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Sustainable Steps Toward a Regional Identity for Beaver County August 2020

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Sustainable Steps Toward a Regional Identity for Beaver County August 2020


RIVERWISE

Daniel Rossi-Keen, PhD, Executive Director Kelly Powell, Managing Director Brandie Pupi, Ecodistrict Coordinator Chris Padgett, Communication Director

ECODISTRICT LEADERSHIP TEAM

Aliquippa Herb Bailey, Bill Farrah, Tina Genes, John Jordan, Lee Montanari, Chris Padgett, Brandie Pupi, Joel Repic, Steven Rossi, Daniel Rossi-Keen Beaver Falls Brad Frey, Sue Frey, Christine Kroger, C.J. McGeary, Hank Suhr, Chad Whelpley, Wendy Whelpley, Bethany Williams Monaca Danny Harper, Kelly Burgos Harper, Mario Leone, Kim McKenzie, Patricia Majors, Simon Short, Nick Vorrias

POWERED BY

evolve environment::architecture Christine Mondor, Principal Anna Rosenblum, Associate Nico Azel, Technical Analyst

IN COLLABORATION WITH

New Sun Rising SmithGroup

FUNDING PROVIDED BY

Henry L. Hillman Foundation

All photos provided by Human City Creative (Christopher Padgett) and Rustbelt Mayberry (Erin Ninehouser)

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This document summarizes and synthesizes the work of many previous efforts, including decades of work performed by residents, organizations, and municipalities. This work would not be possible without the efforts that have come before it. Ecodistricts focus on both the hardware or physical systems of places, as well as the software of social and cultural resiliency. The Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, and Monaca Ecodistricts are focused on six key areas of planning and strategic action: equity, food, water, energy, air, mobility.

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Table of Contents 01 Introduction & Context Opening Letter RiverWise Ecodistricts Beaver County COVID-19

02 Community Overviews

7 8 10 18 19 20

25

Aliquippa Beaver Falls Monaca Across the Region

28 44 60 78

03 Next Steps

83

Sources

90

5


6


01

Introduction & Context Opening Letter RiverWise Ecodistricts Beaver County COVID-19 Beaver Falls Block Party Photo: First Blush Photos

Introduction & Context | 7


Opening Letter

An Invitation to Dream about Beaver County’s Future For many years, Beaver County residents and institutions have assumed that our regional identity is rooted in our past and not our future. Though our past is iconic, and our heritage is rich, the future of Beaver County is brimming with possibility. At the most basic level, the greatest need facing Beaver County is the need to exercise community agency over our future. Though poised to experience tremendous change in our region, we must be certain to lead that change, rather than be drug along by it. We must recognize that the future of Beaver County consists of what we will allow it to become. Moving forward, we must make the work of collaboration central to most all our efforts. Such collaboration must be born out of the hard work of building relationships. We must be willing to blur boundaries between organizations, even as we become surer and surer of our own identities. We must make the collective good our primary goal and not individual success. We must know what we want to create, why we are creating it, and how we intend to get there together. Since the fall of 2018, RiverWise, thanks to a generous grant from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, has been working to create the kinds of citizen-informed engagement described above. We have conducted considerable research and strategizing, have engaged in over 350 meetings with residents, business owners, public officials, and civic leaders. We have held 15 community gatherings. We have told countless stories about regional hope and promise. We have formed ecodistrict leadership teams in three different communities (Aliquippa, Monaca, and Beaver Falls). At present we are engaged in more than 40 different projects across multiple municipalities throughout the county. And, in the 20 months since our inception we have raised over $1,000,000 for RiverWise activity and closely aligned projects. In the pages that follow, we tell a story about how residents of Beaver County have come together to assert ownership over their future. Much work remains. More allies and resources are required. But the future for Beaver County is as bright and hopeful as we choose together to make it. Beaver County in 2020 is an invigorating place to live and work, brimming with possibility and change. With Hope for our Future…

Daniel Rossi-Keen, PhD Executive Director, RiverWise

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Daniel Rossi-Keen Executive Director, RiverWise

“...the future for Beaver County is as bright and hopeful as we choose together to make it “ Daniel Rossi-Keen, PhD


“RiverWise is uniquely positioned to be a voice for responsible, sustainable, regional development of our rivers and the communities that surround them.” Conor Lamb, US Congressman (D - PA-17) “The ripples of positive impact from RiverWise’s contributions to our county will surely be felt for generations to come.” Kelly Burgos Harper, Founder, Monaca CDC “RiverWise’s facilitation and terrific work at developing new community skill sets has been a vital part of our County’s goal to bring communities together as one.” Jack Manning, Beaver County Commissioner “RiverWise is convening communities to define a common future where environment, economy, and equity are essential to our regional strategy.” Christine Mondor, Principal, evolveEA Introduction & Context | 9


RiverWise

uses sustainable development to create a regional identity around the rivers of Beaver County. At the heart of RiverWise’s work is a concerted effort to organize stakeholders to dream, learn, and collaborate about the future of Beaver County’s rivers and surrounding communities. To do this, RiverWise has formed ecodistricts in three of the communities within Beaver County - Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, and Monaca. In the two years since its formation, RiverWise has engaged in a growing list of projects to activate community ideas and bring sustainable development to life throughout the region. This includes community mini-grants, a feasibility assessment for a Community Energy Project, a community capacity building series, and much more. RiverWise has ambitious goals to improve quality of life in Beaver County, including: • • • • • • •

redefining what energy and air quality means to Beaver County engaging in triple bottom line thinking, where environmental and social outcomes are valued in addition to economic outcomes sharing stories with the region and nation about who Beaver County is and what they want to become employing a regional collective impact model to scale outcomes providing hope, learning together, and reconnecting to one another rallying around a shared regional identity focused on the rivers thinking about the future of the region through the lens of the rivers

350

meetings held throughout the region

300+

attendees at RiverWise events

$600,000+

raised for RiverWise activity

$460,304

in leveraged funds for aligned projects RiverWise’s Mission We empower residents of Beaver County to Dream, Learn, and Collaborate about the future of our rivers and the surrounding communities. We are influencers, aggregators, conveners, storytellers, and systems thinkers.

70+

organizations and municipalities participated in RiverWise activity

150,000

people have been reached by RiverWise social media content

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Image by Emily Marko

10

regional community stakeholder gatherings were held


Beaver County

Beaver Falls

Monaca

Aliquippa

Pittsburgh

Introduction & Context | 11


RiverWise Vision Statements As a convener and leader of many conversations involving sustainability in Beaver County, RiverWise is in an excellent position to give voice to the emerging concerns of regional stakeholders. Although individual municipalities have different opportunities, needs, and concerns, there remains considerable overlap throughout the region. By listening to the voices of hundreds of Beaver County residents over the course of 350 community meetings, RiverWise has gained considerable insight into the priorities of many residents, organizations, and communities. In ongoing dialog with these voices, RiverWise has created mission statements that reflect stakeholder values related to each of our six priority areas. Unlike community vision statements, these have not emerged from a formal process. Nevertheless, we remain confident that these statements represent a growing subset of Beaver County residents who are invested in a sustainable future for the region.

EQUITY

Beaver County is a diverse community where individuals, families, and businesses of all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcomed and celebrated.

FOOD

Beaver County is a destination community whose robust network of individuals, organizations, and businesses contribute to a hyperlocal food system.

WATER

Beaver County’s community identity is centered around the rivers that bring life to the region and are protected and accessible by all.

ENERGY

Beaver County is an innovative community whose resilient, hyperlocal energy systems act as a model for the nation and a learning laboratory for the region.

AIR

Beaver County is an educated community that understands and advocates for air quality issues that will protect the broader region.

MOBILITY

Beaver County is a connected community that uses a diversity of transportation modes to reunite communities to each other and the broader region. 12


RiverWise News Coverage

“RiverWise offering $20k in minigrant funding for Beaver County projects” The Beaver County Times, May 29, 2019

“RiverWise to host assessment of Monaca” The Beaver County Times, April 30, 2019

“RiverWise gets grant for river community planning” The Beaver County Times, April 1, 2019

“RiverWise brings sustainability to Beaver County” The Beaver County Times, December 19, 2019

“Solar group looking for local members” The Beaver County Times, March 22, 2019

Introduction & Context | 13


Community Storytelling As the only organization on the globe aspiring to enact ecodistrict thinking at countywide scale, RiverWise has faced some unique challenges along the way. One of these challenges involves figuring out how to keep a whole county of residents connected to what is happening in other, non-contiguous, communities. Beaver County is comprised of 54 municipalities and roughly 170,000 residents. So, there’s no way a young organization could service all of these communities equally well. In order to augment their capacity to attract others to its work, the organization has invested heavily in community storytelling since the very early stages of RiverWise. To accomplish this, they have embedded a community story teller in most all of their activity, and have documented the ongoing process of community formation in ways that have connected residents to one another, even when they are not physically present together. Early on, RiverWise coined the phrase “virtual ecodistrict,” and they have deepened their understanding of that idea over the last year and a half. Not unlike a physical ecodistrict, a virtual ecodistrict creates an identity for a place, helping people to see seemingly disconnected activities as part of a larger, interconnected system. Every day, residents of Beaver County live more and more of their lives in virtual space. RiverWise has purposed to use that to their advantage and have made storytelling a central part of their work. This particular document is neither the place nor the appropriate medium for sharing all those wonderful stories. However, if you’re interested in learning more about how RiverWise is using community storytelling in service to countywide ecodistrict formation, please take a look at their YouTube channel. Here, you will find all kinds of beautifully captured videos that document what is written about in the following pages.

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The Helpers - Small Businesses in Beaver County

The Helpers - Trails Ministries

Beaver County in Motion

Majora Carter - 2020 Winter Symposium, People, Place, Policy

The Helpers - Faith Restoration Food Pantry - COVID-19

Community Tool Shed


Marimba Milliones - 2020 Winter Symposium, People, Place, Policy

Monaca Sustainability Episode #1

RiverWise: Toward Community

RiverWise: PLAY

Unity in Beaver County

RiverWise: WILD

Community Currents: EcoDistricts Incubator

RiverWise: DREAM

RiverWise: CONNECTED

Introduction & Context | 15


Continuity, Cooperation, & Innovation The work of RiverWise seeks to be responsive and adaptive, learning from and building upon existing planning and research efforts from around the region. Numerous examples of such planning and research can be found throughout Beaver County and beyond. Although this report does not generally reference these documents explicitly, those that are listed below have deeply informed RiverWise’s strategy, planning, and action.

ReImagine! Beaver County Report 2019

Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race 2019

Beaver County’s Comprehensive Recreation, Park, and Open Space Plan 2018

ONE PGH: Pittsburgh’s Resilience Strategy 2017

The Ohio River Greenway Trail North Shore Connector Study 2015

Ohio River North Shore Trail Feasibility Study 2012

At its core, RiverWise seeks to provide an action-oriented vision for what a sustainable future looks like in Beaver County. As a result, the vision articulated in these pages is congruent with a wide and growing number of plans, partners, and projects. RiverWise is hopeful that what is articulated here will generate deeper and richer alignment with the excellent work that has been accomplished both in our region’s recent past and in its exciting future.

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City of Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan 2018

Inflection Point: Supply, Demand, and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region 2017

Ohio River South Shore Trail Feasibility Study 2011

Beaver County Comprehensive Plan 2010

Introduction & Context | 17


Ecodistricts

are communities that have committed to achieving ambitious environmental sustainability performance goals. Ecodistricts focus on both the hardware, or physical systems of places, as well as the software of social and cultural resiliency. Ecodistrict planning enables communities to create more livable places, systems, and economies by leading with equity and amplifying environmental performance through collective action. The concept of an ecodistrict developed around 2010 in sustainability and urban planning professional and academic networks. Local Pittsburgh organizations and individuals have been integral to advancing the ecodistrict concept and advocacy movement, with Larimer’s Creating a Living City plan becoming one of the first ecodistrict neighborhood plans in the world. The Millvale Ecodistrict has also contributed significantly to the national movement, and its Pivot 2.0 Plan has been recognized as an early example of a fully adopted ecodistrict plan with municipal and community support. The non-profit organization, EcoDistricts®, launched the EcoDistrict Protocol in 2016, to which the Millvale Ecodistrict and evolveEA have contributed. The national organization administers certifications under the EcoDistricts Protocol and accredits practitioners through its EcoDistricts AP program. With the establishment of the Triboro Ecodistrict, RiverWise Ecodistricts, and many others in the region, in addition to Etna’s recognition as the first certified EcoDistrict® in the world, the region continues to demonstrate leadership in the movement for equitable neighborhood development. Initiatives like RiverWise and the Triboro Ecodistrict serve to expand the scale at which ecodistricts are engaged and planned, accelerate the proliferation of ecodistricts, and contribute to a growing diversity of ecodistrict typologies. RiverWise’s specific contribution to ecodistrict thinking is unique both regionally and nationally for two reasons. First, RiverWise is one of the only organizations working to apply ecodistricts thinking to a rural context. Second, to our knowledge, RiverWise is the first example of an organization working to apply ecodistrict thinking at the county-scale. Both unique contributions position RiverWise to contribute to a broader, global conversation about the utility and adaptability of Ecodistrict thinking in diverse and varied contexts.

