

Recently, Friends launched a program called Access Allegheny —a boat tour of an upper portion of the Allegheny River. Local public officials and citizen groups attended to learn more about the potential for trail connections in both directions and the development of housing, business and recreation along currently neglected areas.

The vision of Friends of the Riverfront is that trails and rivers will become an integral part of economic development and a valued and respected natural resource for the communities and citizens of the three rivers region.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail provides stories of our rich heritage; free educational, fitness, relaxation and recreational opportunities; protection and stewardship of our environment; and economic stimulus for our region.

The Friends of the Riverfront's strategic plan significantly enhances our capacity to bridge stewardship of our rivers and adjoining lands into the mainstream of the region's strategy for sustainable economic, quality of life, and environmental renewal.

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