By: Ashley Martin, Trip Leader Specialist
Moses Carper was known by many as the “Cowboy of Riverview Park” but he was so much more. His signature cowboy hat, boots and chaps were unforgettable, but his passion to better his community and the people around him is what made him a legend. He was a selfless, caring, and passionate person who truly cared about bettering the lives of those around him. Moses was the founder of the nonprofit known as Children Youth (ChiYou) Corral in the Northside. ChiYou Corral provides inner-city kids with opportunities to experience a more rural lifestyle and encourages stewardship through equestrian activities. He also maintained and cared for the Riverview Park horses while working hard to give inner-city kids the opportunity to connect with nature by interacting with a variety of animals.
Moses was also one of the founding members of Friends of Riverview Park where he worked as an eco-steward who brought community youth to Riverview Park to plant and maintain flowerbeds through the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Some of his work outside of the park included working with prison inmates to help them adjust to life outside of prison. He helped provide social services for incarcerated men at Western Penitentiary through Criminal Justice Volunteers while also working with incarcerated parents through the Parent Renewal Enhancement Project which focused on family reunification. City officials paid tribute to Moses by refurbishing a park bench in his honor near the visitor center along with renaming a trail where he used to graze horses involved in his equestrian and nature programs. He was also a board member at Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS) where he supervised the operations and activities of the school.
Moses Carper put his heart and soul into the children, the community, and Riverview Park. So Dennis Henderson, the Deputy CEO of MACS, thought it was a perfect fit to take students on a geocaching course in his honor on the Moses Carper Trail. On Wednesday, November 15, 2017 MACS and Venture Outdoors came together to embark on a geocaching course in honor of Moses Carper’s life focusing on all of the amazing things he did to better our community. We were accompanied by two of Riverview Park’s Rangers, Nancy and Malayasia, along with Moses’s daughter Yindy Carper, his grandson Darian, and his granddaughter.
We started the outing with Yindy, Billy, and his granddaughter introducing themselves to the students and telling us a little bit about Moses. We then broke the students up into six groups and started geocaching! Every point on the course had a different fact about Moses where the students had to fill in the blank with the correct response to move onto the next point. Once time was up, we all met back at the beginning of the trail to talk about what we learned about Moses and his achievements. The kids were all so excited to talk about what they learned and how much fun they had finding each fact.
We talked about the importance of being involved in your community and how passionate Moses was about teaching children how to connect with nature. Yindy then told the kids how much her father would have loved this experience and how proud he would have been of all of them. The students asked if they could do the course again some time because they had so much fun on the trail. It was an amazing experience for both the students and adults involved.
Moses Carper passed away on December 1, 2012 at the age of 81. He will forever be remembered as a selfless person who was passionate about bettering the lives of younger generations and generations to come. Moses was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award on June 6, 2013 by City Council for all of his hard work and dedication to the community. His story is one of extraordinary things, and his legend will live on.