The RiverWise Ecodistrict has adopted the six quality of life areas that were established in the Triboro Ecodistrict as key areas of planning and strategic action. They are: EQUITY FOOD WATER ENERGY AIR MOBILITY

MILLVALE ECODISTRICT

The Larimer Living Cities Plan was one of the first neighborhood ecodistrict plans, created in 2011.

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The Millvale Ecodistrict has been both a regional catalyst and national model for ecodistricts.

Communities from the Pittsburgh region contributed to the development of the national EcoDistricts Protocol®.


RiverWise is leveraging ecodistricts in

Beaver County

to create a regional identity grounded in sustainability. Beaver County is located approximately one hour northwest of the City of Pittsburgh and is bordered to the west by the state of Ohio and the panhandle of West Virginia. The county was once dominated by heavy steel industries, but since the downfall of steel, has welcomed newer smaller manufacturing and service industries. The County is composed of 54 municipalities and is home to approximately 170,500 people. This includes two small third-class cities, Aliquippa and Beaver Falls. RiverWise and its initiatives are especially relevant given the unique challenges and opportunities in Beaver County. A Shell cracker plant is currently under construction in the county, which will bring jobs to an economically depressed area, but will also bring air pollution to a region which already ranks consistently in the bottom 8% of regions across the nation for particulate matter (PM2.5) and is at high risk for pollution-related health concerns. Economic growth is occurring unevenly, but heralds the promise of revitalization. Beaver Falls has a 26% poverty rate overall, including 41% of female head of households and 39% of youth under 18. The City of Aliquippa has the longest standing Act 47 status in the state, and Monaca’s downtown industrial uses and close proximity to the cracker plant makes it particularly susceptible to air quality concerns. Despite this, recent developments have emboldened a resilient, can-do attitude, including a coffee shop that acts as the center of community life in Aliquippa, as well as a cultural center in Beaver Falls and a community microgrid in Monaca that are both under development. Pursuing ecodistricts to improve quality of life in Beaver County can provide unique opportunities that traditional community development strategies cannot. Some ways that ecodistricts can add value to Beaver County include: •

Empowering residents to disrupt the prevailing narrative that Beaver County’s best days are behind it and assert ownership over their community’s future

Employing triple bottom line thinking to create robust and equitable communities that result in long-term economic stability, environmental stewardship, and enduring regional health

Promoting collective action on regional issues, such as the Shell cracker plant

Leveraging environmental initiatives to create jobs, improve health, and generally contribute to improved quality of life for all

Beaver County residents participating in the 2019 EcoDistricts Incubator in Millvale, PA

“At RiverWise, our vision for the future of Beaver County is as wide and deep as our rivers, as varied and creative as our people, and as rich and complex as our history.” Daniel Rossi-Keen, PhD

Introduction & Context | 19


COVID-19

has changed the way RiverWise thinks about ecodistricts and urban systems. In the wake of COVID-19, RiverWise has been required to adapt, reevaluate, and pivot to meet emerging community needs. Though its mission has remained constant throughout this season of unprecedented change, RiverWise has begun to respond to that mission in some unexpected ways. Shortly after the pandemic became apparent, RiverWise undertook several concrete actions that continue to guide its response to COVID-19. 1.

RiverWise shifted its social media strategy to ensure that they were minimizing “noise” and elevating trusted and relevant information of use to the community.

2. RiverWise undertook a concerted effort to create opportunities and forums to become familiar with the needs emerging among Beaver County residents and organizations. 3. RiverWise engaged in public reflection and storytelling about how Beaver County residents have been experiencing and responding to this crisis. 4. RiverWise developed a COVID-19 Equity Strategy that has guided their efforts to connect residents and organizations to vital information related to resources made available at the local, state, and federal levels. 5. RiverWise created the Community Builder Corps, a modern day reboot of FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which the organization is using to hire recently unemployed or underemployed residents of Beaver County who are interested in community building initiatives that respond to COVID-19. Throughout this season of change, RiverWise has maintained its commitment to existing projects, both in ecodistrict communities and throughout the broader county. Not surprisingly, the organization has adapted timelines and outcomes in the short term. But, the fundamental goal of creating a regional identity around the rivers of Beaver County remains unchanged, even amidst a global pandemic. In fact, given the numerous systemic failures that have become increasingly apparent since the outbreak of COVID-19, RiverWise is convinced that its concern to create a robust regional identity is more important than ever. As the world continues to adjust to a “new normal”, RiverWise is thinking ahead to understand how the global pandemic is affecting local communities, and more specifically, how it is impacting the six quality of life areas at the heart of its ecodistrict framework. While the future is admittedly difficult to predict, RiverWise is committed to thinking carefully and audaciously about how best to reconstruct those pieces of the social fabric that have been strained or will be destroyed due to COVID-19. Although the list of priorities on the following pages is undoubtedly incomplete, what follows represents the organization’s early attempt to identify priorities that are guiding efforts to respond to the results of the coronavirus.

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Introduction & Context | 21


COVID-19 Response Priorities

EQUITY • • • • • • • • •

Retain existing jobs and create additional employment opportunities Improve access to healthcare, particularly among vulnerable residents Encourage and help anchor institutions to pivot quickly to serve emerging community needs Improve equitable access to parks and green space Provide support and creative solutions for main street businesses Share knowledge and resources with community members Ensure access to remote education across diverse population groups Advocate for equal access to relief funding and resources Create systems that provide equitable access to public health information and community services

FOOD • • • • • • •

Develop new and safe ways to distribute food Increase local food production Develop and share resources related to nutrition, cooking, and health Improve food system resilience with creative supply chain solutions Expand access to healthy food among vulnerable populations Work to retain existing and emerging food entrepreneurs during this vulnerable time Encourage increased patronage of local food vendors, suppliers, and producers

WATER • • • • • •

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Expand safe and equitable opportunities to enjoy the rivers Ensure residents retain access to water, despite their inability to pay utility bills Advocate and educate about the need for water infrastructure improvements amidst budgetary downturns Continue to support vulnerable residents who were displaced during the lockdown as the result of flash flooding Spread awareness and take advantage of emerging relief funds for water-related infrastructure projects Raise awareness about the importance of water system resilience to mitigate against crises such as pandemics, natural disasters, and other widespread disruptions of normalcy


ENERGY • • • •

Spread awareness and take advantage of emerging relief funds for energy-related infrastructure projects Raise awareness about the importance of energy system resilience to mitigate against crises such as pandemics, natural disasters, and other widespread disruptions of normalcy Encourage and educate about energy conservation to conserve limited resources during a time of scarcity Harness a growing sense of regional solidarity to gain support for carbon neutral design solutions

AIR • • • • • •

Expand the region’s focus on gathering air quality data that can be used to inform future decision making Preserve existing green space and increase equitable access to additional green space throughout the region Monitor work from home trends and understand the impact on air pollution Raise awareness about the importance of indoor air quality to mitigate against respiratory disease Increase awareness of the relationship between air pollution and respiratory health Take advantage of emerging relief funds for air quality-related projects

MOBILITY • • • • • •

Rethink private mobility and multi-vehicle households Encourage increased public transportation use in a safe way, including location and design of bus stops, routes, and destinations Increase alternative transportation infrastructure for recreational and commuting purposes Create pedestrian-only streets, parklets in parking spaces, and repurpose parking lots as appropriate Monitor and understand the implications of shifting travel patterns Spread awareness and take advantage of emerging relief funds for mobility-related infrastructure projects

Introduction & Context | 23


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02

Community Overviews Aliquippa Beaver Falls Monaca Across the Region Aliquippa Earth Day Clean-up Photo: First Blush Photos

Community Overviews | 25


Community Overviews In early 2019, RiverWise initiated a series of public gatherings throughout Beaver County. These meetings were focused on introducing residents to the basic ideas behind ecodistrict thinking. The language of ecodistrict work was largely unfamiliar to most residents of the region. To combat this, RiverWise organized two community meetings aimed at introducing the concepts and goals of ecodistrict work. Following this were three topical meetings. One meeting focused on the themes of water and mobility; the second was organized to address energy and air quality; and the last highlighted food and equity. At each of these three gatherings, residents were introduced to these ideas and then asked to dream about their community through the lens of each theme. After spending time in a workshop setting with community peers, group representatives were asked to share publicly a vision statement that had been crafted by their fellow community members. The assembled group then discussed and refined those vision statements. In the weeks and months following these formal meetings, identified community advocates were called together to gauge their willingness to continue engaging in ecodistrict organizing. In each ecodistrict community, core leadership teams emerged as a result of these initial public gatherings. These core leadership teams were tasked with reviewing and further refining the community vision statements that were initially created in the community meetings. You will find the most recent version of those vision statements in the pages that follow. Vision statements are intentionally provisional by nature. Those that follow are no different. That said, these statements emerged from more than 10 hours of public meetings, and countless hours of smaller group gatherings. More than 200 engaged community residents have given their time and energy to create these vision statements. They therefore represent a thoughtful and community-informed account of what a significant subset of Beaver County residents hope for their region’s future. In addition to the vision statements, the following pages describe the assets, challenges, and priorities for each of the three ecodistrict communities, organized by quality of life issue area. This information was distilled from the community meetings mentioned previously and numerous existing plans and documents that the three communities, and the county, have produced over the past couple decades. The specific reports that contributed to this section can be found on page 90. While this information has been vetted by community partners, it has not yet been vetted by the broader community. The maps that accompany this information were produced using publicly available datasets, including GIS information provided by the State of Pennsylvania (PASDA), the U.S. EPA, FEMA, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC), and others. The information represented in these maps has not yet been verified by the community either; however, doing so is recommended as a next step. The information presented in this chapter is a summary and refinement of previous efforts and is intended to provide a snapshot of each community. A recommended next step is to work with the community to refine and prioritize the listed priorities and acquire funding for implementation. 26

Flyer from 2019 Ecodistrict Education Meetings.


