by Karen Fetter
A saying proudly displayed on t-shirts worn by residents of Lower Burrell is, This is one great city. That alone should attract attention to this town with a population less than 12,000 people and a -6% population growth. According to Lower Burrell Mayor Donald Kinosz, the reason he loves his town is because of the high quality of life that its residents enjoy. With its beautiful scenery, low cost of living, easy access to downtown Pittsburgh, services, and excellent schools, there is no reason to dispute it. Lower Burrell is a gem of Westmoreland County that needs to be explored. It has a wide variety of crafts, shopping, and over 20 restaurants from home-style to fast food that will make your day enjoyable. Take a few moments and read why Lower Burrell is one great city.
Lower Burrell Parks
The park system includes five major parks:
- Veterans Central Park located on Bethel Street and Schreiber Street
- Burrell Lake Park located on the corner of Watters Road and Delberta Road
- Braeview Firemans Park located on the corner of Braeview Street and Glenmore Drive
- Kinloch Firemans Park located on the corner of Broadway Avenue and Greensburg Road
- Wolf Pack Park located on the corner of Wild Life Lodge Road and Garvers Ferry Road
Wolf Pack Park is the newest park in Lower Burrell. Funding was recently received for the park to receive a new soccer field, baseball field, a play area for children, and a new bridge for walking. This park also received recreation equipment from the Lower Burrell Rotary Club. Another popular park is Burrell Lake Park. It is used for parties and large functions where pavilions can be rented and a large indoor hall can be rented. For further information on any of the parks, contact City Hall at 724-335-9875.
The history of Lower Burrell begins in 1852 when Judge Jeremiah Murry Burrell responded to a petition from citizens of Allegheny Township. The petition requested that another township be formed within Allegheny Township. After much consideration, Burrell Township was formed and named in honor of the Judge. This new township had
- Allegheny Township on the Eastern Boundary
- Washington Township on the Southern Boundary
- Franklin Township on the Southwest Boundary
- Puckety Creek on the Western Boundary
- The Allegheny River became the Northern Boundary
Yet citizens still felt that the land needed a more efficient government and requested that the land be divided into two parts. This petition was requested in 1878. Judge James A. Logan granted the request and divided the area into Upper Burrell and Lower Burrell Townships on January 18, 1879. The area remained a township until 1959 when it became a Third Class City. The Official Charter was signed by Governor George M. Leader on January 12, 1959. Today, the City of Lower Burrell is still one of the youngest Third Class Cities in the State of Pennsylvania.
Lower Burrell has many aspects that make it one great city. These aspects include a fantastic park system, a wide array of educational opportunities, and community and senior citizens involvement.
Lower Burrell has a variety of education programs in the area. In addition to the public school system from kindergarten through twelfth grade, there are several continuing education facilities such as Penn State New Kensington, Newport Business Institute, and the Oakbridge Academy of Arts.
Penn State New Kensington
The Penn State New Kensington Branch Campus is one of many of the campuses offered by Pennsylvania State University. While the campus is located in New Kensington, it has major effects on Lower Burrell because of its close proximity. The campus, founded in 1958 on 35 acres of land, is comprised of 10 buildings including a theatre, art gallery, computer center, and an information and technology center. The campus offers students the benefit of a large university, a small town feel, and the option of being close to a major city. Learn more at www.nk.psu.edu.
Newport Business Institute
Founded in 1895, Newport Business Institute helps train students to a specific industry. The campus is located at 945 Greensburg Road in Lower Burrell. To find out more about the program, visit the website at www.nbi.edu or contact the school at 1-800-752-7695.
Oakbridge Academy of Arts
The Oakbridge Academy of Arts is an art and photography school that specializes in visual arts. The curricula works with students one on one for a concentrated study of art and photography. The campus is located on 1250 Greensburg Road. For more information visit the website at www.oaa.edu.
