Since its inception in 1991, Friends of the Riverfront has been a pioneering organization working to protect and restore the Pittsburgh region’s rivers and riverfronts after decades of legacy pollution. The Three Rivers Heritage Trail now encompasses over 25 miles of urban riverfront trails along both banks of the mighty Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers. Through broad and diverse collaborations, we continue the work of providing environmental restoration, economic vitality, and public health benefits to the Pittsburgh region through the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.
Friends of the Riverfront Board
Stacey Vernallis – Chair
Steve Ayer – Vice Chair, Interim Executive Director
Cathy Rogers – Treasurer
Michele Fetting – Secretary
Marla Meyer Papernick
Courtney Mahronich, director of trail development, implements the trail vision outlined in the 2015-2018 Friends of the Riverfront Strategic Plan, which includes extending the Three Rivers Heritage Trail along the Allegheny River corridor. Courtney works with public and private property owners, as well as partnering organizations to make sure the trial building process moves forward smoothly. Her duties include community outreach working with Allegheny County and municipalities along the Allegheny River. Courtney earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and her Master’s degree in Environmental Science at Point Park University
Jeff McCauley, stewardship director, oversees the environmental stewardship and restoration of the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. He is an ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) certified arborist. Jeff holds a Masters degree in environmental science and management from Duquesne University’s Center for Environmental Research and Education and has his undergraduate degree in environmental science from Bridgewater College in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Jeff spent a year in the Maryland Conservation Corps AmeriCorps program where he worked on invasion species, forest restoration and park management.
Rachel King, stewardship coordinator, schedules and provides on-site coordination for maintenance events on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Prior to joining Friends of the Riverfront, Rachel was a PULSE (Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience) fellow at Tree Pittsburgh where she assisted and coordinated volunteer events and helped manage Tree Tender volunteers. Rachel earned her Bachelor’s degree in biology at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.