- Grove City, Pennsylvania

July 3, 2013

In Bloom judges check out town

By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
Allied News

SLIPPERY ROCK — It will be a few months before Slippery Rock in Bloom members know how they fared in this year's America in Bloom contest, but it's not just about winning national recognition.

"It's more than a contest, and that's the most important part," said Dwight Lund, one of the judges, as he fellow judge Alex Pearl spoke of the organization's goals Monday afternoon during their tour of the Brewery Works run by North Country Brewing Co., Slippery Rock Township.

America in Bloom communities like Slippery Rock recognize resources and use them wisely and support cooperative efforts among municipalities, businesses and citizens to make the area more lively and welcoming, Pearl said.

Slippery Rock University is a great asset but not necessarily an advantage over other towns of similar sizes, he said.

"Their business happens to be awakening minds," he said.

Pearl and Lund didn't want to give too much away about their impressions of Slippery Rock, but Pearl said the Slippery Rock in Bloom committee was providing them with a good sampling of what the area has to offer to show how everyone is working together to benefit the community as a whole.

They asked Bob McCafferty, owner of Brewery Works, an extension of North Country that he's still setting up to produce his line of canned beer, about his recycling practices at the brewery and at the restaurant in downtown Slippery Rock.

"It's come a long way. The industry is a-changing," McCafferty said, adding he bought the tanks and some equipment used to keep recycling.

McCafferty is always helping out with various projects in the borough, said Slippery Rock Rotary President Regina Greenwald, after he mentioned how he'd like to install some wind turbines and solar panels for his restaurant and put a public playground in the lots he bought next door.

"It's really neat seeing how we partner together in this community. Everything has a rhythm," McCafferty said.

The judges arrived on Sunday and left this morning, and some of their other stops included a hike through Wolf Creek Narrows in Slippery Rock Township, residential yards, historical buildings and sites, Slippery Rock University, Jennings Environmental Education Center and Red Rock Falls.

The Rotary created Slippery Rock in Bloom in 2010 and the all-volunteer group works to beautify the area with projects that include pulling weeds, planting flowers and holding recycling drives. This is the group's second year participating in the contest and they will be competing against communities of similar size. They received a plaque in 2012 for historical preservation.

Published June 19, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.