TribLive: ARP Earns Top Honor from State

Aspinwall Riverfront Park earns top honor from state

TAWNYA PANIZZI | Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 2:03 p.m.

Susan Crookston, Aspinwall Riverfront Park executive director, received a state award on April 23 for the park’s efforts in connecting people with nature.

Officials from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources last week presented the Green Park Award to Aspinwall Riverfront Park officials for their efforts to connect people to nature.

The park won for its commitment to water quality and environmental stewardship.

“I think we may be only the second park in the whole county to receive this, so it’s a really nice honor,” said Susan Crookston, park executive director.

The 10-acre park along the Allegheny River was transformed from a brownfield site. The theme of the park is water and how it shapes everyday life. Since its inception, wetlands have been built to capture run-off; rain gardens and porous asphalt were installed to handle stormwater. There is public access to the river where the bank was replanted to help with erosion. An abundance of native plants provide improved habitat and require low maintenance that is handled by garden clubs and volunteers.

At Aspinwall Riverfront Park, local schools use the park and amphitheater for outdoor classes. A $600,000 welcome center that opened last year also is used for classes and events.

Green Park Award applications are evaluated on site design, water conservation, natural landscaping and environmental stewardship.

Crookston and park board members received a plaque and a native tree to plant.