Home » East Palestine City Park revitalization plan passes major milestone

East Palestine City Park revitalization plan passes major milestone

Last Updated on June 20, 2023 at 10:12am

Norfolk Southern to fund more than $25 million in upgrades and improvements


ATLANTA, June 20, 2023 – Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) announced Tuesday that plans for revitalizing East Palestine City Park reached a major milestone after earning approval by the East Palestine City Council. Norfolk Southern will now move forward developing a full master plan for the community’s park located in the heart of the village.


Total improvements — funded entirely by Norfolk Southern — are expected to cost upwards of $25 million. The donation to East Palestine City Park brings Norfolk Southern’s total financial commitment to the community of East Palestine to approximately $62 million, with more to come.


Major elements of the proposed park improvements include:

  • A new aquatic center and pool house
  • Three new modern playgrounds
  • Upgraded baseball fields
  • New basketball courts and tennis courts
  • Improvements to the brick pavilion
  • A new amphitheater with an electrified stage
  • Enhanced parking lots and improved traffic flow
  • General upgrades to facilities and walkways


Last night’s approval marks an important step in fulfilling a promise made by Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw to make improvements to the city park. The company has enlisted the expertise of Pittsburgh-based architecture firm Michael Baker International to spearhead the park’s transformation. 


“This is a long process and it’s going to take a lot to get cleaned up, but after what we saw tonight, I believe this village is going to be better than it was before the derailment,” East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway said. “It seems like Norfolk Southern is trying to make it right and I just ask for everyone’s patience through this process.”


The park improvements, along with the recently announced donation of the historic train depot, are key pillars of Norfolk Southern’s plan to invest in the community’s future.


“Through multiple visits, I have seen firsthand the love and pride the community has for the park and we are honored to support meaningful improvements,” said Shaw.

As part of the collaboration with Michael Baker International, Norfolk Southern’s Chief Engineer David Becker worked alongside architects to develop some of the more technical aspects of the master plan. After the design phase is complete, Michael Baker International will manage the construction project bidding and award all contracts to local, qualified Ohio-based businesses.


The park has served as a social hub for the village and is used for community gatherings, sporting events, fireworks and more. Designed to preserve the park’s history and natural beauty, the proposed plan includes essential upgrades and aesthetic improvements and will be completed over several phases.


As a next step, detailed designs and a timeline for construction will be completed. Each proposed component will go before the City Council for approval before construction can begin. The master plan touches nearly every aspect of the park from the community pool and baseball fields to the parking and walkways.


For more information on Norfolk Southern’s community engagement and progress in East Palestine, please visit: NSMakingItRight.com.


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About Norfolk Southern


Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and is the largest rail shipper of auto products and metals in North America. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S., serving a majority of the country’s population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting www.NorfolkSouthern.com.


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