Volunteers sought for visitors' center along Westmoreland Heritage Trail in Murrysville
Sue Miller is so familiar with Murrysville's park system, it only made sense for her to volunteer at the new visitors' center on the Turtle Creek branch of the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
“I'm in Murrysville almost every day, and I'm still seeing new things,” said Miller, a Plum resident. “I saw my first baby killdeer (bird) the other day. It was very cute.”
Miller will staff the center, at the Murrysville trailhead along Route 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the last Sunday of every month between May and September. She will be equipped with a slew of informational boards, interactive exhibits and photos of local animals that can be found throughout Murrysville's parks.
Miller began exploring the municipality's parkland when she was attending college.
“I ran cross country and track for Pitt, and I used to hike the steep hills in Duff Park for training,” she said. “It just sort of kept going from there.”
For Murrysville Parks and Recreation Director Carly Greene, Miller is a godsend.
“We are interested in any volunteers,” Greene said. “I've even just asked people to serve as greeters, the way they do at Walmart.”
Greene is hoping to compile a list of volunteers who will staff the center at various times throughout the week to greet trail visitors, answer questions and provide information as needed.
“We want volunteers who can talk about the community and the trail, provide phone numbers and pass out our brochures, which talk about the different hiking and biking opportunities in the area,” she said. “We want it to be an information-sharing center.”
Miller plans to bring a table she will set up with her materials. Later this summer, she plans to bring live caterpillars and butterflies, which she has begun raising in her home garden.
“I just want to share all the beautiful and interesting things I've discovered here,” she said.
Greene said she welcomes individuals and groups seeking to volunteer at the visitors' center.
“If there are Scout or Brownie troops, or any other community group, looking to get the word out about their own efforts, they are more than welcome to do that,” she said. “We can work out arrangements with folks if they have ideas.”
Greene said the parks department will provide information and contacts which volunteers can provide for visitors, and will meet with anyone interested to get them familiar with the center and its amenities.
“They can sit out front, enjoy the breeze and meet with people,” Greene said. “We just don't want to have a closed building down there.”