Community Overview Spreads

BEAVER FALLS

EQUITY

Community weeping wall in Beaver Falls, created in response to the killing of George Floyd

Beaver Falls is a proud community that is equitable and inclusive for all. ASSETS Human service agencies and faithbased initiatives, including soup kitchens, after school tutoring, reentry programs, drug and alcohol recovery, as well as numerous nonprofit organizations With the strong leadership of the Beaver Falls CDC paired with an engaged community, Beaver Falls has a motivated group who wants to revitalize Beaver Falls Strong educational assets, including the Carnegie Library (which acts as a community hub) and Geneva College Strong and dedicated City staff and municipal services Affordable real estate that is attractive to young and diverse families A growing concern for vulnerable populations, spurring a new spirit of collaboration and activism

CHALLENGES

Significant poverty and unequal access to upward mobility Limited tax base which puts Beaver Falls at a disadvantage when compared to other communities

PRIORITIES Revitalize key historic properties, including the News Tribune Building and Portobello Building Utilize the middle neighborhoods approach as a unique strategy for neighborhood revitalization Develop a cultural/innovation district centered around the Carnegie Library and future Neighborhood North: Museum of Play. This multi-block corridor would also include the Penn State Innovation Hub and Portobello Cultural and Life Center Initiate a community storytelling campaign Strengthen existing and create new recreational assets, such as the wave pool and riverfront trail

Feelings of hopelessness, internalization of negative stereotypes, and lack of neighborhood pride Health insurance is one of the single largest expenses for residents Non-profit organizations & civic and institutional assets Seventh Avenue Commercial Corridor

Beaver Falls has already... Convened local stakeholders to establish the Beaver Falls Ecodistrict Received a Neighborhood Assistance Program Grant to assist with downtown revitalization Been selected as a Heart & Soul Community, allowing further community organizing and storytelling Pursued a Home Rule Charter to replace their status as a 3rd Class City Established a Community Arts Council, Neighborhood Watch, Business Council, and Downtown Beaver Falls Group Held numerous city wide Block Parties

Future Cultural/Innovation District

44

Community Overviews | 45

Assets, Challenges, & Priorities

Refined from previous planning documents and vetted by local ecodistrict teams

Vision Statements

Community-informed vision statements

Maps

Created using publicly available GIS data

Existing Achievements

Achievements gathered by local ecodistrict teams

Community Overviews | 27


Aliquippa Aliquippa is located along the Ohio River, approximately 25 miles northwest of the City of Pittsburgh. During the first part of the 20th century, Aliquippa was best known for the Jones and Laughlin (J&L) steel mill that was located along the riverfront. J&L sustained employment for a population of over 27,000 people by 1940 and is responsible for many of the buildings and infrastructure that remain in the city today. The closure of the mill in the 1980s resulted in significant economic loss, and compounded by the overall trend of moving to the suburbs, led to major population loss. Businesses closed, the tax base declined, and the City began having difficulty paying its bills.1 In the 1980s the state of Pennsylvania designated Aliquippa a distressed community (Pennsylvania Act 47), a status that the city has held for over 30 years, the longest of any municipality in the state.2 Today, the population of Aliquippa is approximately 9,230 people. The median household income is about $34,000 per year and 30% of all households are at or below the poverty level. Aliquippa’s primary business district, Franklin Avenue, still contains many sturdy 2- and 4-story historic structures, but currently suffers a 42% vacancy rate.3,6 The City lacks a grocery store and hospital, and many residents must travel outside of the city for work or shopping.1 Despite this, a grassroots movement of individuals and organizations have started working collectively to improve the quality of life in Aliquippa. Of the three ecodistrict communities in Beaver County, Aliquippa is in many ways the most mature in terms of community organizing and has demonstrated robust alignment between nonprofit, business, and religious partners. Although, to date, this work has occurred in parallel to existing municipal efforts, there are nevertheless increasingly sophisticated plans and relationships surrounding ecodistrict thinking in Aliquippa. This community led, grassroots initiative, stands as an exciting model for revitalization that is directed primarily by citizen efforts.7 Looking forward, the Aliquippa Ecodistrict has established several priorities to focus on over the next three years, including: 1.

formalizing the governance relationship between RiverWise and Aliquippa stakeholders

2. community capacity building and growing support for the ecodistrict initiative 3. exploring and articulating the alignment between existing Aliquippa activity and organizations and the ecodistrict initiative 4. engaging in ongoing storytelling about community initiatives 5. assisting with the development of the Franklin Avenue Park

2020 Aliquippa Snapshot3,4,5 9,230 people

4,280

households

$34,000

median household income

43.2%

minority population

30%

of households at or below the poverty level

59%

homeownership

43

median age

337

businesses US EPA & City of Aliquippa Economic Development Corporation, 2019. Delta Development Group, 2014. 3 ESRI forecast for 2019, U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010 Summary File 1. 4 ESRI, InfoGroup, 2019. 5 ESRI, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Surveys 2016 and 2017. 6 City of Aliquippa Economic Development Corporation, 2017. 7 RiverWise, 2018. 1

2

28


EQUITY

Aliquippa is a vibrant and diverse community that prospers when residents work together.

FOOD

Aliquippa is a collaborative community where fresh, healthy, and affordable food is accessible to all.

WATER

Aliquippa is an interconnected community where water systems contribute to a healthy environment and economy.

ENERGY

Aliquippa is a pioneering community that is redefining what energy means to them.

AIR

Aliquippa is a healthy community with clean air indoors and outdoors.

MOBILITY

Aliquippa is a safe community where all people have reliable and effective mobility options. Community Overviews | 29


Non-profit organizations & civic and institutional assets Franklin Avenue Commercial Corridor Aliquippa Industrial Park

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ALIQUIPPA

EQUITY

Aliquippa artist, Marlon Gist, creating a painting during The Gathering: A Food Truck Experience

Aliquippa is a vibrant and diverse community that prospers when residents work together. ASSETS Numerous historic buildings are great candidates for redevelopment Mission-driven organizations that are dedicated to collaborative change, including but not limited to: Aliquippa Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), Aliquippa Impact, Uncommon Grounds Cafe, Community of Celebration, Salvation Army, Franklin Avenue Development Committee (FADC), B.F. Jones Memorial Library, The Franklin Center, The Greenhouse, Communicycle, and eQuip Books Sites such as the Aliquippa Industrial Park are places of economic activity, providing opportunity for residents Growing and intentional commitment to racial reconciliation, organizational integration, and shared leadership among a growing number of leaders Steady influx of transplants who are moving to and investing in the social fabric of the community Uncommon Grounds Cafe’s physical and symbolic presence as an organization committed to community formation

CHALLENGES Vacancy along Franklin Avenue, weakening its identity and infrastructure as the “town center”

A history of community division, competition, and limited cooperation across organizational boundaries Aliquippa has been identified by the EPA as an environmental justice community Lack of workforce development and jobs skills programs, perpetuating cycles of generational poverty, and limited upward mobility Barriers to healthcare access

PRIORITIES Capacity building, shared learning, and trust building in the community Revitalize Franklin Avenue in ways that serve the needs of all residents, while preserving the existing character of historic structures Develop the Franklin Avenue Park as a demonstration of the ecodistrict commitment to equitable development Initiate a community storytelling campaign that sheds light on stories of triumph and excellence among residents of Aliquippa

Aliquippa has already... Convened local stakeholders to establish the Aliquippa Ecodistrict Launched the Greenhouse Lab, a social impact incubator Started a Youth Humanities Learning Cohort Acquired funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for cultural programming at Uncommon Grounds Cafe

Reconnect the Franklin Avenue corridor to the Ohio River, providing all residents access to natural amenities Work to encourage transparency in community priority setting and decision making so that all residents’ voices are included Community Overviews | 31


Food production places Food processing places Food distribution places Transit Routes

32


ALIQUIPPA

FOOD

James von Minden, a resident of Aliquippa’s Community of Celebration, enjoying ice cream

Aliquippa is a collaborative community where fresh, healthy, and affordable food is accessible to all. ASSETS Local organizations that provide free or reduced cost food to residents, such as the YMCA Free Lunch program and Salvation Army food pantry Resources and capacity building in support of the Food Access Action Plan (EPA, 2019) Local community gardens, such as the Spring Street community garden, the future B.F. Jones Memorial Library Garden, and the RiverWise Victory Garden at The Gospel Tabernacle Food-related community programming, such as The Gathering Pop-up Food Truck events Existing food-related businesses, such as ALDI, Uncommon Grounds Cafe, the weekly Farmers’ Market, and other emerging foodrelated businesses

CHALLENGES Lack of access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food (Aliquippa is a food desert) Lack of reliable transportation options to travel to food distribution locations

Limited resources, space, and knowledge to expand community gardens Difficulty finding a grocery store or fresh food market to locate along Franklin Avenue

PRIORITIES Perform a market study to better understand the feasibility of a market or grocery store on Franklin Avenue near the Route 51 interchange Implement projects and programs that improve access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food, especially among disadvantaged groups Create conditions that attract food-related businesses to Aliquippa’s historic downtown Support and encourage food entrepreneurs through innovative funding, shared kitchen space, and enhanced marketing of the city Encourage local production of fresh food that can be utilized in both residential and commercial applications Reinvigorate Aliquippa’s neighborhood markets and provide them with fresh food options Educate residents about healthy food production and preparation

Aliquippa has already... Hosted numerous food-related community events through the Franklin Avenue Development Committee Established an Aliquippa Local Food Coalition Engaged in Regional Food Coalition conversations Undertaken preliminary planning around food systems and delivery in Aliquippa Established the Spring St. Garden and began planning the B.F. Jones Memorial Library Garden Initiated a community Victory Garden in response to COVID-19

Community Overviews | 33


Relocation of dam, water obstruction, or encroachment Ports Flood Zone AE 100 Year Flood Risk Wetlands/Streams

34


ALIQUIPPA

WATER

Spring Street Creek

Aliquippa is an interconnected community where water systems contribute to a healthy environment and economy. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Potential for adjacent access to the Ohio River

Create public riverfront access by revitalizing the riverfront industrial centers and creating a riverfront park

The Spring St. Creek and Logstown Run One of the largest undeveloped parcels of riverfront property east of the Mississippi River New commercial shipping dock along the Ohio River Productive wells along the Ohio River Growing community advocacy for improved pubic water

CHALLENGES Lack of public riverfront access Flooding under Franklin Avenue due to the culverting of Logstown Run. This has resulted in significant flash flooding in 2007 and 2011

Improve vehicular and pedestrian circulation between the river park, riverfront trail, and Franklin Avenue Acquire the Logstown Run outfall and perform major habitat restoration, stormwater management improvements, and a public riverfront park Create distributed stormwater management sites along Franklin Avenue that also contribute to placemaking Undertake community education about water quality, safety, and conservation

Aliquippa has already... Initiated Water Quality Education & Testing Incorporated stormwater management into the plan for the Franklin Avenue Park Begun planning that ensures river access along the Ohio River Trail

Inadequate capacity of stormwater infrastructure Stormwater runoff into Logstown Run and the Ohio River Variable quality and reliability of the public water supply Aging municipal water system Terrain surrounding the downtown funnels water into the low lying business district

Community Overviews | 35


Natural Gas Pipeline (NG) Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids Pipeline (HGL) Electric Power Transmission Lines (E) EPA Recommended Renewable Energy Site (reuse of contaminated land) Estimated Building Electricity Use < 0 KWh/yr < 12,500 KWh/yr < 14,000 KWh/yr < 14,500 KWh/yr < 46,000 KWh/yr < 3,200,000 KWh/yr

36


ALIQUIPPA

ENERGY

The lobby of B.F. Jones Memorial Library, a potential solar site in downtown Aliquippa

Aliquippa is a pioneering community that is redefining what energy means to them. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

High potential for renewable energy, such as solar energy, wind energy, and potentially hydroelectricity

Launch building weatherization program that helps residents save energy and reduce their utility bills

Growing community interest in alternative forms of clean energy production

Investigate the potential of solar panels and wind turbines on existing buildings and publicly owned land

Opportunity for significant redevelopment using energy efficient building standards

CHALLENGES Regional dependency on the fossil fuel industry for jobs, which discourages adoption of alternative energy solutions Low cost of fossil fuel-based energy does not encourage a transition to renewable energy sources Relatively old building stock that is in need of weatherization improvements

Support alternative means of transportation with biking, pedestrian, public transportation, and electric vehicle infrastructure

Aliquippa has already... Solicited initial plans to solarize the roof of B.F. Jones Memorial Library Promoted the Beaver County Solar Co-Op

Promote solar energy on key buildings throughout the city such as the B.F. Jones Memorial Library, Uncommon Grounds Cafe, and more Support and encourage the upgrade of existing municipal lighting to energy efficient LEDs

Currently lacks funding, knowledge, and community interest to invest in building weatherization improvements, electric vehicles, and renewable energy projects

Community Overviews | 37


PA DEP Air Emissions Plants (Point Sources of Pollution) Air Pollution Control Device

Major Roads

General Administrative Location

Railroad Lines

Fuel Material Location

Open Space

Process

Parks

Incinerator Combustion Unit Point of Air Emission

38

EPA Toxic Release Inventory Facility (Point Source of Pollution)


ALIQUIPPA

AIR

Aliquippa residents beautify Franklin Avenue during a 2019 Earth Day Community Clean Up

Aliquippa is a healthy community with clean air indoors and outdoors. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Wooded hillsides, green spaces, and trees that sequester air pollution

Protect and enhance natural areas, including steep, undevelopable wooded hillsides, natural habitat areas, and natural habitat corridors

Growing commitment to air quality monitoring and education among some segments of the population

CHALLENGES Air quality is currently poor and likely to become worse as the region reindustrializes Many residents travel by car, which contributes to air pollution There is a high rate of chronic disease risk factors, which makes residents more susceptible to air quality-related health issues Many residents continue to lack awareness or concern about issues related to air quality

Plant street trees on Franklin Avenue for shade, stormwater management, beautification, and air pollution sequestration Construct an air quality monitoring station to measure air pollution and educate residents about air quality

