Brentwood residents, officials strive for clean, improved Hollow
A muddy trail weaves through the trees and above the creek bed.
Families walk along the path or go off into the woods for a hiking adventure as motor bikes zip past on an afternoon joyride.
“I would like to dig a little clubhouse down here — an underground one,” Alex Kirkpatrick, 8, told his mother as he gathered with family and strangers in the wooded haven on Saturday.
“Maybe we could put a zip line in the trees,” said Michelle Kirkpatrick, 41.
Nestled in the heart of suburban Brentwood, is the Hollow — connecting Brentwood Avenue and Wanley Road — a trail that local officials say has potential but likely is underutilized. They're hoping to fix that, by sprucing up the area — and the rest of the borough — with a cleanup effort to eliminate dumping.
“We're looking for this to be a nice place for people to go for a walk, ride their bikes, have a picnic — be able to enjoy the outdoors,” said Councilman Bob Pasquantonio, who is leading the charge to make improvements in the Hollow.
First, comes the cleanup. Second, will be plans to make upgrades like adding mile markers, benches and turning the main course into a multimodal trail, Mayor Dennis Troy said.
A walking trail committee was formed earlier this year with the mayor and council members Stephanie Fox, Pasquantonio and Dean Trent, with the goal of making improvements to the Hollow.
A cleanup — the second of its kind — was held in the Hollow on Saturday.
The Kirkpatricks, who live on Shadyway Drive, organized a cleanup in the fall where 25 people attended and about one ton of waste was collected. On Saturday, nearly 50 people attended the cleanup, where 50 piles of trash were collected.
Hub and Alex Kirkpatrick were headed to Brentwood Park when they discovered the Hollow. They love to explore, they said, so they kept walking.
“Right away, I started noticing the trash. He started noticing it, too,” said Hub Kirkpatrick, 44.
The family of three, which home schools, began regular trips to the Hollow, with several grocery bags in hand. Each time, they left with four or five bags full of trash.
So, last fall, they sought the help of their neighbors, which include Pasquantonio. They got a donation of vests and gloves from Allegheny Cleanways and organized their own cleanup. This year, Great Allegheny Cleanup of Pennsylvania donated items for their effort.
Each time they go back to the Hollow, more trash appears. It seems like old garbage is surfacing, they said.
Yet, if people would stop dumping, it would help alleviate the problem, Hub Kirkpatrick said.
That's the same message Pasquantonio is trying to share. He asked council members on Monday if they could reach out to youth in Brentwood's schools to teach them about the wrongs of littering.
Council members also plan to vote next week to apply for a grant to make improvements to the Hollow. That would include adding a parking area, officials said.
“We're a walking community. This is another way to further that by providing people a way to get from here to there,” Troy said. “I think it's a fantastic idea. This is country life in the urban south Pittsburgh suburbs. It's such a great resource.”
Alex Kirkpatrick enjoys playing video games, but he also likes to wander around outside, his mother said.
“There's just that balance. That's the nicest thing about where we live. We can walk to the library or be in the woods all in just 10 minutes,” Michelle said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Software will screen visitors at West Jefferson Hills school buildings
- Officials to discuss work on Pleasant Hills’ Old Clairton Road
- Little library adds to learning experience at Pleasant Hills Arboretum
- Library Corner: E-resources can give students a head start
- Brentwood celebration kicks off Friday with street fair
- Brentwood Library receives grant to replace front doors