Peoples Library – Burrell Branch
Peoples Library is a wonderful resource for reference and research. It has been a part of the community since 1927. The library offers books, audio and visual material, a copy machine, cd rom, childrens programs, in memorandum and celebration items, interlibrary loan services, internet access, computer classes, job and career information, reference materials, current magazines and newspapers, and a local history collection. There are two convenient locations; one in downtown New Kensington at Ninth and Barnes Streets and one in Lower Burrell across from Hillcrest Shopping Center. The system allows members to check out books from either library and to return them to either library. For more information on hours visit their website at www.peopleslink.org.
The Lower Burrell Rotary Club is a very active organization in the community. It supports charitable organizations, senior citizens, the parks, and also the Burrelton Garden Club. Lower Burrell is proud of its community service and of the people that give of their time.
The Lower Burrell Lions Club works on several community projects, including lining Main Street with American flags for every legal holiday. The Lions Club also organizes a yearly Halloween Parade through town. And one way in which they helped with safety within the community was through funds that they supplied to the SWAT team for a protection shield.
Strongland Chamber of Commerce
The StrongLand Chamber of Commerce was created by the two counties it serves, ArmStrong and WestmoreLand. The Chamber was formed in 1985 as a collaborative effort of the Lower Burrell, Leechburg, Vandergrift, and Apollo Chambers of Commerce. The StrongLand Chamber of Commerce takes a regional approach to marketing the area and promotion of its individual business members.
Burrelton Garden Club
Lower Burrell is always decorated so beautifully with flowers during the summer months thanks to the Burrelton Garden Club. Burrelton Garden Club works on city beautification by creating the flower triangles for the highway and for the public facilities. This group of dedicated workers takes great pride in the work that they do and it shows in the presentation.
Lower Burrell Historical Society
Currently Lower Burrell is in the process of forming a Historical Society. Hopes to gather individuals and organize Lower Burrells history are goals of Mayor Kinosz. If you are interested in becoming a part of this endeavor, please contact Mayor Kinosz at City Hall at 724-335-9875.
Lower Burrell takes great pride in caring for its senior citizens. Nearly 24% of the residents are senior citizens and according to Mayor Kinosz, they are a priority. As a result, there are several functions and places available for the older generation. In fact, Lower Burrell Police Department received the 2003 Governors Award for Local Government Excellence for its initiative to help senior citizens with Alzheimers disease. The program began in 2002 where the city identified anyone who had the disease and then trained its officers to be made aware of these individuals. Then if these those who suffer from the disease became lost or disoriented in town, the police would be aware of who they were, who their caretakers are, and where they live. Family members of Alzheimer’s residents are able to complete a short form along with a photograph, which assists police officers in returning family members to their home. This type of community service has spread nationwide. Mayor Kinosz, Chief Lindo, and Officer Weitzel accepted the award on behalf of the Lower Burrell Police Department in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
There are several events that residents of Lower Burrell look forward to each year. These events are the Recycling Day, Parades, and Christmas in Lower Burrell. For more information on any of the events listed, please contact City Hall at 724-335-9875, or Visit: www.cityoflowerburrell.com
Bi-annual Recycling Day
One large event that is held twice a year is Recycling Day. It is held at City Hall in April and October. This is an opportunity for people to recycle items such as televisions, appliances, tires, air conditioners, etc. This event is successful because it benefits the residents and also the environment.
Memorial Day and Veterans Day Parades
Each year Lower Burrell honors its veterans by paying tribute with a parade through town for Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The community is very supportive of its veterans and enjoys celebrating their efforts during these holidays.
Christmas in Lower Burrell
The first Friday night of December all the churches in the area open their doors and put on public performances for the Christmas season. This takes place throughout the evening and people are welcomed to walk through and experience any or all the Christmas festivities.
Westmoreland County has so much to offer, especially in Lower Burrell. Visit this one great city and maybe you will want to stay!
Visit the Lower Burrell Website.