Aliquippa has already... Committed to the AirWise Air Quality Monitoring Coalition Secured property and funding to move the Franklin Avenue Park toward planning and development Organized multiple Earth Day Community Clean Up projects

Community Overviews | 39


Transit Routes Ports Trails Major Roads

40


ALIQUIPPA

MOBILITY

Aliquippa is a safe community where all people have reliable and effective mobility options. ASSETS Communicycle, a community organization that uses bikes to connect individuals and other community organizations to each other The Ohio River Trail, which is in progress but when complete will connect existing trails in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia Accessible road network for vehicles, including easy access to PA Route 51 and I-376

CHALLENGES Lack of physical pedestrian connection between residential areas and Franklin Avenue, as well as the riverfront industrial area and Franklin Avenue

PRIORITIES Construct a riverfront trail connecting Aliquippa to Monaca and Ambridge Create a mobility corridor connecting the riverfront trail to Franklin Avenue Complete Franklin Avenue streetscape improvements Establish or enhance pedestrian connections linking important community assets along Franklin Avenue with residential areas

Bikes collected and restored by CommuniCycle, a nonprofit that originated on Franklin Avenue in Aliquippa

Aliquippa has already... Implemented streetscape improvements along Franklin Avenue Received and has initiated plans to install bike rack donations Implemented a Bike Mobility Safety Program

Lack of street lighting to improve safety, well-defined crosswalks, and amenities (such as gathering spaces and parklets) along Franklin Avenue to provide a vibrant and inviting appearance to pedestrians and businesses Widely varied topography making it challenging to connect different neighborhoods

Community Overviews | 41


MILLVALE ECODISTRICT Franklin Avenue Park existing conditions

ALIQUIPPA CATALYTIC PROJECT

Franklin Avenue Park

RiverWise and Aliquippa stakeholders have selected a vacant lot along Franklin Avenue to act as a catalytic ecodistrict project that will be transformed into the Franklin Avenue Park. For over a decade, plans have been underway for a park on Franklin Avenue in Aliquippa, with the project being led by the adjacent Uncommon Grounds Cafe. In order to make this vision a reality, nearly $200,000 has been raised for this exciting project, both in monetary and in-kind contributions. Over the years, several adjoining parcels of land have been acquired. Site surveys have been completed and preliminary conceptual drawings of a community park have been created. During the summer of 2019, the land was leveled and seeded, and the stage is now set to move full speed ahead with the next step in the planning process. The area surrounding the future Franklin Avenue Park is already being used as a site of community gathering. For several years now, the Franklin Avenue Development Committee has been planning and running food truck events in front of the land where the park will soon be constructed. Funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities have recently been acquired to establish the park as a venue for public concerts and cultural events. And, even more events are planned with this space at the center throughout 2020. Adjacent to the Franklin Avenue Park sits an abandoned building, a wellused courtyard and Uncommon Grounds CafĂŠ, an anchor community and economic development business along the Franklin Avenue corridor. Designers of the site have been asked to consider these four locations (the cafĂŠ, the courtyard, the abandoned building, and the park property) as a unified whole. When combined into one project, these four adjoining

42


Franklin Avenue Park proposed conceptual plan, image: SmithGroup

spaces offer endless opportunities for creative intervention. The community is working further to refine how such creativity might be directed, but the site will undoubtedly combine public space, some kind of food market space, and a community park. Together, these spaces can become a 21st century exemplar of commerce and community working in unison, providing beauty and utility in downtown Aliquippa for many generations to come. In May 2020, Uncommon Grounds Cafe was funded by the Aliquippa Economic Development Corporation to engage SmithGroup to produce a conceptual design for the Park. The park design incorporates elements to represent each of the six quality of life issue areas, including: •

Equity: location in the heart of historic Aliquippa, inviting open access to all residents and visitors

Food: picnic and grilling area with a community market planned for the site adjacent to the park

Water: rain garden and flood mitigation features built into the park design

Energy: solar-powered stage and lighting throughout the park

Air: air quality monitors

Mobility: located along a major arterial road and close proximity to the Ohio River Trail

Next, SmithGroup will solicit community feedback on the proposed design and stakeholders will work to acquire funding to construct the Park. Community Overviews | 43


Beaver Falls Beaver Falls is located along the Beaver River, 6 miles north of the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers. By the 20th century, Beaver Falls had become home to a variety of manufacturing companies, including companies that refined primary steel and created steel products. The City’s location along the river and flat floodplain along the river banks provided easy means for rail and river transportation. The river also became essential for power generation as well as waste disposal. The establishment of Geneva College in 1880 gave the community a dual character as both a “mill town” and a “college town.” The population in Beaver Falls peaked in 1950 at approximately 17,300 people. A decline in population began following World War II and accelerated in the 1980s as the steel industry and related industries started to collapse. Declining population led to an increase in vacant industrial buildings, empty homes, and closing businesses, leading to fiscal challenges for the City government.1,2 Today, the population of Beaver Falls is approximately 8,790 people. The median household income is about $31,000 per year and 25% of all households are at or below the poverty level. While the city still suffers from a high vacancy rate, the population is getting younger. Even as rents rise, incomes are rising as well resulting in a lower rent burden. 3,6 Despite these challenges, a sophisticated collection of activity is occurring, both from the municipal government and from the private and nonprofit sectors. Numerous groups, often with overlapping membership, have been meeting for some time and have developed varied levels of plans and dreams for the city. From the municipal standpoint, there is substantial strength in Beaver Falls, even as the municipality recognizes the need to connect further to the wide array of community organizations in the city. Additionally, Beaver Falls has both an active Community Development Corporation and a Director of Community Development, both of which are contributing in distinct and complementary ways. This collaborative model, led by the Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation (BFCDC) and municipal government, has so far proven successful and has numerous ambitious projects planned for the future.7 Looking forward, the Beaver Falls Ecodistrict has established several priorities to focus on over the next three years, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

formalizing the governance relationship between RiverWise and Beaver Falls stakeholders community capacity building and growing support for the ecodistrict initiative exploring and articulating the alignment between existing Beaver Falls activity and organizations and the ecodistrict initiative engaging in ongoing storytelling about community initiatives assisting with the development of the News Tribune Building and March Park, located on 13th Street next to the library

2020 Beaver Falls Snapshot3,4,5 8,790 people

3,390

households

$31,000

median household income

27.3%

minority population

25%

of households at or below the poverty level

50%

homeownership

35

median age

359

businesses City of Beaver Falls Planning Commission, 2013. Downtown Redevelopment Services, 2018. 3 ESRI forecast for 2019, U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010 Summary File 1. 4 ESRI, InfoGroup, 2019. 5 ESRI, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Surveys 2016 and 2017. 6 CZB, 2020. 7 RiverWise, 2018. 1

2

44


EQUITY

Beaver Falls is a proud community that is equitable and inclusive for all.

FOOD

Beaver Falls is a food-secure community where residents are connected to all aspects of the food system.

WATER

Beaver Falls is an activated community that protects, integrates, and celebrates water as an asset.

ENERGY

Beaver Falls is a resilient community that leverages energy independence to improve quality of life.

AIR

Beaver Falls is a guardian community that champions clean air in the city and the region.

MOBILITY

Beaver Falls is an active community with a diversity of accessible, safe, and affordable mobility options. Community Overviews | 45


Non-profit organizations & civic and institutional assets Seventh Avenue Commercial Corridor Future Cultural/Innovation District

46


BEAVER FALLS

EQUITY

Community weeping wall in Beaver Falls, created in response to the killing of George Floyd

Beaver Falls is a proud community that is equitable and inclusive for all. ASSETS Human service agencies and faithbased initiatives, including soup kitchens, after school tutoring, reentry programs, drug and alcohol recovery, as well as numerous nonprofit organizations With the strong leadership of the Beaver Falls CDC paired with an engaged community, Beaver Falls has a motivated group who wants to revitalize Beaver Falls Strong educational assets, including the Carnegie Library (which acts as a community hub) and Geneva College Strong and dedicated City staff and municipal services Affordable real estate that is attractive to young and diverse families A growing concern for vulnerable populations, spurring a new spirit of collaboration and activism

CHALLENGES Feelings of hopelessness, internalization of negative stereotypes, and lack of neighborhood pride Health insurance is one of the single largest expenses for residents

Significant poverty and unequal access to upward mobility Limited tax base which puts Beaver Falls at a disadvantage when compared to other communities

PRIORITIES Revitalize key historic properties, including the News Tribune Building and Portobello Building Utilize the middle neighborhoods approach as a unique strategy for neighborhood revitalization Develop a cultural/innovation district centered around the Carnegie Library and future Neighborhood North: Museum of Play. This multi-block corridor would also include the Penn State Innovation Hub and Portobello Cultural and Life Center Initiate a community storytelling campaign Strengthen existing and create new recreational assets, such as the wave pool and riverfront trail

Beaver Falls has already... Convened local stakeholders to establish the Beaver Falls Ecodistrict Received a Neighborhood Assistance Program Grant to assist with downtown revitalization Been selected as a Heart & Soul Community, allowing further community organizing and storytelling Pursued a Home Rule Charter to replace their status as a 3rd Class City Established a Community Arts Council, Neighborhood Watch, Business Council, and Downtown Beaver Falls Group Held numerous city wide Block Parties

Community Overviews | 47


Food production places Food processing places Food distribution places Transit Routes

48


BEAVER FALLS

FOOD

Oram’s Donuts, a long time staple of the food scene in Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls is a food-secure community where residents are connected to all aspects of the food system. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Existing food-related markets, such as Save-A-Lot, Giles Town & Country Market, and Beaver Supermarket

Expand the existing community garden by converting underutilized land into gardens

Existing food production and distribution sites, such as the Beaver Falls Community Garden and Beaver County Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association Farmers Market Local organizations that provide free or reduced cost food to residents, such as the Salvation Army food bank

CHALLENGES Lack of time, resources, and education related to cooking results in unhealthy eating habits The Farmer’s Market is underutilized Limited public transportation to access existing food related businesses

Expand the existing farmers market into a public market with a food retail incubator, indoor food court, and outdoor vendor space Create an expanded food to farm cooperative between area farmers and city consumers

Beaver Falls has already... Created a Community Gardening Tool Shed Engaged in Regional Food Coalition conversations Established the River Town Food Alliance Organized daily soup kitchens Coordinated weekly farmer’s markets

Community Overviews | 49


Relocation of dam, water obstruction, or encroachment Flood Zone AE 100 Year Flood Risk Flood Zone A0 River or Stream Flood Hazard Wetlands/Streams

50


BEAVER FALLS

WATER

Beaver Falls is an activated community that protects, integrates, and celebrates water as an asset. ASSETS Adjacent access to the Beaver River Beaver River at Canal Dam is an aquatic habitat of state significance (core habitat area) that supports a population of the dusky dance (a damselfly species of concern in PA)

Lack of public confidence in the quality of the drinking water supply No public boat launches in Beaver Falls Public uncertainty about the health and safety of being in the Beaver River

Existing Beaver River Trail

PRIORITIES

The Beaver Falls Wave Pool

Create public riverfront access, expand the Beaver River Trail, and create a riverfront park

Homewood Falls (also referred to as Buttermilk Falls) Considerable riverfront property exists in Beaver Falls, with easy access to the Ohio River Geneva College students and faculty have spent time studying the local water supply College Hill Spring

CHALLENGES Lack of public riverfront access the railroad acts as a barrier and there is a need for legal crossings Inadequate capacity of the storm drains on Fourth Street just south of the Eastvale bridge occasionally results in flooding Periodic flooding of Walnut Bottom Run causes backups in the storm sewer system

Create distributed stormwater management sites in key locations to increase infiltration and reduce the quantity of stormwater entering the sewer system, especially from upstream communities Create water-related recreation opportunities, such as the Beaver River Trail and wave pool

Homewood Falls, one of Beaver Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beautiful sites; located just minutes north of Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls has already... Partially completed the Beaver River Trail Raised considerable funding to renovate the Beaver Falls Wave Pool Established the Welcome Center at Homewood Falls Begun exploring how to create a network of regional water quality monitors

Increase public understanding of water testing and quality Engage in messaging about how best to access the beauty of the Beaver River Coordinate with the railroads to reopen existing access points to the river

Community Overviews | 51


MAP

Power Plants Natural Gas Pipeline (NG) EPA Recommended Renewable Energy Site (reuse of contaminated land) Estimated Building Electricity Use < 0 KWh/yr < 12,500 KWh/yr < 14,000 KWh/yr < 14,500 KWh/yr < 46,000 KWh/yr < 3,200,000 KWh/yr

