The county’s annual March for Parks event has surpassed the $1 million fundraising mark, as residents, businesses and organizations have come together since 2003 to raise money for improvements at places like the Westmoreland Heritage Trail, Mammoth Park and Cedar Creek Park.
The 17th annual March for Parks this past spring took in more than $94,000 thanks to the efforts of about 900 marchers, 54 teams and 60 community and business sponsors, according to county officials.
Members of the Murrysville Trail Alliance sponsored a pop-up used bike sale for the second year in a row, helping contribute to the roughly $30,000 raised to help fund the Westmoreland Heritage Trail.
The trail’s fourth phase officially opened Aug. 17, with a ribbon-cutting at the Export Ethnic Food & Music Festival. The third phase connected Trafford to Murrysville, opening in October 2017.
County parks and recreation Director Malcolm Sias said next year, the 2020 Murrysville march will aim to keep the focus on the trail by moving back to the Murrysville SportZone on School Road South.
“It actually puts us right next to our brand-new section of trail, so it gives us an opportunity to showcase the new phase,” Sias said. “Plus we can come right out of the building and hit the trail.”
There is only one phase remaining to complete a continuous 22-mile trail from Trafford to Saltsburg, a roughly 4-mile gap between Export and Delmont.
The final section poses the challenge of how to safely cross Route 66
Sias said he hopes March for Parks can continue to highlight the trail’s benefits and keep it on the public’s mind.
Moving the Murrysville walk to the SportZone, “will allow us to put the focus on the middle section connecting Export and Delmont,” he said.
The 2020 March for Parks will take place March 21.