Etna Riverfront Trail and Park nears completion
Updated: Sep 17, 2021
If you haven't ventured down to the Etna Riverfront Trail & Park as of late, you will be amazed by what you see: one of the region's most beautiful riverfront places - almost complete!
We caught up with Borough Manager, Mary Ellen Ramage, at the brand new park to check out all of the unique features that have been installed to date. Mary Ellen took us on a tour of the park and highlighted some of the cool and innovative features:
“We'll have so much to offer people. We’re going to have a little amphitheater so we can have concerts on the stage. People will be able to sit along the river and listen to some music. We have a bike station for bike parking and repairs. Bikers will be able to put air in their tires when they’re riding along the trail. We have several rain gardens at the park. Stormwater management is something that we take very seriously so that’s been built into the project. There is also some really cool signage that tells the history of this piece of property and its industrial roots as well as the transportation in the region, both on the river and through the railroad. It also talks about the different types of industry that were here. It helps you to appreciate how amazing it is to stand here today and reconnect with the riverfront in a natural way because this area was always used for industry in the past. The riverfront wasn’t prioritized as a recreation asset back then.”
In addition to bike and stormwater infrastructure, there will also be solar panels added to the picnic pavilion at the south end of the park, further demonstrating Etna’s commitment to green infrastructure. Mary Ellen also highlighted the forthcoming signage:
“One of the best parts is the educational signage that will talk about the natural elements here, specifically what kinds of birds are native to this area that we hope will come back after their habitat is restored.”
Beyond providing a space for Etna residents to connect to their riverfront once again, the park will also serve as an important stop on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the Allegheny River, which currently ends in Millvale. One day soon, it will connect to Etna and beyond.
“A lot of people are avid bikers, and I think that only increased during the pandemic when people realized the value of getting outside. The park and trail will benefit the community from an economic standpoint as well. Bikers will be able to get off the trail here and go into the business district. We’ve already seen an influx of businesses in Etna in the past year, and I think the forthcoming trail is one of the reasons why. We’re currently working on a pedestrian and bike path that will help people navigate all the way from Shaler Township, through Etna, and to the park. They will be able to experience what this riverfront was like hundreds of years ago.”
Mary Ellen advises everyone to be on the lookout for the announcement regarding the opening celebration; it could be any day now!