Recapturing what's lost: Riverview and Highland Parks

October 27, 2010 by Melissa McMasters

Two more weekends, two more meetings: here's your last chance this fall to provide input on our Regional Parks Master Plan update.

Riverview Park
Saturday, October 30

Chapel Shelter

Riverview Park has a wide expanse of woodland and a maze of trails throughout most of its 287 acres. Then, in the park's center, there is a ridgetop where much of the recreational activity is centered. Between the Chapel Shelter and the Observatory, there is a swimming pool, an unused building called the Bear Pit, the popular Activities Building, and a space-themed playground. The ridgetop will be the main focus of the meeting's theme, "Discovering New Destinations." Our goal is to reinforce pedestrian connections, improve pedestrian safety, and enhance user amenities in this area.

In addition to thinking about improving access and activities in this area, we'll also look at the new soccer field on the north end of the park. We'll pass by the Centennial Pavilion and discuss potential ways for bringing this shelter back into wider use, as well as whether the area could be improved by the installation of meadows and other stormwater management techniques. We'll look at the area where the remnants of Watson's Cabin stand and discuss potential uses for that site as well.

Highland Park
Saturday, November 6

The original vision for Highland Park was of a seamless connection across the center of the park: a visitor would enter at the magnificent Entry Garden, walk up the steps to Reservoir No. 1, and then walk down another set of steps on the other end of the reservoir (where the present-day PWSA microfiltration plant and babbling brook are located). The visitor would then walk down another set of steps, reaching Lake Carnegie below. Then it would be just a short walk to a vantage point with a dramatic view of the Allegheny River and the Highland Park Bridge.

Lake Carnegie

While part of this progression is intact, it's likely that most people in recent years haven't used this path through the park, especially since a fenced-off maintenance yard sits between Lake Carnegie and the hillside view. And while the swimming pool and sand volleyball courts are always lively during the summertime, the once wildly popular Lake Carnegie generally hosts more geese than people on any given day.

The Highland Park master plan update meeting will address these and other issues through the theme "Reclaiming Lost Uses: Lake Carnegie and Beyond." We'll talk about how to restore some of these broken connections, as well as potential uses for other dormant park amenities. For example, how could the now-empty Reservoir No. 2 (which was closed due to EPA regulations that reservoirs be covered or the water be treated) be used once again? Is there an opportunity to turn vacant land on Negley Run Boulevard into parkland?

RSVP for one or both of these meetings here. We appreciate everyone who has provided input so far, and we look forward to hearing from more of you at the upcoming meetings!

Highland Park, Regional Parks Master Plan, Riverview Park