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Aspinwall National Night Out event draws crowd

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Maya Tuttle | Submitted
Aspinwall Neighborhood Watch hosted National NIght Out at the Ben Killian Ball Fields. The crowd got to see the K-9 unit, fire demonstration, helicopter, ambulance and much more.

After another successful National Night Out, the Aspinwall Neighborhood Watch has its sights set on the next wave of improvements to a local playground.

The group has been raising money to improve the playground near Fifth Street and Field Avenue for the last several years through events such as National Night Out.

This year's event raised nearly $5,000 and brought about 500 people to the Ben Killian Ball Fields, Lorraine Marks, president of the neighborhood watch, said.

“We were very happy with that,” Marks said.

Marks cited LifeFlight and Musico's K-9 Academy as two new additions to this year's event that were a hit with visitors.

The group completed phase one of improvements to the park earlier this year. That work included equipment for younger children.

The next round of work will include the replacement of a play structure that includes slides and a tower for children between the ages of 5 and 12.

“That structure is rusty and in need of replacement just from the age of it,” Marks said. “It doesn't look great and we want to replace it with something new and exciting.”

The group is hoping donors will step up to help with those costs.

Marks said it could cost about $80,000 for the structure. The group has about $20,000 so far for that project.

The group also is waiting for a grant the borough is seeking for a ramp for people with disabilities. Once funding for that comes through, the group can begin work in the second part of the playground.

“That ramp will lead the way to the higher play area, which is where we took a lot of the pieces out and recycled them in the lower space,” Marks said.

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

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