Community Profile: Sharpsburg Borough
Known as the birthplace of the HJ Heinz Company, the Borough of Sharpsburg is situated along the Allegheny River and is home to just over 3,400 residents, with a thriving main street that has seen a resurgence of community development activity in recent years. The Borough is also home to the Sharpsburg Neighborhood Organization (SNO), an association of residents and community stakeholders who founded the organization for the purpose of strengthening and engaging the civic community of Sharpsburg. Since 2014, SNO, which currently operates under a fiscal sponsorship agreement with the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group and now boasts dozens of active volunteers, works to improve property conditions, walkability, and storm water management in the borough, with the broader vision of increasing the sense of community and overall civic engagement.
Local residents are looking forward to a streetscape redesign of Sharpsburg’s main street business district that will create a more pedestrian friendly, attractive shopping area that benefit residents and business owners. After the community approves the design and the Borough secures funding for the build-out of the new streetscape, it may include new street lampposts, bike infrastructure, and attractive landscaping. Brittany Reno, Sharpsburg Councilwoman and Executive Director of SNO, explained that throughout the multi-stage process, that the Borough is prioritizing involvement and buy-in for the design and ultimately the vision of the town.
Other current initiatives in the Borough include a Community Vision Plan, created by SNO, with funding from a $75,000 grant from the Hillman Foundation for the implementation of residents' top priority projects and programs.
Reno shared, "The strengthening sense of community here in Sharpsburg has been fun to experience over the past few years. As more and more residents are volunteering on different community projects, neighbors are developing closer relationships with one another. People here really care about each other, and they really care about the future of this town."
Earlier this month, Sharpsburg Borough swore in two new junior council members, both of which are Sharpsburg residents and high school students at Fox Chapel Area School District. The program allows the Junior Council Members to bring ideas and concerns to council from the perspective of younger citizens.