Western Pennsylvanians will soon have a new park with installed art to enjoy. And you can help give it a name.
Right now, however, it’s just a farm.
“It’s an incredibly scenic 96-acre farm with beautiful rolling topography,” says Betsy Aiken, executive director of the Westmoreland Land Trust, which acquired the property. “It has a high elevation relative to the properties around it. So the views of the farm are of the surrounding forest and even extend to the westernmost ridges of the Alleghenies, Chestnut Ridge, Laurel Ridge.”
The park will be formally known as the Carl A. Schwarz Memorial Park, but the Land Trust is looking for ideas for a one- or two-word “banner name” for the park — something a little catchier, hopefully. The public is invited to check out the current contenders and submit suggestions that ideally reference the property’s beauty, conservation value or local history.
The property is located on Beech Hills Road, near Old Route 66, only 3 miles from downtown Greensburg. It had been owned by the Roberta N. Schwarz Charitable Foundation. Many years ago, it was a dairy farm, but more recently the land has been used to grow corn and soybeans.
“So in the short term, we will continue with farm use — it’s leased to a farmer — and we will continue that on a year-by-year basis while we undertake planning for the land conservation and conversion into a nature and art park,” Aiken says.
The art park idea is still in its early stages.
“By incorporating works of outdoor art, it will make the park especially attractive to visitors and increase its value as a model of land conservation,” says Aiken. “It has yet to be fully determined, but preliminary thinking is that it will include significant works of outdoor sculpture … It is our hope to really complement the aesthetic qualities of the land with works of art.”
For the time being, the park will only be open to the public during visitor days, which will be announced on the Westmoreland Land Trust’s website and Facebook page.
“Our hope is to elicit quite a bit of community involvement — that the park will not only be a showcase for land conservation, but become an asset for surrounding communities,” says Aiken.