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Emerald View Park will receive National Park Service assistance

Mount Washington’s Emerald View Park, which occupies 257 contiguous acres of land on Pittsburgh’s highest mountain, garnered some major support last week when the National Park Service deemed it eligible for its Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program.

“This is a great opportunity for the park to get more recognition for the kind of efforts we’ve been putting into it,” says Ilyssa Manspeizer, director of park development and conservation for the Mt. Washington Community Development Corporation.

The MWCDC, Manspeizer said, will utilize the NPS’s help in conducting a park use survey, finding continuing funding for park development and engaging the community in an ongoing conversation about how to best finance the park, among other things.

“We’ll be able to call on the assistance of some of their specialists,” Manspeizer says.

Emerald View Park links existing parks on Mt. Washington with degraded community green spaces and hillsides to form one of the region’s largest urban parks. The most recently refurbished piece, the Saddle Trail Head off of Sycamore Street, debuted to the public in September —a small but crucial connecting piece in the park’s extensive and growing series of commuter trails.

“We’re looking at several possibilities for next year,” Manspeizer says. “One is a connection from the Sycamore piece to the McArdle roadway, so it would be great for safe, commuter pedestrian access.”

Emerald View Park’s partnership with the NPS will last through September of next year, at which point it will be free to re-apply for further assistance if needed.

Writer: Matthew Wein
Source: Ilyssa Manzpeizer
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