From staff reports
The Oil Region Alliance of Business, Industry and Tourism is holding a ceremony to dedicate the Oil Creek Memorial Landing, the trailhead and water access on Route 8 in Oil City, at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 24.
The event will include a ribbon cutting and remarks by ORA project manager Kim Harris, ORA president John R. Phillips II and Oil City Mayor Bill Moon.
The site includes 12 parking spots, (two of which are ADA-compliant), benches, bike racks, stairs leading to the business next door, and a pollinator garden designed to nurture butterflies and bees.
Families with kids and folks of all ages can wade into the creek to explore and connect with nature, Harris said.
The project began several years ago when the ORA was designing the McClintock Trail and needed to widen the sidewalk area in front of five properties owned by three families along Route 8.
Instead of negotiating to purchase slivers of each lot along the roadway, the ORA worked with the owners to either donate the properties or sell the land. The timber and remaining foundations had no real value, and all five properties were in a designated flood plain.
“Memorial Landing is a great example of making a flood plain property useful,” said Phillips.
“The property can’t be used for much else, but it allows Oil Creek waters to flow up onto the site during high water, if needed, without damaging personal property,” Harris added.
This portion of the industrial corridor was designated a greyfield, not a brownfield, but the property owners did not want the area to be developed for commercial or industrial use.
The EADS Group, a construction consulting firm out of Clarion, handled the design and construction oversight of Memorial Landing, which has been useable since 2016.
There is still one more element to be added to the site as a kiosk that will include maps of the adjacent bike trail and historic images of the site is being designed and will be installed this summer.
The project was funded through the National Park Service, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, PNC, First Energy, PennDOT’s transportation alternative funding, and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Canoe Fund along with private donations.
The Landing is located at 575 N. Seneca St. next to Dollar General.
Masks and social distancing in accordance with current mandates will be required at the dedication ceremony.