Published first on the Progress News, April 11, 2022

With daffodils beginning to bloom all around us, it’s official. Spring is really, truly here, regardless of how many snow flurries we might still get! And with spring comes the much-anticipated return of suitable weather conditions for our boots-on-the-ground projects. As always, in the brownfield redevelopment world, especially, physical works are preceded by a flurry of that other stuff we grow to loathe after it’s hung around too long…paperwork. So, we’re currently in the midst of applications and approval sheets and everything else that goes with working with state and federal agency funding. But we are bolstered by the knowledge that very soon we’ll have our hands in the dirt again!

Down in the Valley, we’re eagerly looking forward to freshening up the raised beds at the River Roots community garden in Foxburg, putting in some additional paths, and marking out locations for the next few structures, like a proper storage shed. We’re also working with teachers and students at AC Valley to line up activities through the remainder of the school year. If you would like to be part of the volunteer crew this spring or summer, or if you have supplies to donate (seedlings, tools, or gravel, for example!), please shoot me an email or stop in and see us any Friday from 1-3 at Divani Chocolatier in Foxburg.

In Emlenton, the weather is almost where it needs to be for us to do our (hopefully) last round of sampling at the Fuchs Lubricants property, where we will be specifically analyzing groundwater flows, which will allow us to finalize our remediation plan for the property…and submit yet more paperwork to get that all approved. Paperwork is…so much fun. There’s also paperwork going in to continue physical works up in Oil City at the Kraft/Dahlstrom site, as the ORA was successful over the winter in gaining the necessary control of the former Dahlstrom scrapyard to move forward with clean-up and environmental remediation. This will be a BIG job, as the site was contaminated with seemingly every conceivable manner of nasty over the last several decades, but it’s long past due, and we’re thrilled to finally be able to help clean up and reuse this corner of downtown Oil City in benefit of the community.

I’m also excited to speak with even more of you about what’s going on in your worlds this spring and summer. My goal is to feature a different local perspective – be it an individual or business or organization – every month, so that we can truly see how many amazing people we have in our community. So, if you live or work anywhere in Northwestern PA and you’d like to share your perspective on community redevelopment and what you already love about this beautiful place we call home, please get in touch via email at or by dropping in to any Friday in Foxburg!!

Cover Photo by bruno neurath-wilson on Unsplash