FirstEnergy donates to Big Bend paving project

Penn Soil RC&D Council announced Friday the receipt of a $2,000 donation from the FirstEnergy Foundation in support of a trail paving project at the Big Bend Recreation Area at the Kinzua Dam.

Wes Ramsey, executive director of Penn Soil RC&D; Ed Atwood, a member of the board of directors of Penn Soil; and Bill Massa, special projects coordinator of the Allegheny Outdoor Club (AOC), accepted the contribution from Linda Routzahn, external affairs manager for FirstEnergy.

“FirstEnergy Foundation is very pleased to support this worthwhile project that will make a trail to a wildlife viewing platform handicap accessible,” said Routzahn.

She also relayed comments from Dee Lowery, president of FirstEnergy Foundation, to Ramsey in a letter accompanying the check. “We are also very pleased to partner with Penn Soil RC&D in this collaboration as your initiatives align closely with FirstEnergy’s focus to support organizations in our service area that promote local and regional economic development, help improve the vitality of our communities, and support FirstEnergy employees community leadership and volunteer interests,” Lowery wrote.

Another partner in the project, the Community Foundation of Warren County (CFWC), also donated $2,000 to the project. Both FirstEnergy Foundation and CFWC and others contributed to the project to have the platform constructed four years ago. The viewing platform is located about a half-mile downstream from Kinzua Dam overlooking rapids in the Allegheny River, a popular fishing spot for American Bald Eagles.

FirstEnergy operates the pumped storage electrical generation facility at the Kinzua Dam. Penn Soil RC & D serves as financial agent for the AOC. Penn Soil RC & D and the AOC have partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the platform project. Penn Soil is a not-for-profit 501 (c) – 3 organization serving eight counties in northwestern Pennsylvania.