52


BEAVER FALLS

ENERGY

Beaver Falls is a resilient community that leverages energy independence to improve quality of life. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

High potential for renewable energy, such as hydroelectricity along the falls, solar energy, wind energy, and potentially geothermal energy

Upgrade Seventh Avenue street lighting from high-pressure sodium lights to LEDs to reduce energy consumption, save money, and improve aesthetics

Growing interest in solar energy among residents and select businesses

Rehabilitate existing housing while implementing weatherization improvements that will help residents save energy and reduce their utility bills

Numerous tall, flat-roofed buildings in the downtown corridor that are excellent candidates for solar installations Opportunity for significant redevelopment using energy efficient building standards

CHALLENGES Regional dependency on the fossil fuel industry for jobs, which discourages adoption of alternative energy solutions

Investigate the potential of a waste to energy cogeneration plant and the potential of harnessing energy from the falls Support alternative means of transportation with biking, pedestrian, public transportation, and electric vehicle infrastructure

Future home of The Portobello Cultural Center, the first certified green building in Beaver County; located on 7th Avenue in Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls has already... Implemented a solar installation at the Felician Sisters building Promoted the Beaver County Solar Co-op Attracted over $3 million in funding for The Portobello Cultural Life & Arts Center, the first certified green building in Beaver County

Relatively old building stock that is in need of weatherization improvements Currently lacks funding, knowledge, and community interest to invest in building weatherization improvements, electric vehicles, and renewable energy projects

Community Overviews | 53


PA DEP Air Emissions Plants (Point Sources of Pollution) Air Pollution Control Device General Administrative Location Fuel Material Location Process Incinerator Combustion Unit Point of Air Emission EPA Toxic Release Inventory Facility (Point Source of Pollution) Major Roads Railroad Lines Open Space Parks

54


BEAVER FALLS

AIR

Beaver Falls is a guardian community that champions clean air in the city and the region. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Wooded hillsides, green spaces, and trees that sequester air pollution

Protect and enhance natural areas, including steep, undevelopable wooded hillsides, natural habitat areas, and natural habitat corridors

Close proximity to regional parks, such as Bradyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Run Park Consistent street trees along Seventh Avenue sequester pollution and beautify the commercial corridor Growing community concern to become educated about air quality and monitoring

CHALLENGES Air quality is currently poor and is likely to become worse as the region reindustrializes

Complete the Beaver River Trail and develop a riverfront park Construct an air quality monitoring station to measure air pollution and educate residents about air quality Create a gateway park at the northernmost point of the city to sequester air pollution and beautify the entrance into Beaver Falls

The Beaver Falls News Tribune Building, future site of air quality monitoring and Neighborhood North Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Museum

Beaver Falls has already... Committed to the AirWise Air Quality Monitoring Coalition Initiated plans to have air quality monitoring stations on the rooftop of the News Tribune Building and Arts Center

The majority of residents travel by car, which contributes to air pollution Many residents continue to lack awareness or concern about issues related to air quality

Community Overviews | 55


Transit Routes Ports

+

Trails Trail Access Major Roads

56


BEAVER FALLS

MOBILITY

Newly installed bike lines along 7th Avenue in Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls is an active community with a diversity of accessible, safe, and affordable mobility options. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Existing Beaver River Trail

Implement complete streets improvements along Seventh Avenue, including widened sidewalks, bike lanes, bike racks, improved curbs and crosswalks, curb bump-outs, improved street furnishings, public art, and landscaping

Walkable community with amenities in close proximity to housing Accessible road network for vehicles, including easy access to Routes 18, 551, 588, and 65, and close proximity to Routes 76 and 376 Bike lanes through the downtown commercial corridor

CHALLENGES Deteriorating curbs in some areas do not properly channel stormwater and provide poor definition of the roadway for vehicles and pedestrians Fading crosswalks make for unsafe conditions for pedestrians trying to cross the street Deteriorating ADA ramps and sidewalks in some areas are in need of repairs Limited connectivity between Geneva Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campus and downtown Beaver Falls Inability to access the river due to the railroads

Investigate the feasibility of a formal pedestrian or vehicular rail crossing to gain recreational access to the Beaver River Expand the Beaver River Trail and connect it to the Ohio River Trail and other existing trails Incentivize property owners and assist with sidewalk improvements throughout the city

Beaver Falls has already... Implemented diagonal, back-in parking along Seventh Avenue Created dedicated bike lanes through the downtown corridor Begun improving the southern end of Geneva Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campus, making it more connected to downtown Completed a portion of the Beaver River Trail

Community Overviews | 57


MILLVALE ECODISTRICT 13th Street Park existing conditions

BEAVER FALLS CATALYTIC PROJECT

News Tribune Building & March Park RiverWise and Beaver Falls stakeholders have selected a vacant building and adjacent park to act as a catalytic ecodistrict project that will be transformed into the Neighborhood North Museum of Play Children’s Museum. In 2014, after sitting unoccupied for over three decades, the historic News Tribune Building was acquired by the Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation. Thanks to the visionary leadership and substantial investment of three local families, the roof of the structure was entirely replaced in 2017, stabilizing the building while also providing a beautiful rooftop view of the downtown and the hillside across the Beaver River. Engineering assessments of the facility have been conducted, gutting of the building has commenced, and a team of committed residents have been meeting in earnest throughout 2019 and 2020 to envision future uses for the space. The building is slated to house Neighborhood North: Museum of Play, a growing children’s museum being led by a committed group of local visionaries. The building provides endless opportunities to dream and enact principled, sustainable design that contributes richly to the life of the community. The News Tribune Building is located on 13th Street, adjacent to the Carnegie Free Library of Beaver Falls. In 2018, Beaver Falls City Council voted to discontinue use of 13th Street so that it could be turned into a park adjoining the library’s property. When completing their submissions, designers will be asked to consider both the News Tribune Building and March Park as their site of intervention. The intent is to create an integrated amenity, blurring the boundaries between indoor

58


Neighborhood North Museum of Play proposed conceptual design, image: evolveEA

and outdoor space, all the while utilizing sustainable building principles and green design throughout. In May 2020, Beaver Falls engaged evolveEA to produce a conceptual design for the building. A conceptual design plan for the park was completed by Klavon Design Associates in May 2020. The News Tribune Building design incorporates elements to represent each of the six quality of life issue areas, including: •

Equity: children’s Museum

Food: cafe and cooking classes

Water: stormwater management practices

Energy: green construction practices and demonstration projects and potential use of solar energy

Air: green construction practices and demonstration projects, pollinator gardens, on site air quality monitoring, and considerable green space

Mobility: location within a walkable community, along a major arterial road

Next, Beaver Falls will solicit for community feedback on the proposed design and will work to acquire funding to construct the Park and renovate the building.

Community Overviews | 59


Monaca Monaca is located along the Ohio River near the confluence of the Ohio and Beaver Rivers. Monaca has a history dating back to the 18th century and has been known as “Appetite,” “Phillipsburgh,” and “Lowenburg,” before the Borough was officially incorporated in 1892 as “Monaca.” Over the course of its 300 year history, Monaca went from being a sheep farm, to boat yards, to the home of German immigrants who formed the New Philadelphia Society. The community has a history of manufacturing, and historically manufactured enameled porcelain ware, glass, tile, tubing, drawn steel, and wire. Today, Phoenix Glass Company/ Anchor Hocking Plant #44 is located in Monaca and the upcoming Shell cracker plant is under construction in adjacent Center Township.1 Unlike Aliquippa and Beaver Falls, the collapse of the steel industry did not affect Monaca as significantly, likely due to diversified employment opportunities. Today, the population of Monaca is approximately 5,570 people. The median household income is about $47,000 per year, with only 13% of all households at or below the poverty level. While there is some vacancy, Monaca’s business district is relatively stable and includes a growing number of restaurants and businesses.2 The Borough of Monaca has already implemented a number of sustainability projects that have demonstrated significant cost savings, with additional projects in the planning stages. They have been recognized as a Sustainable Pittsburgh gold certified community and were named a winner in the 2019 Sustainable Pittsburgh challenge. This kind of thinking has worked its way into the DNA of the municipality and manifests itself in increasingly-sophisticated ways. From a wideranging streetscape project to growing interest in electrical microgrid development, Monaca provides a compelling example of how the principles of ecodistrict thinking can be beneficial in numerous ways to the revitalization of a community. Monaca’s commitment to the ongoing work of the Ohio River Trail plan as well as its ownership of one of the only boat launches in Beaver County enhances its importance for RiverWise’s efforts to organize around its rivers. Of the three ecodistrict communities, Monaca is the most forward-leaning at the municipal level, although they are still working to build community capacity in support of the ecodistrict initiative.5 Looking forward, the Monaca Ecodistrict has established several priorities to focus on over the next three years, including: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

formalizing the governance relationship between RiverWise, the Borough of Monaca, and the Monaca Community Development Corporation (MCDC) community capacity building and growing support for the ecodistrict initiative exploring and articulating the alignment between existing Monaca activity and organizations and the ecodistrict initiative engaging in ongoing storytelling about community activities assisting with the implementation of the Community Energy Project and Riverfront Park enhancements

2020 Monaca Snapshot2,3,4 5,570 people

2,550

households

$47,000

median household income

5.9%

minority population

13%

of households at or below the poverty level

63%

homeownership

44

median age

183

businesses

Borough of Monaca website, 2020. ESRI forecast for 2019, U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2010 Summary File 1. ESRI, InfoGroup, 2019. 4 ESRI, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Surveys 2016 and 2017. 5 RiverWise, 2018. 1

2

3

60


EQUITY

Monaca is a complete community where everyone has what they need to succeed.

FOOD

Monaca is a healthy community with access to affordable and fresh food options.

WATER

Monaca is a respectful community that connects visually and physically to its water assets.

ENERGY

Monaca is an innovative community that demonstrates leadership through example.

AIR

Monaca is an informed community that advocates for clean and healthy air.

MOBILITY

Monaca is a connected community where residents utilize a variety of mobility options. Community Overviews | 61


Non-profit organizations & civic and institutional assets Pennsylvania Avenue Commercial Corridor

62


MONACA

EQUITY

Residents discuss equitable development along Monacaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown corridor

Monaca is a complete community where everyone has what they need to succeed. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Strong educational assets, including the Monaca Public Library, Community College of Beaver County, Central Valley High School, and Penn State Beaver

Revitalize key properties, including the Pump House and community center

Strong municipal assets including a new civic center (in development), community center, and municipal leadership

Continue strengthening the commercial district and promote mixed-use infill redevelopment and public art

Pockets of vitality in the commercial business district

Capacity building, shared learning, and trust building in the community

Growing support and leadership from the newly formed Monaca Community Development Corporation Riverfront access and outdoor recreation spaces

CHALLENGES Significant empty storefronts along the downtown commercial business district, producing unequal access to necessary amenities Downtown is in need of a new streetscape, including sidewalks and improved lighting Raising adequate funds to enact Monacaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ambitious vision

Initiate a community storytelling campaign

Monaca has already... Convened local stakeholders to establish the Monaca Ecodistrict Hosted a Courageous Conversations series in 2019 Started developing the Monaca Civic Center Established the Monaca Community Development Corporation Initiated numerous community building activities such as Oktoberfest, the Nutcracker Decorating Contest, the Friday Concert Series, and the Police Department Birthday Drive-Bys

Community Overviews | 63


Food production places Food processing places Food distribution places Transit Routes

64


MONACA

FOOD

Monaca is a healthy community with access to affordable and fresh food options. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Existing food-related businesses and growing sites, such as Mamula’s Market, Gallagher’s Market, the Penn State Beaver Garden, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and CVS, as well as several restaurants

Create a community garden on vacant land

Growing support from the Monaca Community Development Corporation for food-related business activity

CHALLENGES Lack of Farmers Market within the Borough boundaries The Borough is in need of a municipal composting facility to minimize food waste Though numerous suitable sites exist for community gardens, none have been created as of yet Lack of public transportation options to travel to food distribution locations Limited access to fresh produce within the Borough Monaca needs a full service grocery store

Connect residents to the regional food system with a Farmers Market Incentivize food entrepreneurship along the downtown business corridor Attract a full service grocery store Engage in education and advocacy about food production, food preparation, and food waste management

Summertime’s Feel Good Barbeque, a community favorite on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Monaca

