Updated: Jul 2, 2021
Originally published on February 1, 2021
For several years, the corner lot at the intersection of Wilson St. and Grant Ave. sat vacant and abandoned. However, when the Borough of Etna came into recent ownership of the property, we teamed up to transform the site into a beautiful, green parklet for all in our community to enjoy. The redevelopment process started with a public meeting in February 2020 and provided neighbors with an opportunity to share ideas about how the site could best serve the community.
Slowly but surely, the Etna EcoPark started to come to life. To date, we have raised funds through grants, fundraisers, donated professional services, and in-kind donations to build 90% of the parklet. The COVID-19 pandemic did put a temporary pause to the project as we pivoted to provide food distribution and small-business support. Over the last quarter of 2020, we refocused our efforts on this key project and sought to bring light to a dark year. Positive progress was first made by Etna Borough Public Works as they removed asphalt from the rear of the site and brought in compost to start soil remediation. To aid in stormwater management, a 900 square foot rain garden with 250 square foot drainage swale (1/3 of the total site) was installed by Eisler Landscapes along Wilson St to the edge of Grant St. Utilizing the Borough's ACHD Air Quality grant, four large trees were planted with the assistance of Tree Pittsburgh and community members. And just before temperatures dropped, volunteers came together to construct a shadow box fence and rain garden barrier to enhance and protect the site. Once fundraising goals have been met, the additional site improvements will be: an accessible pathway that utilizes permeable pavers; two benches and a picnic table; park and educational signage; a raised herb garden, and a free little pantry.
We are starting to plan for additional volunteer construction and planting days for March - June 2021. If you are interested in being contacted about future EcoPark Workdays, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on the contact list. All COVID-19 requirements will be in place during these events.