In reading Don Hopey’s Jan. 29 article “Report Says Pa. Parks, Forests Need $1B in Work,” I was struck by the immense financial need facing our shared outdoor spaces. This funding shortfall is true not only for our state, but also locally within Pittsburgh’s city parks.
Together, the City of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in 2018 quantified the funding gap facing our city’s 165 public parks and recreation sites. The findings are significant: Elevating parks and park assets to a high standard of quality, fulfilling existing community and neighborhood park plans, and following recommendations in the Regional Parks Master Plans amounts to a $400 million capital backlog of needs across all of Pittsburgh’s parks.
Armed with this knowledge, city and parks conservancy leaders launched a Parks Listening Tour. Right now, we are gathering feedback from residents at public meetings and events throughout Pittsburgh to help inform a transparent and equitable investment strategy for parks citywide. Visit pittsburghparks.org/listening-tour to learn about the Parks Listening Tour.
Through this initiative, we hope to ensure that parks meet the needs of our diverse communities now and for generations to come. Our green spaces — whether state- or city-owned — are invaluable assets, and they’re worth the investment.
The writer is the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.