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Volunteers pitch in to cleanup Aspinwall riverfront site

| Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Curry Crookston continues work on Sunday cleaning out old brush and dead limbs at the Aspinwall Riverfront volunteer cleanup. A large crowd of young and old alike showed up Satuday to help cleanup.
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Karen Beck lends a hand during a cleanup at the Aspinwall Riverfront Park on Saturday.
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Grace Johnson helps out at the Aspinwall Riverfront Park on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
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A group of about 60 volunteers helped cleanup Aspinwall Riverfront Park on Saturday, April 13, 2013.
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Boy scouts previously helped spread mulch and pick up trash.

A cleanup day at the Aspinwall Riverfront Park helped move it one step closer to partially opening.

Volunteers worked on the western part of the site last weekend.

Susan Crookston, an Aspinwall resident who is leading development of the park, said that side was overgrown with weeds and vines.

“We were kind of freeing the trees so that we can get a sense of what trees and what plants are already there,” Crookston said.

As crews cut away the overgrowth, the park took on a new look, Crookston said.

“It was so fun to see the daffodils emerge from all these weeds,” Crookston said.

A house also has been removed from the site by volunteers from the Pittsburgh Job Corps. The site of the house will be the location for a children's play area.

Boy Scouts also helped spread mulch for trees that will assist with water runoff at the park.

“It's designed to soak up water from the park,” Crookston said.

New flowers also have been added, and furniture has been refurbished.

A spot where parties can be held also has a new look.

“The place where you can hold parties looks dramatically different. We completely renovated that,” Crookston said.

As work continues, Crookston said, the hope is that costs can be kept in check.

“We're going to do everything possible we can with volunteers,” Crookston said.

However, more donations will be needed to get the park open. The property still is closed to the public as development continues.

“If we want to get the park open by the end of the year, we need money too,” Crookston said.

Crookston is hoping money can be saved by getting donations of clean fill and top soil. She asks that anyone contact her first to make sure the material is right for the park.

Crookston hopes, with donations and the help of volunteers, the park can be open as soon as possible.

“We would like to build this in record time,” Crookston said.

For information about the park project, including contact information, see www.aspinwallriverfrontpark.org.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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