The Merry, Merry Month of May

MAY News & Updates
The earth laughs in flowers. ---- Ralph Waldo Emerson 
Corrie Parrish on Grand Canyon hike
Corrie Parrish hikes the Grand Canyon
Three Cheers for our Marathon Runners

It's always good to challenge yourself, but not everyone goes to the extremes that Corrie Parrish does, who is running the Pittsburgh Marathon on Team Awesome to benefit the Allegheny County Parks Foundation.
She decided to set one BIG physical challenge for herself each year to honor those who have physical limitations.  "I'm lucky enough to have two working legs and be healthy enough to use them," she said.

In 2014, she biked from Pittsburgh to Maryland on the Great Allegheny Passage, camping along the way. She made the journey in four days. Last year she backpacked in the Grand Canyon. She also added a new wrinkle her challenge by turning it into a charity fundraiser. Last year she picked the Special Olympics through their "Over the Edge" campaign, in which she fund-raised over $600 to rappel down a 16 story building.  Although she's afraid of heights, she accepted the dare and threw herself off the building - wearing a harness, of course. "It was totally awesome! I actually got the guts to look down."

This year, she decided to run a full marathon. "I'm 26-ish and a marathon is 26-ish miles," she said, laughing. She designated the Allegheny County Parks Foundation as her charity, committing to raise $500. Corrie loves the outdoors, working as an Americorps Naturalist Assistant for Dayton's Five Rivers Metro Parks, so she has "insider" knowledge of the cost of maintaining and improving public parks. 
"People think that the parks and trails are free but they aren't. There's maintenance costs, repair costs.  The North Park Loop has a very special place in my heart; my parents live in McCandless and anytime I need some nature time when I visit, I go to North Park," she said.
Corrie said this is her first - and probably last - marathon! "My goal is just to finish. I'm doing it for the fitness - and just to say I did it!"

This is the first year the ACParks Foundation has organized a team for the Pittsburgh Marathon, which includes walkers and runners ranging in age from 26 to 69! It fits with our mission and goals on two counts: promotes wellness by exercising in the great outdoors and raises funds to carry out major improvements.  Funds raised will benefit the North Park Lake Trail, one of the most popular sites of all nine county parks. The Foundation is raising money to widen the paved trail around the North Park Lake Trail to make it safer for the increased numbers of walkers, runners, bikers and cars that regularly travel the road. Corrie is one of two full marathon runners benefiting the Parks Foundation this year and we can't thank her - and all the others - enough!!!  

Living in Dayton, Corrie said it's been challenging raising money for North Park because her Ohio friends don't use it. She makes the case that even if you don't use the Loop, you're enjoying a trail or a park somewhere and they all need help! If you'd like to support this energetic young woman by contributing to her Pittsburgh Marathon charity fund, click here:

Hat's off to all our runners: 
Barbara Brewton
Joslyne Cook
Amy Holmgren
Stephanie McCullough
Chad Shinsky
Zachary Wicks
Aaron Conway
Caren Glotfelty
Amy Malatak
Corrie Parrish
Alicia Wicks
If you'd like to donate to any of other other runners, click here: 
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy staffers position a sweetgum in Boyce Park 
A Tree Grows in Boyce
Actually, LOTS of trees are growing in Boyce

Trees are popping up all over Boyce Park this summer. Two plantings are scheduled for the spring and more in the fall. The Allegheny County Parks Foundation is hoping to install 100 trees in 2016 to improve the ecology of this popular year-round park in Monroeville and Plum. 

A variety of species are being planted including  hybrid elm, swamp white oak, eastern white pine, white spruce, American sweetgum, American beech and hardy rubbertree. 

The Parks Foundation is grateful for the generous support on this project from Allegheny County Parks, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, PNC Foundation and TreeVitalize. 
Take Yourself Out to The Ball Game
$10 Wins 4 Tickets! 

See the Buccos battle the league-leading Chicago Cubs for just $10!!!
All raffle proceeds benefit Love The Loop, our project to improve the North Park Lake Trail. 
When: July 10 at 1:35 p.m.
Where: Section 308, Row J, Seats 17, 18, 19, 20
Drawing: May 11. Buy chances by May 9.
To purchase: 724-327-7627 or email:
Boyce Park Ecological Assessment

The Allegheny County Parks Foundation is initiating a number of projects this summer to improve the ecology and sustainability of Boyce Park, a 1,000-acre year-round park in Monroeville and Plum. It's one of our most popular destinations, with 70,000 people visiting the ski slopes and wave pool alone in a year. 

In 2015, the Parks Foundation concluded it was time to check on the heath of the park's ecology and partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy to conduct an assessment. The report is available for download below. 

"The good news with this assessment is that we now have a first-class road map for preserving this valuable natural asset to our region. As we get started implementing these recommendations, we are taking a crucial first step to sustain Boyce Park for many generations to come," said Caren Glotfelty, executive director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation.

A demonstration meadow will be installed on a six-acre tract known as Indian Hill, which is one of the highest elevations in Allegheny County. There is a high ecological value in planting meadows with native grasses and wild flowers and reducing the need for as much mowing. Meadows provide year-long food resources and shelter for small mammals and birds, while wildflowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies and beneficial insects. The Parks Foundation, with the assistance of the County Parks Department, plans to begin the site preparation on this test meadow in 2016, with plans to seed it next spring.

As additional funding becomes available, further improvements include installing interpretive signs to inform and educate the public, planting restoration trees in forest areas affected by invasive species, disease and pests, developing a trail management plan and managing storm water runoff. Deer fencing will also be installed once areas are identified that require protection following the spring bloom period. Where applicable, gates will also be installed so hikers can still gain access to these areas, but prevent browsing deer from denuding the landscape. 

The Parks Foundation is again teaming with the Conservancy for an assessment of South Park, which is now underway, thanks to the continued support of PNC Foundation, which has provided funding for the report and implementing improvements. 
Our Board of Directors
James Mitnick, Chair
Richard (Rick) Rose, Treasurer
Thomas W. Armstrong
Bill Bates
G. Reynolds Clark
Pat Getty
Laura Karet
John Mascaro, Jr.
Todd Owens 

Ellen Still Brooks,  Vice-Chair
Sally McCrady,  Secretary
Chester R. Babst, III
Carol R. Brown
Karen Wolk Feinstein
Jonathan Kersting
Nancy Knauss
Daniel A. Onorato
John Surma
Ex Officio:
Rich Fitzgerald, John DeFazio, William McKain, Andy Baechle, Stephen Shanley, Caren Glotfelty

Allegheny County Parks Foundation | 724.327.7627 | |