The Aspinwall Riverfront Park Project is an organized, grassroots campaign to acquire the Aspinwall Marina property and develop it into a public riverfront park, and a critical link in the trail system.
We raised over $2.3 million and purchased the property in early October.
The Aspinwall Marina is a truly rare piece of property that has the potential to be a community treasure and a key link the trail system. The 8-acre lot is flat. Mature trees line its borders and shield the property from the railroad tracks and nearby scrap yard. The view across the water is a hillside forest. Aspinwall Borough is working with Friends of the Riverfront to acquire the property and turn it into a community park.
Our plans for the site have the potential to be a model of ecologically friendly design. Our concept features trails, a small commercial development which includes a working marina and restaurant, and two retention ponds to soak up the excess storm water.
After many long months of work, the property was purchased. Here are some unique aspects of the acquisition:
- The opportunity to purchase riverfront property between Pittsburgh and New Kensington is extremely rare. In the past 10 years, we’re aware of only four tracts of land that were sold.
- This property will give the public access to the river. While there are several public boat ramps and Sycamore Island , there is little easily accessible public space along the river between Millvale and Tarentum.
- This property is within three miles of more than 22,000 local residents, and 1,800 local employees.
- This property will be a critical link in the trail system.
Board of Directors
Davitt Woodwell, President
Chip Burke, Vice President
Trish Klatt, Secretary
Ed Seifert, advisor
Susan Crookston, Allegheny Development Partners
Currie Crookston, Allegheny Development Partners
Environmental Planning and Design
Aspinwall Riverfront Park has the most amazing group of volunteers around. More than 2,500 individuals contributed to purchase the property, and over $14,000 was raised by children through things like lemonade stands and lawn mowing. In our first phase of the project, volunteers held 18 fundraising events — from small private parties to the high end gala that was rated the #1 Party of the Year by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, to a Pet Parade that welcomed dogs, cats, parakeets and more to the Mom Prom where women donned their old dresses for the cause. Groups rallied to help, from the Fox Chapel Garden Club’s internet campaign which contributed a whopping $27,000 to the Fox Chapel District Association’s follies ($70,000), the Pittsburgh Optimists North Ducky Race ($5,000) and Aspinwall Neighborhood Watch’s flea market and National Night Out ($5,000). Individuals sold a wide variety of things including coveted parking spaces, doll house raffle tickets,
scented geraniums and kerchiefs for dogs. Some kids even sold their toys for the cause. The foundation community took note of all of our efforts and contributed very generously as a result.
Since purchasing the Aspinwall Marina, our focus has not been on fundraising, but volunteers have been deeply involved in helping us move forward. Hundreds volunteers have removed over 50,000 pounds of waste from the property, helped renovate the buildings, planted hundreds of flowers and thousands of bulbs, held a fantastic gala event which raised more than $70,000 and lent their professional talents. Garden Clubs continued to be a big source of support, with Squaw Run Garden Club holding its “Lots of Pots” fundraiser for our benefit, to the Hilltop Garden Club contributing generously. Here are some pictures of our volunteers in action.