South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

First ever Wild Art, Wild Trails Festival coming to Mt. Washington


August 11, 2009

The Mount Washington Community Development Corporation will host the first ever Wild Art, Wild Trails Festival on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, from 1-4 p.m., at Mount Washington Park, 548 Norton St.

The festival will kick off in the morning, 9 a.m. to noon, with a clean-up of an illegal dumpsite in Mount Washington Park. During the festival, local artists and designers will transform dumpsite items into works of art as spectators look on.

Additional recreational activities for all ages will be a central part of the afternoon, with a climbing wall, ultimate Frisbee, and boxing activities. A Health Trail Walk—marked by signs containing tips for healthful living and disease prevention—will be installed along the wooded trails. Area youth from the Ream Recreation Center have been at the core of creating this festival.

Working with the Community Trail Art Initiative of the Steel Valley Trail Council, they designed a Beginner's Quest (Treasure Hunt) complete with a map and prizes, and painted colorful banners depicting the plants, animals, and history of Mount Washington. The Quest will be one of the festival's features, and the banners will be prominently displayed during the event. Healthy alternatives to standard barbeque fare and refreshments will be available.

The 101 year old Mount Washington Park is an anchor park of Mount Washington's larger park system, the Grand View Scenic Byway Park (GVSBP) — the newest of Pittsburgh's major parks. It offers an urban wilderness experience with 235 acres, combining lush green woodlands, trails, playgrounds, playing fields, and majestic views from all sides.

The u-shaped Park wraps around Mount Washington's green peninsula as it rises over downtown Pittsburgh, providing a crucial tool for economic development, improved recreational opportunities, and steep hillside protection. The Wild Art, Wild Trails festival brings visibility to this recreational and environmental asset for both local residents and the region.

The festival also seeks to make a connection between environmental and human health. Art and other creative approaches will be used to facilitate the festival's goals.

The Wild Art, Wild Trails festival offers an opportunity for Pittsburghers to explore their local recreational parks and trails while contributing to the greening of Mount Washington. The public can reach the park by automobile or bus. Admission to the festival is free.

For those interested in helping with the cleanup portion of the event, register with Rebekah Keating at or 412-481-3220 x 200. For more information on the Wild Art, Wild Trails festival, contact Ilyssa Manspeizer, park manager for the MWCDC at, 412-481-3220 x204.


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