For several years, the corner lot at the intersection of Wilson St. and Grant Ave. sat vacant and abandoned. However, when the Borough of Etna came into recent ownership of the property, we teamed up to transform the site into a beautiful, green parklet for all in our community to enjoy. To date, we have raised funds through grants, fundraisers, donated professional services, and in-kind donations to build 90% of the parklet. Over the last quarter of 2020, Etna Borough Public Works removed asphalt from the rear of the site and brought in compost to start soil remediation. To aid in storm water management, a 900 square foot rain garden with 250 square foot drainage swale (1/3 of the total site) was installed. We were also able to plant four large trees with the assistance of Tree Pittsburgh and community members. And just before temperatures dropped, volunteers came together to construct a shadow box fence and rain garden barrier to enhance and protect the site. Once fundraising goals have been met, the additional site improvements will be: a accessible pathway that utilizes permeable pavers; two benches and a picnic table; park and educational signage; a raised herb garden and a free little pantry.
Concurrent with the development of the park, ECO and Etna Borough have been working closely with Etna resident and artist Lindsay Huff on the creation of two kinetic sculptures that will reside in the center of the rain garden. Two aluminum frames that recall the shape of a leaf will hold smaller enameled plates, each with the ability to independently rotate and interact with wind and light. These sculptures are nearing completion and will be installed in the early spring.
The Etna EcoPark will be open to the public mid-summer 2021