Monaca has already... Engaged in Regional Food Coalition conversations Organized and executed the Monaca Takeout Giveaway Contest in response to COVID-19 Established Food Truck Thursdays as a successful and regular community event Attracted a number of food-related businesses to the downtown corridor within the last 2 years Enhanced the downtown corridor to support food related entrepreneurship

Community Overviews | 65


Relocation of dam, water obstruction, or encroachment Ports Water Access Points Flood Zone AE 100 Year Flood Risk Flood Zone A0 River or Stream Flood Hazard Wetlands/Streams

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MONACA

WATER

Iconic train bridge crossing the Ohio River between Bridgewater and Monaca

Monaca is a respectful community that connects visually and physically to its water assets. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Riverfront Park and public boat launch

Revitalize the riverfront park into an EcoPark and enhance riverfront recreational assets

View of the confluence of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers Municipal Water & Wastewater Treatment Plants Green roof on Antoline Park pavilion that manages stormwater and keeps the building cool. Strong municipal focus on sustainable stormwater management, water conservation, water quality, and leak detection Access to both the Ohio and Beaver Rivers is available from Monacaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s boat launch

CHALLENGES Untreated stormwater runoff from industrial sites into the Ohio River MS4 stormwater management implementation throughout the Borough Monaca needs to separate its combined stormwater and sewer lines The water fountain along Pennsylvania Avenue is in disrepair Resident property ownership limits access to the banks of the Ohio River

Create distributed stormwater management sites in key locations to increase infiltration, reduce stormwater runoff, and remove sediment prior to discharge into the Ohio River Engage in messaging about how best to access the beauty of the Beaver River Enhance lighting and signage near the Monaca Boat Launch Undertake community education about water quality, safety, and conservation Market Monacaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s access to the Ohio River as one of its most defining and attractive features Restore or replace the water fountain on Pennsylvania Avenue

Monaca has already... Implemented automatic meter reading, water conservation, and leak detection system and improved the efficiency of the wastewater pump Begun exploring how to create a network of regional water quality monitors Solarized much of its municipal water supply Established the Ohio River Trail Attracted thousands of visitors to its riverfront for an annual fireworks display

Community Overviews | 67


Petroleum Product Terminal Natural Gas Pipeline (NG) Hydrocarbon Gas Liquids Pipeline (HGL) Electric Power Transmission Lines (E) Petroleum Product Pipeline (PP) EPA Recommended Renewable Energy Site (reuse of contaminated land) Estimated Building Electricity Use < 0 KWh/yr < 12,500 KWh/yr < 14,000 KWh/yr < 14,500 KWh/yr < 46,000 KWh/yr < 3,200,000 KWh/yr

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MONACA

ENERGY

Solar panels that are part of a 57kW solar installation at the Monaca reservoir

Monaca is an innovative community that demonstrates leadership through example. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

High potential for renewable energy, such as solar energy, wind energy, and potentially hydroelectricity

Complete wastewater treatment plant energy project

Solar panels at the borough reservoir, which produce about 42% of the energy needed to operate the facility Solar powered trash compactor Municipal renewable energy leadership Strong commitment to public/ private partnerships required for energy innovation

CHALLENGES Regional dependency on the fossil fuel industry for jobs, which discourages adoption of alternative energy solutions Relatively old building stock that is in need of weatherization improvements Currently lacks funding, knowledge, and community interest to invest in building weatherization improvements, electric vehicles, and renewable energy projects Monaca has an extensive energy vision but needs resources to enact their plan

Install solar panels on one or more of the bridges leading into Monaca Improve community resilience by developing a community energy hub Explore converting Monacaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s municipal fleet to electric or natural gas

Monaca has already... Converted all traffic signals and street lights to LEDs Participates in a demand response program Installed smart city technology on street lights Promoted the Beaver County Solar Co-Op Placed a 57kW solar installation at the borough reservoir Undertaken extensive planning for a Community Energy Project that would solarize multiple Borough assets Installed a Tesla charging station in the heart of downtown Created the Keep our Business Lights On microgrant program to assist during COVID-19

Community Overviews | 69


MAP

PA DEP Air Emissions Plants (Point Sources of Pollution) Air Pollution Control Device

Major Roads

General Administrative Location

Railroad Lines

Fuel Material Location

Open Space

Process

Parks

Incinerator Combustion Unit Point of Air Emission

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EPA Toxic Release Inventory Facility (Point Source of Pollution)


MONACA

AIR

A view of the open air amphitheater at Monaca Riverfront Park

Monaca is an informed community that advocates for clean and healthy air. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

Wooded hillsides, green spaces, and trees that sequester air pollution

Protect and enhance natural areas, including steep, undevelopable wooded hillsides, natural habitat areas, and natural habitat corridors

Growing community concern to become educated about air quality and monitoring Existing network of municipal air quality monitors

CHALLENGES Existing industry in Monaca provides local point sources of pollution Air quality is currently poor and likely to become worse as the region reindustrializes The majority of residents travel by car, which contributes to air pollution

Construct an air quality monitoring station to measure air pollution and educate residents about air quality Develop a community air quality baseline informed by the existing air quality sensors

Monaca has already... placed 4 air quality monitors in the borough to understand indoor and outdoor air quality conditions Constructed a green roof at Antoline Park Committed to the AirWise Air Quality Monitoring Coalition

The wastewater treatment plant emits methane, acting as a local point source of air pollution Many residents continue to lack awareness or concern about issues related to air quality

Community Overviews | 71


Transit Routes Water Access Points Ports Park and Ride Lots Trails Major Roads

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MONACA

MOBILITY

Monaca is a connected community where residents utilize a variety of mobility options. ASSETS

PRIORITIES

The Ohio River Trail, which is in progress but when complete will connect existing trails in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia

Construct a riverfront trail connecting Monaca to Aliquippa, and extend it to Ambridge

Accessible road network for vehicles, including easy access to PA Routes 51, 18, and 65. Rail and river access are available as well Biking infrastructure, such as the Bike fix-it station and bike racks Topography is relatively flat, making it easy to walk or bike in either the residential area or central business district

CHALLENGES 17th Street Gateway is confusing and dangerous The primary business district is along a busy street (Route 51) Public transportation is limited in destinations and frequency

Improve the 17th Street gateway corridor and intersection with a roundabout Establish or enhance pedestrian connections linking community assets with the residential area Install infrastructure to support alternative modes of transportation, such as e-bikes or scooters Enhance usage of the Ohio River as a means of traveling between communities

Sign denoting the future route of the Ohio River Trail, which travels along the river, through the heart of Monaca

Monaca has already... Installed a bike fix-it station along the future route of the Ohio River Trail Improved the downtown streetscape Significantly advanced the design and engineering for the Monaca Gateway Project Initiated collaboration with Penn State Beaver to establish a trail to connect campus to downtown Monaca

Residential sidewalks are in disrepair Railroads create substantial challenges to multimodal trail development

Invested in the development of a Monaca Bike Trail Map Created and grown the influence of the Ohio River Trail Council Community Overviews | 73


10% Reduction 50% Reduction

0 MMBtu

ALL ELECTRIC

$50k yr ~$50k SAVINGS (DEPENDING ON PPA)

1,300 MBtu

PUMP HOUSE

2,340 MMBtu

WWTP

300 MMBtu

BUILDING/SITE INTEGRATED PV

MILLVALE ECODISTRICT

SITE PV

BOROUGH-OWNED SITE(S)

RESERVOIR PV

SOLAR

NORMAL OPERATION ANNUAL ENERGY USE

Annual energy use for Borough-owned sites, image: SmithGroup

MONACA CATALYTIC PROJECT

Monaca Community Energy Project RiverWise and Monaca stakeholders have chosen a Community Energy project to act as a catalytic ecodistrict initiative in their community. For many years, the Monaca Riverfront Park has been a focal point of activity along the Ohio River. Guided by the Beaver County Corporation for Economic Development, the park has been the recipient of significant county, state, and federal investments in recent decades. Alongside the park, one finds the Municipal Pump House that supplies Monaca residents with drinking water from nearby wells. Just around the river’s bend from the park sits Monaca Public Boat Launch and the Borough’s Wastewater Treatment Facility, where dirty water is cleaned up before being discharged into the Ohio River. Importantly, the water utility facilities of Monaca already take advantage of onsite solar, which have lowered the municipality’s operational carbon and cost footprint significantly. Through much of 2019, RiverWise has been partnering with Monaca Borough to initiate planning to expand on the Borough’s distributed energy resources to develop low-carbon energy infrastructure for the entirety of the Borough. When complete, the Borough’s proposed project will strive to be the first neighborhood in the region to achieve its Ecodistrict energy and carbon goals. Using solar power, passive house design standards, and advanced back-up generation systems, this project will provide the electricity necessary to power the Water Treatment Facility and Municipal pumphouse with a low-carbon fuel supply. Importantly, the project will also seek to expand on its solar capacity to provide renewable energy options for the residents of Monaca. In doing so the Borough will decrease costs and increase resilience in case of an emergency.

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RESERVOIR


Rendering of PV opportunity on bridges, image by SmithGroup

Additionally, conversation has begun about adapting the existing Riverfront Park to create a 21st century example of sustainable, riverfront design. Elements of the EcoPark will be powered by the onsite renewable energy resources, allowing for innovative lighting designs, sound systems, and more. Approachable both from land and water, and adjacent to the confluence of Beaver County’s two major rivers, the intent is to enhance and update this existing amenity, further solidifying Monaca as the centerpiece of Beaver County’s sustainable future. In February 2020, Monaca engaged SmithGroup to design the Community Energy Project. The project incorporates elements to represent five of the six quality of life issue areas, including: •

Equity: will provide resilient energy to residents at a reduced rates

Food: digesting food waste on-site

Water: water treatment facility

Energy: solar-powered

Mobility: reducing transportation emissions, which also contributes to improved air quality

Next, Monaca will work to acquire funding to implement the Community Energy Project, working toward a 1.5 MW Power Purchase Agreement on solar.

Community Overviews | 75


RiverWise Ecodistrict Community Vision Statements

EQUITY Beaver County is a diverse community where individuals, families, and businesses of all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcomed and celebrated. Aliquippa is a vibrant and diverse community that prospers when residents work together. Beaver Falls is a proud community that is equitable and inclusive for all. Monaca is a complete community where everyone has what they need to succeed.

FOOD Beaver County is a destination community whose robust network of individuals, organizations, and businesses contribute to a hyperlocal food system. Aliquippa is a collaborative community where fresh, healthy, and affordable food is accessible to all. Beaver Falls is a food-secure community where residents are connected to all aspects of the food system. Monaca is a healthy community with access to affordable and fresh food options.

WATER Beaver Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s community identity is centered around the rivers that bring life to the region and are protected and accessible by all. Aliquippa is an interconnected community where water systems contribute to a healthy environment and economy. Beaver Falls is an activated community that protects, integrates, and celebrates water as an asset. Monaca is a respectful community that connects visually and physically to its water assets.

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ENERGY Beaver County is an innovative community whose resilient, hyperlocal energy systems act as a model for the nation and a learning laboratory for the region. Aliquippa is a pioneering community that is redefining what energy means to them. Beaver Falls is a resilient community that leverages energy independence to improve quality of life. Monaca is an innovative community that demonstrates leadership through example.

AIR Beaver County is an educated community that understands and advocates for air quality issues that will protect the broader region. Aliquippa is a healthy community with clean air indoors and outdoors. Beaver Falls is a guardian community that champions clean air in the city and the region. Monaca is an informed community that advocates for clean and healthy air.

MOBILITY Beaver County is a connected community that uses a diversity of transportation modes to reunite communities to each other and the broader region. Aliquippa is a safe community where all people have reliable and effective mobility options. Beaver Falls is an active community with a diversity of accessible, safe, and affordable mobility options. Monaca is a connected community where residents utilize a variety of mobility options.

