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Environmental nonprofit receives grant to plan restoration of Frick Park’s Fern Hollow Valley

A local environmental nonprofit is getting some help from the state to re-imagine the Fern Hollow Valley of Frick Park.Once the Fern Hollow Bridge is rebuilt, Upstream Pittsburgh will be looking at what improvements can be made to the area below the bridge, stretching about a mile between the bridge and Nine Mile Run.”I hope this planning effort will inform decisions about the future of Frick Park and the Fern Hollow effort and will lead to improvements that provide recreation and access for all of the residents in that area,” state Rep. Dan Frankel said. “It is absolutely critical that the public have input into the restoration of that area, and I applaud efforts to see that happen.”While the January collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge – now under construction – didn’t deter them, it did impact the park.“I’m pretty happy with Frick, but it can always get better,” said Dave Gault, who rides his bike in Frick Park. “It’s better than five years ago, definitely. Much better.”Mike Hiller is the executive director of Upstream Pittsburgh, an environmental organization responsible for restoration work done on Nine Mile Run, a creek about a mile from the bridge.Hiller took his vision for the park to state lawmakers.“Placemaking, trail improvements, art installations, educational installations, ways for people to really engage more with Fern Hollow Valley and have a better experience prior to the bridge collapsing,” Hiller said.On Tuesday, Upstream Pittsburgh was awarded a state grant of $120,000 to come up with a plan to restore the Fern Hollow Valley of Frick Park.“The bridge restoration and rebuild, it did indeed impact the park beneath it, so we thought that would enable us to come in and do a planning effort to see how we could restore the park underneath,” Hiller said.They’ll be asking avid parkgoers, like Marina DiMarco, for input.“I can recall sometimes when it’s been pretty wet and muddy down there, and I think some kind of management of water would be great,” DiMarco said.“What we would like to do is bring in all communities in the watershed to make sure it’s an equitable inclusive process,” Hiller said. Hopefully, Frick Park can be even more engaging and beautiful than it was before.” Hiller said Upstream Pittsburgh is also in talks with the Army Corps of Engineers to help do some technical assessments of the Fern Hollow Valley. The hope is to start developing this plan in early 2023 at the latest.

A local environmental nonprofit is getting some help from the state to re-imagine the Fern Hollow Valley of Frick Park.

Once the Fern Hollow Bridge is rebuilt, Upstream Pittsburgh will be looking at what improvements can be made to the area below the bridge, stretching about a mile between the bridge and Nine Mile Run.

“I hope this planning effort will inform decisions about the future of Frick Park and the Fern Hollow effort and will lead to improvements that provide recreation and access for all of the residents in that area,” state Rep. Dan Frankel said. “It is absolutely critical that the public have input into the restoration of that area, and I applaud efforts to see that happen.”

While the January collapse of the Fern Hollow Bridge – now under construction – didn’t deter them, it did impact the park.

“I’m pretty happy with Frick, but it can always get better,” said Dave Gault, who rides his bike in Frick Park. “It’s better than five years ago, definitely. Much better.”

Mike Hiller is the executive director of Upstream Pittsburgh, an environmental organization responsible for restoration work done on Nine Mile Run, a creek about a mile from the bridge.

Hiller took his vision for the park to state lawmakers.

“Placemaking, trail improvements, art installations, educational installations, ways for people to really engage more with Fern Hollow Valley and have a better experience prior to the bridge collapsing,” Hiller said.

On Tuesday, Upstream Pittsburgh was awarded a state grant of $120,000 to come up with a plan to restore the Fern Hollow Valley of Frick Park.

“The bridge restoration and rebuild, it did indeed impact the park beneath it, so we thought that would enable us to come in and do a planning effort to see how we could restore the park underneath,” Hiller said.

They’ll be asking avid parkgoers, like Marina DiMarco, for input.

“I can recall sometimes when it’s been pretty wet and muddy down there, and I think some kind of management of water would be great,” DiMarco said.

“What we would like to do is bring in all communities in the watershed to make sure it’s an equitable inclusive process,” Hiller said. Hopefully, Frick Park can be even more engaging and beautiful than it was before.”

Hiller said Upstream Pittsburgh is also in talks with the Army Corps of Engineers to help do some technical assessments of the Fern Hollow Valley. The hope is to start developing this plan in early 2023 at the latest.



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