A Leadership Warren County project to develop interpretive kiosk displays along the Conewango Creek is moving forward.
Kirk Johnson, project and Conewango Creek Watershed Association board member, brought the CCWA up to speed on the project last Thursday at its annual meeting. Project members include Johnson, Penny Wolboldt, Joe Beardsley, Jason Anderson and Ruby MacWhithey.
Johnson said plans call for three kiosks along the creek. One will be located at Point Park where the Conewango Creek meets the Allegheny River, one at the beginning of the bike/hike trail in Warren and the third at Larimer Park in Russell.
With the goal of emphasizing the characteristics and value of the Conewango Creek watershed, Johnson explained that each of the kiosks will feature three panels. One panel the closest to completion will answer the question "What is a watershed?" and explain the size of the Conewango watershed as well as what land it contains. "Just to give people an idea of what a watershed is," Johnson said.
The second panel will include a map of the watershed. "(It) will give people a real good perspective," Johnson said. "This map will hopefully help people understand that water running beneath their feet originated high up in the watershed."
Explaining that the Conewango Creek was designated as a state water trail last June, the "third panel will be a map of that," he added. All launch sites on the creek will be outlined from the state line to the confluence with the Allegheny. "There will be points of interest all along the way marked out," Johnson said. "This is for tourists to see how the Conewango Creek can be used for recreational purposes."
Bringing the project to fruition will require two kiosks Point Park and Larimer Park to be built from scratch. The kiosk at the entrance of the bike/hike trail will be able to utilize an existing display that has been used by the Conservation District in the past but isn't utilized currently.
Johnson said this is a "collaborative project" as many entities have contributed money, time and space for the project to be completed. Johnson specifically mentioned the City of Warren, Community Foundation of Warren County, Conewango Creek Watershed Association, DeFrees Family Foundation, Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, Northwest Savings Bank, Pine Grove Township Lions Club and Whirley Drinkworks as organizations that have contributed to the effort.
Johnson also said that Oneida Lumber Ace Hardware is providing building materials for the two kiosks that must be constructed at cost. "So we're saving a lot of money there."
He explained that Wolboldt, Beardsley and Anderson "have been working on lining up Boy Scouts to build the kiosk structures as part of their Eagle Scout projects."
"The budget for the project is $9,500 and we now have all of that money raised," he added.
While he said that the targeted completion date "keeps getting stretched out," Johnson said the project will be finished "next spring at the latest."