Parks Conservancy Hosts Summer-long All-ages Park Programming In Hill District’s August Wilson Park

Jun 29, 2017 2:00:00 PM by Scott Roller

The Elsie and Henry Hillman Summer Program at August Wilson Park ages 4 through older adults programs Kick off Celebration Saturday, July 8

Pittsburgh, PA (June 29, 2017) – The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy announces the inaugural all-ages summer fun program series at the Hill District’s August Wilson Park, kicking off with a Saturday, July 8 public celebration.  The 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. event will offer a sampling of the outdoor-themed programming, food, animal encounters, games, and fun for all ages.

The Elsie and Henry Hillman Summer Program at August Wilson Park includes programming and volunteer events that will run through the summer and into early fall.  Park Fun at your August Wilson Park is a series of seasonally appropriate, nature themed activities and sessions designed to spark creativity, engagement and interaction in August Wilson Park. In partnership with community members and key organizations located in the Hill district, a series of youth programs, older adult programs and community cleanups and picnics have will bring the neighborhood together at the recently opened August Wilson Park.

Formerly Cliffside Park, August Wilson Park underwent a major reimagining by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh, making the park’s winding central path accessible to all, installing multi-age playgrounds, art by Charles “Teeny” Harris and park namesake August Wilson, picnic gathering areas, and a basketball half-court. The new park was renamed after the Hill District’s famed playwright, and reopened in August 2016.

Program participants in in the summer youth sessions for children aged 4 – 9 and their adult(s) will enjoy educator-led activities that will focus on using books to spark imagination and increase literacyHands-on nature based explorations have been created to inspire young minds to be the next generation of Park stewards, scientists, or artists. Participants in older adult programs will have the opportunity to both socialize and flex creative muscle by gathering once a week for open air, guided art projectsCommunity clean-up days will provide opportunities for families to learn, laugh and commune with one another in the park, and will be coupled with plant giveaways, educational opportunities and food. Future fall and spring afterschool youth sessions be added later this year, and will provide more opportunities for outdoor enrichment.

Summer programming for kids age 4 – 9 and their adult(s) will take place 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. every Monday through Wednesday from July 10 through August 16.  Weekly themes include Gardens (week of July 10), Birds(week of July 17), Insects (week of July 24), Water (week of July 31), Clouds (week of August 7), and Science(week of August 14). Gardening week will focus on the life cycles of plants, and will include seed planting and creation of a mini take-home greenhouse. Birds week will find kids and their adults exploring nests and making binoculars. Activities for Insect week will include making insect catchers, while Water week will trace the path of water to plants and ground, as well as exploration of what lives in water. Clouds week will include making rain clouds in a jar, while Science week will feature the creation of slimes, goo, and crazy nature concoctions.  Groups are welcome, and those planning on bringing more than five children are asked to give call the Parks Conservancy staff at the Frick Environmental Center (412-586-4576) 24 hours in advance so preparations can be made for all who wish to attend.

Art in the Park for Older Adults will allow attendees to create in the park with guided art projects based around nature themes.  Led by longtime Hill District resident Leeretta Payne, the program will meet every Thursday, July 14 – August 17 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., and will offer older adults the opportunity for learning and creating in nature while taking advantage of August Wilson Park’s incredible views of the Allegheny River.

Volunteer park clean-up sweeps for all ages and families will give park lovers the opportunity for fellowship and fun while helping take care of their park, and will take place on a multitude of Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the summer and early fall. Dates for volunteer sweeps are Saturday July 15, 9 - 11a.m.; Tuesday July 25, 6 – 8 p.m.; Tuesday August 22, 6 – 8 p.m.; Tuesday September 26, 6 – 8 p.m.; and Saturday October 21, 9 - 11a.m. All evening volunteer events will include a brief and fun educational presentation, plant giveaways, and a picnic in the park.

The power behind the programs is the education team from the Frick Environmental Center, a project of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy.  The Conservancy’s Director of Education Camila Rivera-Tinsley is enthused about connecting those from the Hill District and beyond with their August Wilson Park. Rivera-Tinsley and her education team hold environmental equity as a guiding tenet, and work to bring the benefits of nature to everyone in our region. “Learning and having fun in nature go hand in hand, and The Elsie and Henry Hillman Summer Program at August Wilson Park is the perfect way to offer this unique experience to all ages of park lovers in Pittsburgh’s Hill District,” said Rivera-Tinsley. “Parks are for everyone, and we’re excited to have fun, learn, and create in August Wilson Park. August Wilson himself would be happy to see the community come together in his namesake park.”

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For interviews, additional information and high resolution images, contact Scott Roller, Senior Manager Communications and Creative, at sroller@pittsburghparks.org or 412-682-7275 ex 220, or 412-725-0023 (cell). After Monday, July 3rd, please contact Jenn Dailey at jdailey@pittsburghparks.org or 412-683-7275 ex 234.

About Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy:

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was founded in December1996 by a group of citizens concerned with the deteriorating conditions of Pittsburgh's historic city parks.  A nonprofit organization, the Parks Conservancy works closely with the City of Pittsburgh under an official public-private partnership agreement to restore and improve the city’s park system to its full potential. Originally including Highland, Schenley, Frick, Riverview, and Emerald View Parks, the scope of the Park Conservancy’s work now includes a focus on community parks including Allegheny Commons, Arsenal Park, August Wilson Park, McKinley Park, and Mellon Park. To date, the Parks Conservancy has raised $100 million toward park improvements. The Parks Conservancy works with thousands of volunteers annually, has completed 17 major park improvement projects, and is active in 22 regional, neighborhood, and community parks.

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