Rice’s Landing Borough is a community of 450 residents situated along the Monongahela River in northeastern Greene County. The Borough cultivated support for the construction of boat docks from a diverse contingent of citizens, elected officials, nonprofit groups, and local businesses.
Rice’s Landing was designated as a primary landing site in the Monongahela River Conservation Plan, a 1997 partnership between the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and Mackin Engineering Company. This plan was contracted by the Steel Industry Heritage Corporation, which is part of the Pennsylvania Heritage Area Program. The Rivers Conservation Program, established by DCNR, contains a funding source for the implementation of management options in approved plans. The Greene County Board of Commissioners and the Greene County Department of Recreation supported the creation of a docking place at Rice’s Landing, since there were no public facilities within the county. The Upper Monongahela Water Trail group also expressed a sincere interest in establishing Rice’s Landing as a stopping point on the water trail, which encompasses all of the Monongahela River from Fairmont, West Virginia, to Pittsburgh.
Their proposal included the construction and installation of floating steel frame truss boat docks in the Monongahela River that abut the property acquired from the Army Corps of Engineers at the former Lock Six. The site has a large asphalt-paved area with a bandstand, storage shed, and restrooms. There also is a large picnic pavilion in the vicinity, all owned by the Borough. Because of monetary constraints, the Borough decided to phase the project. Phase I included docks to accommodate six boats along the existing lock wall, and was aided by a $19,000 grant from the Keystone Fund.
Since the completion of Phase I, a rising number of area residents and visitors expressed an interest in boating-related activities. The Borough secured a second DCNR Community Conservation Partnership Grant–awarded through the Keystone Fund–for further phases of the project. This final phase will include a partnership with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to expand the docks along the existing lock wall.
“This is just one of the many things we wish to accomplish in developing our riverfront park, which brings people into our community,” said Debbie Haring, secretary treasure administrator of the Borough.