A Match for the Community

August 30, 2010 by Parks Conservancy Staff

For our first ten years, the Parks Conservancy focused our work exclusively on the four regional parks of Pittsburgh--Frick, Highland, Riverview, and Schenley. But when Mayor Luke Ravenstahl asked us to broaden our reach to the rest of Pittsburgh's parks system as time and resources permitted, we were thrilled with the opportunity to spend time in some of the 170+ other beautiful parks in the city. With one project complete in Shadyside's Mellon Park and another set to begin in downtown's Mellon Square, we now have several exciting projects in the works in both the Hill District and Beltzhoover. And the best part?

Now through October 1, every gift to these projects is matched 100% by Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funds.

Thanks to support from State Representative Jake Wheatley, the Parks Conservancy was awarded $500,000 in state funding for work in Beltzhoover's McKinley Park and the Hill District's Cliffside Park. But in order to access these funds, we must raise half of the required match--$250,000--by October 1. To do that, we need your help.

You can donate through our website at www.pittsburghparks.org/donate. Just choose either Cliffside Park or McKinley Park from the Designation menu and your gift will automatically be matched 100%. It's that simple!

More information about these parks is below. To see photo galleries of the parks, click here.

Cliffside Park
Cliffside ParkThis playground on Cliff Street features a striking view of the Allegheny River and the Strip District that has been compromised by lack of maintenance. Restoring the play space as well as the surrounding area will take advantage of the location's potential and reintegrate it into the rich outdoor life of the neighborhood. Cliffside Park is envisioned as a community gathering space that encourages young children's physical and social development and strengthens their connection to nature.

The project in Cliffside Park will also continue an already-ongoing effort to add vegetation to surrounding streets like Cliff St., Monaca Place, and Bedford Avenue, reinforcing the park's connection to the wooded areas of the Hill. A new entrance wall would incorporate lighting and plantings. Views both into the park and from its vantage point would be improved through removal of debris and invasive species, selective pruning, installation of properly sized slope plantings, and refurbishment of fencing.

McKinley Park
McKinley ParkThis 63-acre community park spanning the Beltzhoover neighborhood offers recreational fields, a skate park, and a system of wooded trails. Historic stone entryways that once welcomed visitors to McKinley Park are deteriorating, and residents from surrounding neighborhoods are seeking to re-establish connections throughout the park. A pilot project is expected to restore one of the stone entryways, including the stairs, surrounding landscaping, and a nearby trail segment.

We're excited to work with the City of Pittsburgh, Representative Wheatley, and City Council members Bruce Kraus, Daniel Lavelle, and Natalia Rudiak to bring much-needed funds to these vital community parks. Make your gift today and take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to double your contribution at www.pittsburghparks.org/donate.

Neighborhood and Community Parks, August Wilson Park