Testimonials - What our Supporters Say About Us

Our supporters are behind everything we achieve. 

In the 2023 giving season, we want to hold up our people along with our accomplishments, and let them speak on why they think the work of Friends of the Riverfront is so important.

Tom Ross

How I use the trails
I enjoy biking on the trail & regularly use the water trail launch sites to remove litter from the Ohio River.
How I support Friends
I’m a Friends member, and also regularly volunteer and perform Trail Steward work.

I support Friends because I’m passionate about expanding and improving our bike trails and river access points and love our Trail Tuesday team!

Robin Woods, Founder of Women@Work Cycling Club

How I use the trails
Bike ride, walk, run – and snowshoe!

How I support Friends

Trail Ambassador, Friends Member, former board member, fundraiser, donor.

I support Friends of the Riverfront because of the awesome work that they do for the city of Pittsburgh and beyond. I have utilized just about every aspect of the trail over the last 15 years, so volunteering is my way of saying thank you. I hope to influence others in the biking community to do the same.

Emily Tremain

How I use the trails
I commute to work from Hazelwood to the North Shore (Hazelwood/Mon Wharf/Fort Duquesne/North Shore) and back, and occasionally ride into Oakland (Junction Hollow) for work as well. I also ride my bike to do so small-scale shopping trips at the Waterfront (Hot Metal Bridge to Waterfront).

How I support Friends

I signed up to be a Trail Ambassador this fall. I wear my Ambassador vest usually when I’m riding home from work and will restock map boxes, ask folks if they need help if they’re stopped by the side of the trail, and just be a friendly presence on the trail.

I commute to work via bike, so I take the trail almost daily! I love that I can get around to places without my car and stay safe from traffic! I’ve seen trail stewards hard at work while riding and wanted to help maintain the trails and advocate for their use and expansion. The trail system is a gem of Pittsburgh and I want to do my part to keep it active and growing.

Gary Scheimer

In order for you to understand why I support Friends of the Riverfront, you would have to understand my history with the trails.  I’m a lifelong Pittsburgher who had never been on a riverfront trail or even knew that they existed until after I retired in 2015 at the age of 61.  In my younger years, I had been an avid runner but Father Time had put an end to that passion as I journeyed through my 40’s. I had given my hips and knees a lifetime of pounding by then and they let me know that they were done with that sport.  The sedentary lifestyle that followed was accompanied by a significant weight gain that was unhealthy by anyone’s standards. 

When I retired, I began looking for an activity that I would look forward to doing and that would help me regain my health.


While I don’t see any way that I can pay back those that came before me in the creating and maintaining The Three Rivers Heritage Trail, “Friends of the Riverfront” is giving me a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward for those that come after me.  

I had seen bicycle rental kiosks on my trips downtown, on the North Shore and throughout the Southside and at the urging of a friend, I decided to try bicycling.  It was something that I had not done in 40 years.  My first ride started at 27th Street in the Southside and I bicycled along the riverfront trail all the way to Sandcastle Waterpark and back (approx. 6 miles).  For an experienced rider, that would have been a good warm up but I was proud of myself for completing it.  It was incredibly beautiful, serene and most of all, fun!  In my ensuing rides, I found that it was so pretty and so peaceful that it was hard for me to believe that I was in Pittsburgh and not on vacation!  How did I not know about these treasures that were literally in my own backyard!

My trips to the trails became the highlight of my days.  On days when the weather wasn’t conducive to riding, I would walk the trails which actually gave me a better chance to explore all that they had to offer.  As I continued to utilize the trails, my health improved, the weight came off and I found that the tranquility of the trails gave me a much needed mental health break from the problems of the world. 
When I used the trails, I found it hard to do anything but live in the moment and enjoy my surroundings. I also began to wonder who in the world developed and maintained these miles and miles of paved trails along the rivers through some of the most beautiful scenery in Western Pennsylvania.  Whoever it was, I owed them big time!

During my trail visits, I came across some signs for some Friends of the Riverfront events posted along the trails. I looked them up and
my questions about who I owed my debt of gratitude were answered. I started my involvement with Friends of the Riverfront by being a financial supporter but I found myself wanting to be more involved.  It seemed that I had conflicts and could not attend several of their organized events but then I saw in an email that they were starting a new program called Trail Ambassadors and they were looking for volunteers.

I signed up and attended an orientation and training meeting.  They explained three ways that Trail Ambassadors could contribute.  One way was being a Riding Ambassador which consisted of wearing a green “Friends of the Riverfront Ambassador” vest and ride a segment of the trail looking for and reporting possible safety hazards, stocking maps of the trails in map boxes posted along the trails, offering assistance to anyone who appeared to need it, and being a presence who reinforced that the trails were a safe place for all to enjoy.  The second Trail Ambassador activity is to volunteer at events to promote the organization.  Often times, a “Friends of the Riverfront” tent will be set up at a community activity or special ride along the trail and we explain what Friends of the Riverfront does, answer questions, allow interested people to sign up for email or to express an interest in volunteering.  We offer trail maps, treats and set up games to help make the event more festive for the public.  The final way that Trail Ambassadors can contribute is to hold a “Trail-gating” session at predesignated locations along the trail.  The Trail Ambassador will set up a table with a yard style sign identifying them and greet riders and walkers who are using the trail and offer maps, answer questions, gather feedback about user’s experiences on the trails.  Users are also offered the opportunity to sign up for emails and or volunteer possibilities.      

I have been a Riding Ambassador and an Events Volunteer on several occasions.  Both have offered me the opportunity to meet many wonderful people and pass on what the trails can offer and how “Friends of the Riverfront” contributes to that experience.  I look forward to adding Trail-gaiting to my activities next year and I’ve heard that an exciting new component of leading group rides on the trails is in development. 

Although it is not part of the Trail Ambassador program, I also plan to add “Friends of the Riverfront Trail Tuesdays” to my activities. This is where groups of volunteers address graffiti, litter, and brush/vine overgrowth to keep the trails beautiful and safe.

While I don’t see any way that I can pay back those that came before me in the creating and maintaining The Three Rivers Heritage Trail, “Friends of the Riverfront” is giving me a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward for those that come after me.  


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