ACTIVITIES & EVENTS
OF MON VALLEY
GREEN SPACE COALITION
We host an annual festival in honor of Earth Day called the Touch the Earth Festival. We, along with other local environmental organizations, offer information about our ongoing projects. During this free event, Coalition members offer hikes, wildflower identification walks, and information about the ecological benefits of green space preservation.
The Coalition works with the Morgantown Land ReUse and Preservation Agency to identify opportunities to improve connectivity through existing green spaces. The Coalition has its sights on several key connections. One is from Greenmont to Marilla Park via Hirshman Park. This connection requires rights-of-way across private property. Another connection is from White Park to Dorsey’s Knob via a multi-user trail that would also provide a safe alternative to pedestrians who currently walk alongside Greenbag Rd to go to the grocery store. We have also been looking at routes to connect King Street Park to White Park. Connecting White Park to the rail trail has been a long-standing goal. These connections would ultimately provide access to the proposed Southern Greenbelt that would connect Marilla and White Parks.
The Marilla Connector Trail is a cooperative project with BOPARC and the City of Morgantown. At Marilla, Coalition members built a trail that connects the South Hills neighborhood to the Deckers Creek rail-trail, traversing the entire length of the Park, with midway access points at Claremont and Yorkmont Avenues. The Coalition maintains this trail.
At Toms Run Preserve, a few miles south of town, Coalition members have worked with the West Virginia Land Trust on a number of projects. These projects include working to build new trails, such as the Morris Loop, but also include forest restoration. Coalition members have planted oak, hickory, and other native trees and shrubs. In addition, they have assisted in the removal of exotic, invasive species, including Autumn olive, Multiflora rose, and Japanese barberry. The Coalition’s work at Toms Run aligns with our focus on providing public access to greenspace and preserving and restoring native habitat for wildlife.
The Coalition has proposed ecological restoration projects at White Park to address erosion and protect the park’s witness trees—trees that are over a hundred years old. The status of these proposals is pending. In 2019, when MUB planned to cut down many of the park’s witness trees for a water pipeline (due to erroneously thinking that MUB “owned” the park), the Coalition, along with other community members advocated to protect the witness trees. Ultimately, the water pipeline was moved to a less sensitive area of the park. MUB agreed to plant two trees for each tree they cut and build a new loop trail on the south side of White Park.
At Falling Run Trail, the Coalition donated native trees along with protective tubes and then worked with the land manager to plant oak, hickory, and maple, along with other native species. This project aimed to help restore native habitat.
The Mon Valley Green Space Coalition is an all-volunteer organization. Your tax-deductible donations help to defray the costs of materials used to build trails and restore habitat by planting native trees and shrubs. Please support us with your time and/ or your financial support!