Emerald View Park will receive support from National Park Service
Emerald View Park has been selected to receive assistance from the National Park Service (NPS) Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program to assist with identifying best practices for steep hillside trails, fund-finding, developing a trail use survey strategy, community involvement and consensus for a signage plan.
Emerald View Park is one of 11 projects accepted in Pennsylvania. The NPS helps communities design trails and parks, conserve and improve access to rivers, protect special places, and create recreational opportunities through locally lead partnerships.
The Mount Washington Community Development Corporation (MWCDC), working in conjunction with the City of Pittsburgh, has been successfully leading this community-based project to establish Emerald View Park as Pittsburgh’s newest regional park. The park links existing parks with severely degraded green spaces in the community and surrounding hillsides to create a contiguous 257 acres of parkland.
“Mount Washington’s parks have tremendous potential, but tremendous challenges as well – most notably some steep hillside trails,” Congressman Mike Doyle said. “That’s why National Park Service assistance will be a big help in establishing Emerald View Park, restoring the community’s existing parks, and linking them with each other and with the other trail networks in the region.”
In a neighborhood that is already visited by more than 1 million visitors a year, MWCDC is working with its Park & Conservation Committee to restore the habitat on land that was once mined and inhabited and to expand trail mileage from 10 miles of disconnected trails to a 20 mile trail system connecting with all of the neighboring regional trails, including the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
MWCDC aims to develop a national reputation as a model of sustainable steep hillside development. In 2013, two new miles of trail were built by the Emerald Trail Corps. Over the next year, the National Park Service – Rivers & Trails Program will assist with community involvement to conduct a trail use survey and create a consensus-based signage plan.
“Emerald View [Park] has some of the best views of Pittsburgh and the surrounding neighborhoods in Mount Washington, and this designation will allow more people to enjoy the beauty of the Steel City, and its surrounding nature, trails and rivers,” said Senator Bob Casey.
In the last 20 years, the NPS has assisted thousands of communities – from rural Alaska to downtown New York City – with more than 5,000 projects. These community partnerships have helped conserve more than 1,000 miles of river corridor, develop nearly 1,800 miles of trail, and protect more than 50,000 acres of park land, wildlife habitat, and natural areas every year.
Since 2007 the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation has built and rehabilitated eight miles of trails, removed 250,000 pounds of garbage from illegal dumpsites in the park, planted more than 6,000 trees, and added 25 acres to Emerald View Park.
For more information on the NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, visit http://www.nps.gov/rtca, join the conversation at http://www.facebook.com/RTCANPS, or watch a video about their work in communities at http://www.nps.gov/orgs/rtca/multimedia.