A two-acre addition to Allegheny RiverTrail Park (ARP) in Aspinwall is a coveted gift to the community, park founder Susan Crookston said.
“For now and for generations to come,” she said.
The site, just off Freeport Road, was awarded a $367,000 state grant last week to help with the purchase.
The money was made available through the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by way of its Community Conservation Partnerships Program.
The program supports projects to purchase, develop and upgrade public parks, recreation areas and trails.
Grants were awarded to more than 300 projects across the state. Another Allegheny County group, Friends of the Riverfront, earned $26,000 to prepare a management plan for the Three Rivers Water Trail.
Crookston said ARP has grown six acres since last year — a feat, considering the minimal amount of shoreline property available.
The new parcel sits along the Allegheny River and includes an easement that allows for the construction of a multi-use trail to link to 13th Street in Sharpsburg.
It also includes a key portion of land that abuts the Brilliant Line, a vacated four-mile rail line from Sharpsburg across the Allegheny River to Pittsburgh’s East End that is being eyed for public recreation.
Funding for earlier ARP expansion included a $1 million grant from the Colcom Foundation and a $750,000 grant from the DCNR.
Crookston said she is “incredibly grateful” for continued investment in park expansion and for the many people who helped make it possible.
The park at 285 River Road recently marked its 10th anniversary. It draws people from across the region for its free public access to the Allegheny River, a fishing dock, playground, dog park and garden-lined walking trail.
Open from sunrise to sunset daily, the park hosts concerts and more than 400 yearly programs.