Shenango River Watchers (SRW) has announced the completion of a fishing pier that is wheelchair accessible. This completes a $58,000.00 project that has been in the making for nearly 14 years.
“We are so excited that the pier is now complete. We have always seen the potential of this wonderful asset, our river; however there were too many people who could not enjoy it due to physical limitations” said Jennifer Barborak, one of the founders of the Shenango River Watchers (SRW). “We’re pleased to see the pier already being used by fisherman, and some people who just wanted to come out and see the completed project,” Barborak added.
The pier is located in Bicentennial Park, near Connelly and Riverview Manors. Fourteen years ago, fundraising for the pier started with the residents of those facilities holding a pancake breakfast. The breakfast yielded the first $100 toward the project. The board of SRW vowed then to see the project to completion. Major donors toward its construction include Mark and Steven Jubelirer of Reyers, HHSDR, Rien Construction and Donna Winner. In addition to the major donors, over 75 individuals contributed financially as well. A ribbon cutting ceremony planned for Tuesday, August 2nd at 5:30 pm at the Wheelchair Accessible Fishing Pier in Bicentennial Park, Sharon will include the unveiling of a plaque that will recognize donors.
The Shenango River Watchers was formed in 2001, and is a recognized 501c(3) nonprofit. The group is very active in all aspects of cleaning the river and promoting its use in a safe, healthy and recreational way. In addition to conducting educational programs and research, they also offer a scholarship for students who have volunteered extensively in environmental activities within the watershed. Having won many awards and receiving recognition for their contributions in highlighting the river for the asset that it is, they have adopted the phrase “We all live downstream”. “We want everyone to realize that the river is not something you drive past and have no interaction with. Its health affects all of us, as citizens and businesses. We want that to resonant with all of the residents in the area and especially with our students,” said Barborak. Students have been actively involved as volunteers, including the cleanup days which have resulted in over 2.5 million pounds of illegal dumping and littering being cleaned up from the watershed and tire recycling efforts yielding over 55,000 discarded tires being disposed of properly.
Membership to support SRW’s efforts is $10 annually for an individual, $20 for a family and $35 for a business. More information can be found at shenangoriverwatchers.org or by calling Monica King, Executive Administrator to the Board of SRW at 724-342-5453.