Community Overviews | 77


Across the Region Many of the priorities expressed by ecodistrict stakeholders in Aliquippa, Monaca, and Beaver Falls resonate with residents and communities throughout Beaver County. Although RiverWise has strategically focused its organizing efforts in these communities, significant related activity has emerged throughout Beaver County since RiverWise’s founding. Some of this activity has been hyperlocal in nature. Other initiatives have been intentionally conceived to encourage multi-municipal participation and cooperation. Consistent with the initial vision of RiverWise, relationships, projects, capital, and planning are moving further into creative alignment across the region. Substantial work remains to be done to see that movement gain momentum and maturity. Even so, a shared vocabulary and mutually-reinforcing visions for the future of Beaver County are beginning to emerge as the result of many aligned efforts. As its visibility and influence has evolved over the last two years, RiverWise has been invited into a number of conversations and projects throughout the region. At present RiverWise is involved with more than 40 projects across many communities throughout Beaver County. Some of these efforts have been directly initiated by RiverWise. In other instances RiverWise has been invited to contribute its time and energy to existing or emerging initiatives. In yet other situations, RiverWise has been invited to conversations that have long been a part of Beaver County’s story. What follows is an account of those various activities RiverWise is currently engaged with across Beaver County, organized by the six quality of life areas.

RiverWise Initiatives in Beaver County

EQUITY

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RiverWise Mini Grant Program: $22,000 in funding was provided across 13 different organizations throughout Beaver County to conduct mission aligned activity

The Listening Library Partnership: partnered with a videographer, photographer, and podcaster to tell the stories of organizations who are responding to needs emerging from COVID-19 in Beaver County

Community Art Initiative: provided funding for Beaver County artists to create public art that reflected on the experience of COVID-19

Community Builder Corps: initiated a program that hires residents of Beaver County who are recently unemployed or underemployed as the result of COVID-19 and puts them to work on community building projects

Human City Creative Partnership: embedded a videographer in many community building efforts to capture and create stories that disrupt the prevailing narrative that Beaver County’s best days are behind it

GIS Data Initiative: partnered with the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments and a number of other organizations to generate a county wide GIS data hub that provides information related to COVID-19 and other key community matters

The Upper Room Gathering Space: funded the renovation of a community gathering space used by The Center in Midland

Courageous Conversations: hosted a series of conversations with community stakeholders with divergent views on petrochemical development in the region

People, Place, Policy Symposium: sponsored a public symposium organized by the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments that featured Majora Carter as keynote speaker

Pittsburgh Community Television Partnership: partnered with PCTV21 to air RiverWise generated segments about community development efforts underway in Beaver County


FOOD •

Crop & Kettle Partnership: partnered with Crop & Kettle to establish a community Victory Garden used to raise community literacy about food production, preparation, security, and more

Faith Restorations Food Pantry Fundraiser: generated a promotional video and raised over $7,000 for COVID-19 response efforts at Faith Restorations Food Pantry

Homewood Falls Welcome Center: funded a community chalkboard and visitor’s station at Homewood Falls

Cooney Hollow Stream Clean Up: funded The Beaver County Conservation District to conduct a stream clean up event

River of the Year Finalist: selected as a finalist for the Pennsylvania Organization for Watersheds & Rivers River of the Year contest

WATER •

Rivers of Opportunity Conference: partnered with the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments to host a two day event focused on issues related to water throughout the region

Ohio River Legislative Cruise: partnered with the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce to host a cruise on the Ohio River with Beaver County legislators and regional stakeholders

Ohio River Sweep: participated on a one day clean up along the Ohio River in Monaca, Bridgewater, and Rochester

ENERGY •

Gulf Coast Education Initiative: took seven residents of western PA to Louisiana for a four day trip aimed at understanding the impact of petrochemicals in the region

generate support for a regional solar co-op comprised of area residents •

Beaver / Butler County Solar Co-Op: partnered with Solar United Neighbors to

Baden Academy Charter School Solar Partnership: initiated a program to introduce elementary school children to the production and use of solar energy

AIR •

AirWise Air Quality Monitoring Coalition: established a regional coalition to gather baseline air quality data using a network of low cost monitors

MOBILITY •

Ambridge to Monaca Trail Segment: leading ongoing planning around a seven-mile segment of multimodal trail that will travel along the Ohio River between Ambridge and Monaca

Black’s Run Bridge Study: solicited support and funding for a $40,000 study to assess the viability of Black’s Run Bridge for pedestrian traffic

Beaver County on the Move: partnering with the Beaver County Regional Council of Governments to host a two day event focused on issues related to regional mobility

Penn State University Trail Segment: participating in ongoing planning around a segment of multimodal trail that will connect PSU’s Beaver Campus to vital adjacent community assets

Merger with Ohio River Trail Council: actively planning a merger of the ORTC and RiverWise

Ashtabula to Pittsburgh Study: participating in a multimodal trail feasibility study for the Industrial Heartlands Trail Coalition corridor between Ashtabula, OH and Pittsburgh, PA

Monaca Bluffs Trail Segment: participating

in ongoing planning around a segment of multimodal trail that would provide overlook access to the Ohio River behind the Beaver Valley Mall

Community Overviews | 79


MILLVALE ECODISTRICT

Image: Monaca; Stromberg, Garrigan & Associates, South Shore Trail Feasibility Study

RIVERWISE CATALYTIC PROJECT

Ohio River Trail

Established in 2009, the Ohio River Trail Council has been working for over a decade to bring dedicated, multimodal trails to Beaver County. The most ambitious of these initiatives involves the creation of a network of trails that begins near Coraopolis, PA and that travels along the Ohio River all the way into Ohio. Extensive study and planning have been conducted, preferred routes have been established, and community consensus has been cultivated throughout the region. In recent months, The Ohio River Trail and RiverWise have initiated an exciting partnership that seeks to construct seven miles of trail between Ambridge and Monaca. The importance of this stretch of trail cannot be overstated, not only for Beaver County, but also for the broader region. This segment of trail will be critical for connecting downtown Pittsburgh to Ohio and the broader network of trails long underway as part of the Industrial Heartlands Trail Coalition. More than a mere local amenity, this project will move Beaver County one critical step closer to regional and interstate trail connectivity. Because of its vital importance to the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s broader mobility plans, RiverWise has adopted this segment of trail as its county-wide catalytic project. Both symbolically and physically, this project will link residents of Beaver County to one another, creating the kind of regional identity and connectivity that is central to RiverWiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission.

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Image: Aliquippa riverfront; Stromberg, Garrigan & Associates, South Shore Trail Feasibility Study

The project incorporates elements to represent each of the six quality of life issue areas, including: •

Equity: connecting communities who have experienced significant disinvestment

Food: when complete, the trail will connect three downtown corridors that contain many food-related businesses

Water: overlooks where people can view the rivers

Energy: solar-powered lighting and electric bike charging stations

Air: vegetation, trees, and air quality monitoring

Mobility: trails for human-powered mobility (walking, running, biking, etc.)

Community Overviews | 81


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03

Next Steps Beaver Falls Block Party Photo: First Blush Photos

Next Steps | 83


Next Steps RiverWise Three Year Goals (2020 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2022) Shortly after RiverWise was formed, the tagline â&#x20AC;&#x153;dream, learn, collaborateâ&#x20AC;? was coined to describe the priorities of the organization. This simple phrase continues to encompass the broad vision adopted by RiverWise, even as the meaning behind those words continues to deepen and evolve. As RiverWise looks ahead to the next chapter of activity, exactly what it means to dream, learn, and collaborate is ever changing. With that in mind, RiverWise has recently rearticulated its key priorities for the next three years. They include the following: 1.

RiverWise will deepen its work in leadership development and capacity building within hyperlocal and regional organizations.

2. RiverWise will expand its work in regional planning to provide a vision for what is possible when residents are engaged in the process of envisioning the future. 3. RiverWise will become a recognized and trusted intermediary for funding mission-aligned projects, encouraging and resourcing work that enriches the community and its residents. 4. RiverWise will provide project management and technical assistance to move forward catalytic projects throughout the region. 5. RiverWise will extend the reach of its work by expanding into additional communities thereby deepening its commitment to conducting ecodistrict thinking at county scale. 6. RiverWise will be a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion in all areas where the organization has influence. 7.

RiverWise will grow its internal capacity and organizational expertise, becoming a regional authority on sustainable and equitable community development.

8. RiverWise will establish regional alignment among like-minded organizations to encourage collective responses to longstanding systemic challenges. 9. RiverWise will redefine how digital storytelling is employed within the nonprofit sector as a tool for social movement, community formation, and systemic change. 10. RiverWise and its network of partners will develop a reputation as a trusted collective conscience for the region, promoting just and equitable community formation, highlighting the voices of the voiceless, and privileging human health and flourishing above all else.

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Next Steps | 85


Over the past couple of years RiverWise has accomplished a lot, but is even more ambitious in thinking about the future. Over the next three years, RiverWise will focus on: Catalytic Projects RiverWise and the ecodistrict communities have selected one site in each community to act as a catalytic project: a vacant lot on Franklin Avenue in Aliquippa, the historic News Tribune Building in Beaver Falls, and the Riverfront Park in Monaca. Aliquippa SmithGroup has developed a schematic design to transform the vacant lot into a park. Next, funding will be acquired to further the design of the park and construct it. Beaver Falls evolveEA has developed a schematic design for the renovation of the News Tribune building, which will include a new home for the Neighborhood North Museum of Play. Next, funding will be acquired to renovate the building. Monaca An energy planning study for the wastewater treatment plant and pump house site was performed by SmithGroup in spring 2020. Next, funding will be acquired to implement the plan. Across the Region RiverWise will work to acquire funding and continue planning and conversations to develop the next phase of the Ohio River Trail.

Franklin Avenue Park proposed conceptual plan Image: SmithGroup

Neighborhood North Museum of Play proposed conceptual design, Image: evolveEA

10% Reduction 50% Reduction

0 MMBtu

ALL ELECTRIC

$50k yr ~$50k SAVINGS (DEPENDING ON PPA)

1,300 MBtu

PUMP HOUSE

2,340 MMBtu

WWTP

300 MMBtu

BUILDING/SITE INTEGRATED PV

SITE PV

BOROUGH-OWNED SITE(S)

RESERVOIR

RESERVOIR PV

SOLAR

NORMAL OPERATION ANNUAL ENERGY USE

Annual energy use for Borough-owned sites Image: SmithGroup

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Image: Monaca; Stromberg, Garrigan & Associates, South Shore Trail Feasibility Study


Ecodistrict Planning Building from existing efforts and informed by the priorities mentioned above, RiverWise intends to engage in an in-depth ecodistrict planning, analysis, and capacity building process. This effort will include a baseline conditions analysis, key metrics, goal setting, and recommended actions, strategies, and projects to achieve the community vision statements. This process will include working with the community to prioritize the ideas listed on the following pages and building capacity to implement them. The ecodistrict planning effort may consist of one plan per community, or shared plans for specific quality of life areas (such as air quality, mobility, and food) and unique plans for other quality of life areas. This planning effort will outline short-term and long-term workplans for each of the ecodistricts. Design Competition During the latter half of 2019 and early portion of 2020, RiverWise investigated the potential to host a global design competition around three sites in Beaver County, one in each of the three ecodistrict communities. The goal of the competition, titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;FutureWiseâ&#x20AC;?, was to solicit world-class building and design projects from the global community that address the dichotomy of petrochemical development within regional sustainable development, and re-define what energy and air quality means to Beaver County. The design proposals were intended to be implementable but not hold back in dreaming about what a sustainable future looks like atop one of the largest deposits of petrochemicals on the planet. Given the current global health crisis, RiverWise intends to shift its focus towards more immediate needs but will revisit the potential of hosting a design competition in the future. The design competition will likely need to be revised in scale at that time. Organizational Development In addition to implementing projects in the three ecodistrict communities and across the region, RiverWise is also focused on advancing the organization itself. RiverWise intends to focus on governance and formalize the relationships and responsibilities between the ecodistrict communities, RiverWise, and community partners, as well as secure commitments from the ecodistrict leadership team. RiverWise would like to continue building community capacity, grow the membership of the organization, and continue to expand upon its regular meeting schedule. Storytelling is a very important piece of what RiverWise does, and the organization intends to continue telling inspirational stories of change in Beaver County that can shift the national narrative about what is possible. Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, RiverWise will require ongoing funding to continue supporting the operations of the organization, including at least one full-time and three part-time positions. Without operational support, none of what this document has described is possible.

Next Steps | 87


Community Priorities As capacity and funding allows, RiverWise will support the ecodistricts as they work to accomplish the priorities set forth in this document (and shown on the adjacent page). These priorities will be the basis for further inquiry and analysis as part of future ecodistrict planning efforts.

