Newsletter – 2002 Fall

  1. SVTC Approved for United Way’s Contributor Choice Program
  2. The SVTC Road Show
  3. Feeling Alive
  4. RAD works here
  5. 2002 River Sweep

United Way’s Contributor Choice Program

The Steel Valley Trail Council is now approved by the United Way as a Contributor Choice (previously Donor Option) Agency.  You can directly help impact the Steel Valley Trail by donating to the United Way through the Contributor Choice Option, thus improving the quality of people’s lives in the Mon Valley of Pittsburgh.

The Steel Valley Trail is being designed so that people of diverse ages and abilities can use it.  Not only do these activities improve the health and fitness of people using the trail, they also make the communities more vibrant through enhanced recreational opportunities and use.

If you donate to the United Way, you can direct some or all of your contribution to the Steel Valley Trail Council by special designation.  If you chose to do so,please follow these steps:

  • At your place of employment, ask your employer for a United Way Pledge Form.
  • On the Pledge Form, you will need to designate that you want to use the Contributor Choice Option.   The address of the Steel Valley Trail Council is:  Box 318, Homestead, PA  15120.
  • IMPORTANT: The agency code number for the Steel Valley Trail Council is 1229848.
  • List the amount of your gift.
  • If you would like acknowledgment of your gift by the Steel Valley Trail Council, check the box on the form authorizing disclosure of your name.
  • Return your completed United Way Pledge to your United Way Solicitor.

Road Show

Want to Know More about the Steel Valley Trail Council?

The Steel Valley Trail Council has produced a great presentation regarding the building of the Steel Valley Trail — and our need for volunteers to help promote the Trail. We would be happy to present this show to civic groups, business and municipal councils and other organizations that are interested in this important development in the Mon Valley. The presentation lasts about 15 minutes, but we can tailor it to accommodate the amount of time your group has available. To arrange an appearance, please call Hannah Ehrlich at 412-255-2530.

Feeling Alive

Explore OUR region–the BURGH on the MON by exercising!  EXERCISING?  *@^&^#~    Yes! Exercising!  Well, we all have been meaning to get more active but we seem to lack the time.  There are things that we do find time for, such as seeing a movie or dining out, and it is usually for things we enjoy doing and are fun.  Finding the time to exercise, though, needs more oomph.  Now, reminisce about that special time as a child when you walked your dog, skipped rocks across the water, or took a stroll in a wooded park or along a riverbank.

In addition to fun things, it is likely that you will center your activities around the must do’s or priorities.  Recreation and exercise at this point often take on a lesser role.  But you realize that exercise is linked to well being by reducing the likelihood of acquiring a plethora of diseases, promoting mental contentment, or just alleviating those general aches and pains, so that the rewards are exponential to the effort.

According to ex officio Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher, being overweight and obese is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in the United States.  27% of Americans are obese according to Government figures, and 34% are overweight.  Satcher’s report states this overweight problem is not just that of the individual — personal and societal behavior needs to be changed.  Behavior modification has to be accomplished to not only eat more healthy foods, but to exercise.  (There it is again!)

The reasons why people find it hard to exercise are complex and include major cultural and societal changes in how we travel (car vs. walking), how we work (in offices, rather than out of doors), and how we use our leisure time (often shopping or eating rather than engaging in a sport).  Given societal and cultural influences that have stopped us needing to move, any physical activity is a health gain and no matter how small, is better than none.  There is not a magic amount of exercise you need to do to get a benefit, but a continuum of effort and return.  As soon as you move, you win because you are increasing the rate of your blood flow throughout your body.  Want to make it fun too?  One great way is to buddy up routinely with a pal and keep a fast exercise pace while still being able to talk.  A buddy will often get you going and vice-versa, and you’ll have fun together as well.

Now, are you ready to lift your spirits?  Get revitalization on life?  All without taking that costly, time-consuming vacation that lasts for a finite period?  Well, here is a sure-fire approach. Exercise by biking, walking or jogging with your pal on our region’s great trails, including the Steel Valley Trail.  The Steel Valley Trail is evolving along both the north and south shores of the Monongahela River.  A wooded portion of the trail between the Glenwood Bridge and Duck Hollow will give you the illusion of being in a National Park, while the Waterfront trail in Homestead boasts a more urban feel.  As you become more fit, you may even commute to work by bike as was promoted by “Bike to Work Week”  So what are you waiting for?  Get on the trail and start being, staying, and feeling alive!

RAD Works Here

The Steel Valley Trail Council is pleased to announce that we are the recipient of a $200,000 grant from the Allegheny Regional Asset District (more popularly known as “RAD”). By the end of this year, the 1% county sales tax, paid by residents of and visitors to Allegheny County, will have resulted in a cumulative $1 billion investment in the region.  The impact of that investment is substantial.

The Allegheny Regional Asset District distributes the proceeds from half of the sales tax to the region’s public libraries and parks, major regional facilities, and cultural and arts organizations.

Thanks to you, RAD works here, helping to create a community that is vibrant, intelligent and healthy, a region that attracts new visitors and workers. For more information and links to asset web sites, please visit RAD at

2002 River Sweep

The 2002 River Sweep, which occurred on June 15th, was both energetic and well organized.  The Sweep collected 15 yards of waste, thirty-one tires, and even a vandalized ATM. The twenty-five individuals from Americorp, Sierra Club, Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition, and Steel Valley Trail Council were led and encouraged by Dr. D.K. Hartner, Environmental Engineer for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).   Dr. Hartner noted that “(i)t is always good to track this site to see if anything new shows up.”  The DEP provided complimentary shirts, refreshments, and enthusiastic camaraderie.  The Duck Hollow “Sweep” site has been visited annually for ten years by the DEP.