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Progress noticeable at Aspinwall Riverfront Park

Submitted - The wetland area at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>The wetland area at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.
Tom McGee | The Herald - A model garden.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Tom McGee | The Herald</em></div>A model garden.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 7:18 p.m.

Work on an amphitheater, plans for the installation of a large piece of artwork for children to play on and a new subject for fundraising are some signs of progress at Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

Construction at the park began last year.

So far, the area known as “west park,” which will be the more natural portion of the park, has been the subject of most of the work.

Among the work in progress are model gardens to show off the vision organizers have for the park, said Susan Crookston, who has led efforts to develop the park.

Also, crews are working to build an amphitheater.

Crookston said the area could be used for people to enjoy lunch, outdoor classes or small concerts.

“It's really a good sound area,” Crookston said.

Also in the works is a wetland area that will help limit storm-water runoff into the Allegheny River.

“It won't be like a pond in that it'll be the same height all the time,” Crookston said.

Design elements such as river rocks are being used throughout the park to give the site an identity.

“It makes it more cohesive,” Crookston said.

The east part of the park will be the home of a structure created by artist Tom Otterness that children will be able to play on. Funding from the The Grable Foundation will help pay for the project.

There is no timeline to install the structure, Crookston said.

The park's annual fundraiser, River Rocks, is set for 7 p.m. May 23 at the Fox Chapel Golf Club, 426 Fox Chapel Road.

Crookston said the money raised by the event will be used to cover the costs related to creating river access.

While work continues, the park is not open to the public. Crookston said crews need to be able to work without interruption.

“One of the best ways that people can support the park is to not trespass,” Crookston said.

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

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