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News Gusher - April, 2015

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Posted: 22nd Apr 2015

Alliance Reveals Updated Website!

We are in the process of updating the Oil Region Alliance website. What do you think? The change is taking longer than we had anticipated, but like all good things, it will be worth the wait.

The News Gusher - formerly a monthly publication, will be briefer, but offered more often, perhaps twice a month, or even weekly. And, soon you will be able to submit an event to the Events Calendar. Stayed tuned, and check back often to see more changes.

For now, here's the first edition of the newsletter in its new format.

It’s Back !!!

For the third straight year, the Oil Region Alliance will host the 'Get on the Trail!' Entrepreneurial Business Plan Contest for along the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail. The contest offers rewards to new and expanding businesses which submit solid business plans to provide vital goods and services to users of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail segment reaching from Hydetown in eastern Crawford County to Foxburg Borough in western Clarion County. The overall goal of the contest is to spur economic development for recreational activities.

The contest kick-off will be held on Monday, May 4 at DeBence Antique Museum World located at 1261 Liberty Street in Franklin. The kick-off event is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. Reservations are needed by April 30. Call the Alliance office at 814-677-3152 or register on line at

Two educational forums are planned in conjunction with this contest. They are open to the public and will be held in Room 208 of Frame Hall at Venango College, 1801 West First Street in Oil City. While it is not required that folks who are specifically interested in entering the Business Plan Contest attend the two forums, it is highly recommended. Topics to be discussed at the educational forums include:

May 14, 2015 - 6 - 8 pm – Constructing your Business Profile for Contest Entry. Reservations needed by May 12.

May 28, 2015 - 6 - 8 pm – Incorporating Social Media into Your Marketing Campaign. Reservations needed by May 26.

The contest application, rules, and other requirements can be found on the website.

For any other questions, call Deb Lutz, Project Manager for the Entrepreneurial Business Plan Contest, at the Alliance at 814-677-3152 ext. 115 or

Get on the Trail logo

Oil Creek Memorial Landing Construction To Begin This Spring

The Oil Creek Memorial Landing project, located on North Seneca Street in Oil City adjacent to the Dollar General Store, will become a reality this summer with construction scheduled to begin this spring. When complete the site will serve as the trailhead for the southern end of the McClintock Trail and an access area to Oil Creek for pedestrian and as a location where small water craft can enter or exit the waterway.

The project, which includes federal Transportation Alternative funding was bid several months ago by PennDOT, and the contract for the construction of the project that are related to the trailhead has been awarded to Horizon Construction Group, Inc. The project pre-construction meeting will be held early in April 2015. It is anticipated that work will begin at the site in May.

The access area to Oil Creek will be bid separate due to funding partners. Work on the water access is expected to begin as soon as construction on the trailhead components is complete.

When the entire project is complete it will include parking, amenities such as benches, recycling receptacles, a bike rack, a small stone wall that will serve as an area for memorials and honorariums, a kiosk, and a grassy sloped access area to the waterway.

A celebration of the completed project will be scheduled for later in the year.

This project is funded by Transportation Alternative funding via the City of Oil City, PA; Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Recreation and Conservation, Community Conservation Partnership Program via the Oil Region Alliance; National Park Service within the Federal Department of the Interior; the Edith C. Justus Charitable Trust of PNC Charitable Trust; the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Canoe Fund, and private contributions.

Questions regarding this project can be directed to Kim Harris, Project Manager, by calling 814-677-3152, Ext. 120; or by emailing

“Exploring Venango County” Booklet Now Available

The newly updated 80-page full-color booklet entitled “Exploring Venango County” is now available free of charge upon request. This 5” x 8” handy publication is a sampler of things to do and places to see throughout Venango County, especially historic sites.

Alice Morrison of Cooperstown, PA authored the first edition of this informative guide for hikers and explorers in 1976. Its second edition (1988) was a reprint courtesy of the Venango County Commissioners. It was expanded in 2002 by Siusanne Stewart, with this third edition courtesy of the Venango County Bicentennial Coordinating Committee. The latest version is the fourth edition, which was prepared by Franklin’s Carolee Michener and Titusville’s Jessica Hilburn working in tandem; printing costs were furnished by the Oil Region Alliance, with monetary assistance by the National Park Service.

This new edition includes additional historic locations (including more churches and cemeteries), updated information about accessibility to the many sites, GIS coordinates and driving instructions for all sites, additional color maps, and additional appendices. For instance, there’s a new appendix which lists and describes all of the blue/gold historical markers found in Venango County, a recommended reading list, and a full reprint of the DCNR/Bureau of Geology publication called “The Geology Trail” in Oil Creek State Park.

During the next several months, starting supplies will be gradually delivered to area libraries, schools, scout groups, senior centers, and similar organizations. However, to be sure you receive your own free booklet, you may drop by the Alliance office at 217 Elm Street in Oil City on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Earlier editions were especially popular for group jaunts by youth clubs, student classes, church groups, and families wanting to learn more about events and locations in Venango County.

Coming up next - More news from the Alliance, plus news from Oil City Main Street and the Council on Greenways & Trails.

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Posted by: Oil Region Alliance
Tags: Trail Businesses Erie To Pittsburgh Contest Exploring Oil Creek