EQUITY

FOOD

WATER

Aliquippa Priorities Capacity building, shared learning, and trust building in the community Revitalize Franklin Avenue in ways that serve the needs of all residents, while preserving the existing character of historic structures Develop the Franklin Avenue Park as a demonstration of the ecodistrict commitment to equitable development

Perform a market study to better understand the feasibility of a market or grocery store on Franklin Avenue near the Route 51 interchange

Create public riverfront access by revitalizing the riverfront industrial centers and creating a riverfront park

Implement projects and programs that improve access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food, especially among disadvantaged groups

Improve vehicular and pedestrian circulation between the river park, riverfront trail, and Franklin Avenue

Create conditions that attract food-related businesses to Aliquippa’s historic downtown

Acquire the Logstown Run outfall and perform major habitat restoration, stormwater management improvements, and a public riverfront park

Initiate a community storytelling campaign that sheds light on stories of triumph and excellence among residents of Aliquippa

Support and encourage food entrepreneurs through innovative funding, shared kitchen space, and enhanced marketing of the city

Reconnect the Franklin Avenue corridor to the Ohio River, providing all residents access to natural amenities

Encourage local production of fresh food that can be utilized in both residential and commercial applications

Work to encourage transparency in community priority setting and decision making so that all residents’ voices are included

Reinvigorate Aliquippa’s neighborhood markets and provide them with fresh food options

Create distributed stormwater management sites along Franklin Avenue that also contribute to placemaking Undertake community education about water quality, safety, and conservation

Educate residents about healthy food production and preparation

Beaver Falls Priorities Revitalize key historic properties, including the News Tribune Building and Portobello Building

Expand the existing community garden by converting underutilized land into gardens

Create public riverfront access, expand the Beaver River Trail, and create a riverfront park

Utilize the middle neighborhoods approach as a unique strategy for neighborhood revitalization

Expand the existing farmers market into a public market with a food retail incubator, indoor food court, and outdoor vendor space

Create distributed stormwater management sites in key locations to increase infiltration and reduce the quantity of stormwater entering the sewer system, especially from upstream communities

Develop a cultural/innovation district centered around the Carnegie Library and future Neighborhood North: Museum of Play. This multi-block corridor would also include the Penn State Innovation Hub and Portobello Cultural and Life Center

Create an expanded food to farm cooperative between area farmers and city consumers

Create water-related recreation opportunities, such as the Beaver River Trail and wave pool Increase public understanding of water testing and quality

Initiate a community storytelling campaign Strengthen existing and create new recreational assets, such as the wave pool and riverfront trail

Engage in messaging about how best to access the beauty of the Beaver River Coordinate with the railroads to reopen existing access points to the river

Monaca Priorities Revitalize key properties, including the Pump House and community center Initiate a community storytelling campaign Continue strengthening the commercial district and promote mixed-use infill redevelopment and public art Capacity building, shared learning, and trust building in the community

Create a community garden on vacant land Connect residents to the regional food system with a Farmers Market Incentivize food entrepreneurship along the downtown business corridor Attract a full service grocery store Engage in education and advocacy about food production, food preparation, and food waste management

Revitalize the riverfront park into an EcoPark and enhance riverfront recreational assets Create distributed stormwater management sites in key locations to increase infiltration, reduce stormwater runoff, and remove sediment prior to discharge into the Ohio River Engage in messaging about how best to access the beauty of the Beaver River Enhance lighting and signage near the Monaca Boat Launch Undertake community education about water quality, safety, and conservation Market Monaca’s access to the Ohio River as one of its most defining and attractive features Restore or replace the water fountain on Pennsylvania Avenue

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ENERGY

AIR

Launch building weatherization program that helps residents save energy and reduce their utility bills

Protect and enhance natural areas, including steep, undevelopable wooded hillsides, natural habitat areas, and natural habitat corridors

Investigate the potential of solar panels and wind turbines on existing buildings and publicly owned land

Plant street trees on Franklin Avenue for shade, stormwater management, beautification, and air pollution sequestration

Support alternative means of transportation with biking, pedestrian, public transportation, and electric vehicle infrastructure Promote solar energy on key buildings throughout the city such as the B.F. Jones Memorial Library, Uncommon Grounds Cafe, and more

Construct an air quality monitoring station to measure air pollution and educate residents about air quality

MOBILITY

Construct a riverfront trail connecting Aliquippa to Monaca and Ambridge Create a mobility corridor connecting the riverfront trail to Franklin Avenue Complete Franklin Avenue streetscape improvements Establish or enhance pedestrian connections linking important community assets along Franklin Avenue with residential areas

Support and encourage the upgrade of existing municipal lighting to energy efficient LEDs

Upgrade Seventh Avenue street lighting from high-pressure sodium lights to LEDs to reduce energy consumption, save money, and improve aesthetics Rehabilitate existing housing while implementing weatherization improvements that will help residents save energy and reduce their utility bills Investigate the potential of a waste to energy cogeneration plant and the potential of harnessing energy from the falls Support alternative means of transportation with biking, pedestrian, public transportation, and electric vehicle infrastructure

Complete wastewater treatment plant energy project with SmithGroup Install solar panels on one or more of the bridges leading into Monaca Improve community resilience by developing a community energy hub Explore converting Monacaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s municipal fleet to electric or natural gas

Protect and enhance natural areas, including steep, undevelopable wooded hillsides, natural habitat areas, and natural habitat corridors Complete the Beaver River Trail and develop a riverfront park Construct an air quality monitoring station to measure air pollution and educate residents about air quality Create a gateway park at the northernmost point of the city to sequester air pollution and beautify the entrance into Beaver Falls

Protect and enhance natural areas, including steep, undevelopable wooded hillsides, natural habitat areas, and natural habitat corridors Construct an air quality monitoring station to measure air pollution and educate residents about air quality Develop a community air quality baseline informed by the existing air quality sensors

Implement complete streets improvements along Seventh Avenue, including widened sidewalks, bike lanes, bike racks, improved curbs and crosswalks, curb bump-outs, improved street furnishings, public art, and landscaping Investigate the feasibility of a formal pedestrian or vehicular rail crossing to gain recreational access to Beaver River Expand the Beaver River Trail and connect it to the Ohio River Trail and other existing trails Incentivize property owners and assist with sidewalk improvements throughout the city

Construct a riverfront trail connecting Monaca to Aliquippa, and extend it to Ambridge Improve the 17th Street gateway corridor and intersection with a roundabout Establish or enhance pedestrian connections linking community assets with the residential area Install infrastructure to support alternative modes of transportation, such as e-bikes or scooters Enhance usage of the Ohio River as a means of traveling between communities

Next Steps | 89


Sources Key findings from existing documents produced by Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, Monaca, Beaver County, and RiverWise were integrated into this report. This includes: Aliquippa

City of Aliquippa Blight Task Force. (2020). Comprehensive Blight Strategy Plan. City of Aliquippa Economic Development Corporation. (2017). PA DCED Neighborhood Partnership Program (NPP) Application. Clio Consulting. (2016). An Architectural Inventory of Aliquippa, PA. Delta Development Group. (2014). City of Aliquippa Sixth Amended Act 47 Recovery Plan. Franklin Avenue Development Committee Overview. Kairos Design Group. (2011). Redevelopment Plan for the City of Aliquippa. MCMP Associates. (2015). Aliquippa Park Plan. Mulvaney, C. (2019). Analyzing Grassroots Community Development Through Transition Management: Transition in Aliquippa, PA. Pittsburgh, PA: Chatham University. New Sun Rising. Aliquippa Ecodistrict Vibrant Communities Roadmap and Discovery Session Report. Penn State Extension Beaver County. (2019). The Deliverance of Fresh Food: Penn State Extension, Aliquippa, and a Model for Building a Local Market and Rebuilding a Community. RiverWise. (2018). 2018 Year End Report. RiverWise. Aliquippa Earth Day, Food Truck, & Community Christmas Infographics. RiverWise. Aliquippa Ecodistrict Overview. U.S. E.P.A. & City of Aliquippa Economic Development Corporation. (2019). Community Action Plan for Aliquippa, PA: Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance.

Beaver Falls

Beaver Falls Community Development Corporation. (2019). Neighborhood Assistance Application: Beaver Falls Restoration. City of Beaver Falls Planning Commission. (2013). City of Beaver Falls Comprehensive Plan. CZB. Memos. 2020. Downtown Redevelopment Services. Beaver Falls Downtown Plan. 2018. Environmental Planning & Design. (2016). Beaver Falls News Tribune Building. Neighborhood North: Museum of Play. (2020). NNMP Business Plan. The Portobello Cultural Life & Arts Center Overview and Fast Facts. 2020. Wyhe, W. V. (2011). Place Identity in Beaver Falls. Eastern University.

Monaca

Designstream Architectural Studio. Monaca Municipal Complex Plans. History of Monaca. (2020). Retrieved from Borough of Monaca: MonacaPA.net Monaca Community Development Corporation. MCDC Flyer. River Town Program. (2019). Monaca River Town Walking Assessment. SmithGroup. (2020). Monaca Energy Project (Presentations and Meeting Notes).

Beaver County & Greater Area

Adventure Cycling Association. (2016). The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. Beaver County Act 167 Stormwater Management Plan Phase I Resolution. Beaver County Chamber of Commerce. (2019). Maximizing Beaver Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Riverfront Potential. Beaver County Planning Commission. (2018). Beaver County 2018 Planning Commission Annual Report. Heritage Valley Health System. (2019). 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment. Lafe Smith Associates and CORA, Inc. (2001). An Action Plan for the Thunder of Protest Journey. Mackin Engineering Company. (2015). The Ohio River Greenway Trail: North Shore Connector. Ohio River Trail Council. (2018). ORTC Beaver County Council of Governments Presentation. Pashek Associates. (2003). Beaver County Comprehensive Recreation and Parks Plan. Pashek Associates. (2007). Beaver County Greenways and Trails Plan. Pashek Associates. (2010). Beaver County Comprehensive Plan. Pashek Associates. (2018). Comprehensive Recreation, Park, and Open Space Plan. Pennsylvania Natural Heritage Program. (2014). Beaver County Natural Heritage Inventory. Re-Imagine Beaver County. (2019). Re-Imagine Beaver County Summary Report. Stromberg Garrigan & Associates. (2012). Ohio River North Shore Trail Feasibility Study. Stromberg Garrigan & Associates. (2011). Ohio River South Shore Trail Feasibility Study. Stromberg Garrigan & Associates. (2012). Ohio River Area-Wide Brownfields Planning Project.

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RiverWise

RiverWise & Emily Marko. (2019). RiverWise Infographic. RiverWise. (2018). RiverWise Year End Report. RiverWise. (2019). Brief Background on Shell’s Decision to Come to Beaver County. RiverWise. (2019). Community Conversation Presentations. RiverWise. (2019). Hillman Grant 2019 - Narrative Responses & Letters of Support. RiverWise. (2019). Mini-Grant Information Packet. RiverWise. (2019). RiverWise Marketing Strategy. RiverWise. (2019). The Future of Petrochemicals in Western PA - A Community Perspective. RiverWise. (2020). A Quick and Dirty Intro to the Dynamics at Play in Beaver County. RiverWise. (2020). Current Projects. RiverWise. (2020). Ecodistrict Strategic Planning. RiverWise. (2020). FutureWise Global Design Challenge Intro Letter & Sponsorship Packet. RiverWise. (2020). Leveraged Funds Database. RiverWise. (2020). News Coverage Database. RiverWise and New Sun Rising. (2019). Ecodistrict Assets. RiverWise and New Sun Rising. Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, and Monaca Quality of Life Challenges, Assets, and Preliminary Vision Statements. SmithGroup and RiverWise. (2019). EcoDistricts Incubator Summary.

City of Pittsburgh & Greater Area

Allegheny Conference on Community Development. (2017-18). Inflection Point: Supply, Demand, and the Future of Work in the Pittsburgh Region. City of Pittsburgh. (2018). City of Pittsburgh Climate Action Plan. City of Pittsburgh. (2017). One PGH: Pittsburgh’s Resilience Strategy. City of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission. (2019). Pittsburgh’s Inequality Across Gender and Race.

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Profile for evolveEA

RiverWise - Sustainable Steps Toward a Regional Identity for Beaver County  

RiverWise is a a nonprofit that is using sustainable development to create regional identity around the rivers of Beaver County. This docume...

RiverWise - Sustainable Steps Toward a Regional Identity for Beaver County  

RiverWise is a a nonprofit that is using sustainable development to create regional identity around the rivers of Beaver County. This docume...

Profile for evolveea
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