Natrona offers families a full slate of fun for the summer
By Julie Martin
Published: Sunday, May 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
It's the best summer ever in Natrona, say those in the Harrison neighborhood, and dedicated residents want to share the community's good fortune with people of all ages.
Members of the neighborhood revitalization group Natrona Comes Together Association are hosting a number of events and activities that they hope will not only create summertime fun for those in the small river town, but also will welcome others from in and around the Alle-Kiski Valley.
Among the activities for kids are sports camps and educational programming. For grown-ups, a summer concert series will again take place at the neighborhood's park.
In addition, a canoe and kayak launch not far from the Brackenridge-Natrona border will be accessible by midsummer.
The events are the fruits of the Natrona Comes Together Association. Since it began nine years ago, the group has successfully worked to reduce crime, clean up the community and offer activities for children.
“We've been planting the seeds of a lot of wonderful projects that we hope will evolve into something really special,” says Bill Godfrey, association president.
From basketball to birds, programs in Natrona for kids this summer offer something educational and entertaining catering to everyone's interests.
The Natrona group decided to focus on three areas that bring education and entertainment together. With the help of several grants, they are providing an action-packed summer for youngsters.
“We saw a desperate need in this community to have fun, educational activities for children,” says Pat Walters, association secretary.
Arts, sports and literacy have been the main focus of Natrona's children's programming, which has been offered through for several years. It is entirely volunteer-run and — before receiving grants — operated on a shoestring budget.
The children's activities kicked off May 11 with a sports camp offered through Fun and Freedom Youth Sports.
Open to everyone from 5-year-olds to teens, the camp includes flag football, basketball and whiffle ball, just to name a few of the sports involved. It runs through Sept. 14 at Natrona's park.
“It's about using sports to positively impact youth,” says Patty Babinsack, a Natrona Comes Together volunteer.
Other events starting soon are programs from the Pittsburgh Zoo, the National Aviary, the Backyard Petting Zoo and Carnegie Science Center. The programs are free and open to the public.
Summer activities also include a trip to the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Heritage Museum in Tarentum and a summer reading program.
Concerts to canoes
The stage is also set in Natrona for a mix of summer concerts.
Evening performances will be at the neighborhood's park, which, upon renovation, has quickly become the center of Natrona activity.
The series kicks off June 8 with Brazilian drum group Timbeleza. The following week, local blues artist Miss Freddye will perform. July will see a doo-wop trio and in August, Natrona will host a country rock outfit and a salsa and rock band.
Bringing variety to the stage was one of Natrona Comes Together's aims.
“We were trying to find enough different groups with a diversity of music so we can sort of touch a lot of people, (the series) goes from country to blues to oldies — the whole music industry — and we're bringing little bits and pieces to Natrona,” Godfrey says.
The shows will run 90 minutes to two hours. Foods like nachos will be available for a few dollars. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to use on the park's green. Seating near the stage is also available. All concerts are free.
Taking to the water will be another opportunity for those in and around Natrona. Groundbreaking took place about a month ago, and construction of a kayak and canoe launch along the Allegheny River is under way.
For Godfrey, whether it's heading out on the water on a sunny summer day, relaxing and listening to music for a cool evening or heading out to the park for children's programming, everyone is welcome.
“We'd just like to share our good fortune with whoever wants to come down,” Godfrey says.
Julie Martin is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 5 vehicle crashes reported on wintry day in the Alle-Kiski Valley
- Motorists caught in Highland Park Bridge bottleneck
- Apollo Elks reopens after reaching agreement with national organization
- Highlands students eager to stuff a bus with Toys for Tots
- Tri-City Life Center creates gift wonderland for struggling families
- Spending increase benefits Frazer police
- Apollo Elks Lodge gets green light
- Highlands tax scofflaws’ names to be posted online
- Suspected burglar awaits extradition from Ohio
- A-K Valley motorists encounter fewer traffic headaches as cold weather arrives, projects completed
- Buffalo Twp. resident Julie Margo channels ‘life force energy’ into Reiki treatments