Mon River Coalition
716 Oden Street
Confluence PA 15424
814-395-9139

RIVER TOWN PROGRAM

River Town PROGRAM Rnd print

The River Town Program is: 

  • A regional economic development and community revitalization initiative for communities connected to an accessible and navigable waterway offering outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors and residents.
  • A program that can be replicated in other communities connected by river, trail, canal or any significant resource and asset with the potential to attract visitors and investors.
  • A grassroots program that solicits community support and engagement every step along the way.
  • A program that does not displace residents but works to increase their quality of life.
  • A program that helps existing businesses and attracts new ones.
  • A program that implements projects rather than just planning for them.
  • A program that assists communities to secure project funding and build capacity.

The River Town Program Goal:  Increase economic growth in communities by building profitable businesses for recreational and other visitors and raise the quality of life of residents.

There are River Towns operating along the Monongahela River in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and in the French Creek Watershed in north central PA.  River Towns also operate in communities bordering the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia.

In 2011, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council launched the River Town Program in five communities bordering the Monongahela River.  These communities represented three counties and included Point Marion in Fayette County; Rices Landing and Greensboro (Greene County) and Fredericktown and California (Washington County).  In 2012, Brownsville, (Fayette County) asked to join the program and in 2013 West Brownsville, Monongahela and Charleroi (Washington County) also joined the collaborative effort as well as three communities in West Virginia- Morgantown, Star City, and Fairmont.
In partnership with the National Road Heritage Corridor’s*  efforts in the same Monongahela River area, the River Towns accomplished much in the initial five years of collaboration.  Over $2 million for projects has been raised and more is anticipated in the next few years.   The focus of the work has been trail development, river access, improving view corridors, services and amenities and a broad marketing campaign to raise the visibility of the Mon River as a regional recreational asset.

New opportunities abound for these communities as they work together to capture the visitor market and improve their communities’ economic vitality.

*The National Road Heritage Corridor (NRHC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As one of twelve state designated heritage areas under the Department of Conservation and National Resource’s Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program, the designation represents recognition of the Historic National Road’s wealth of historic, cultural, scenic and recreational resources and potential as a tourism destination.  Established in 1994, the Historic National Road was named a state scenic byway in 1995 and a National Scenic Byway All-American Road in 2002.

Click here to download the Executive Summary/Action Plan

Click here to learn more about the Mon River Towns

Click here to download the 2012 Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Annual reports on River Town Program

Click here to download the 2013 Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Annual reports on River Town Program