WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — A historic African American-owned park in Westmoreland County is struggling this year.

The coronavirus pandemic has meant that Fairview Park in Delmont cannot hold its major fundraising events. It is now having a hard time coming up with the money needed to maintain the more than 50-acre park.

Fairview Park was established in 1945 when African Americans had no other park to go to as segregation kept them out of other parks.

This year, they’re celebrating some major anniversaries, but the coronavirus has canceled fundraising events and put them in a money crunch.

“This would have been the 20th anniversary of the Old Fashioned Picnic. This year, actually, is the 75th anniversary of the park,” said Anita Jackson-Lowe, president of Fairview Park.

They also had to cancel their big gala back in May, and they are unable to make money this season by renting out the park.

“Proceeds from both events were to be used for what we need,” said Jackson-Lowe. “As you can see out here, there is a lot of grass to be cut. We anticipated purchasing a new commercial tractor.”

For now, volunteers with hand mowers are cutting the grass. But they need a lot of other maintenance work. They’re hoping for the generosity of donors.

“Fairview Park is the oldest African American-owned park in Pennsylvania, actually east of the Mississippi. We have a national historic designation,” said Jackson-Lowe.

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