As an outgrowth of the Mon Conference and working in McKeesport, Ann Rosenthal initiated the Community Trail Art Initiative through the Steel Valley Trail Council. The program combines place-based eco-literacy and art to invest trailside communities in the 150-mile Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). Its aim is to increase grassroots participation and stewardship of the 19-mile Steel Valley Trail section of the GAP, between Clairton and Pittsburgh. The CTAI seeks to encourage young people to develop a personal involvement in their trail. This will help them see the ecological, social, and economic benefits of the trail in their community. Over a period of four years, the artist worked within schools, after school programs and at community events and festivals, to produce colorful hand-painted banners for the Steel Valley Trail. Banner imagery was researched and designed by students and then painted onto recycled vinyl banners. The banners are mounted along the trails in the communities where they were produced.
Photo credit: Ann Rosenthal Envisioning McKeesport and “Community Trail Art Initiative.” Permission and images provided by the artist