parks

City Parks Fell Short in Funding Until Voters Said OK to New Tax

When City of Pittsburgh residents voted to raise their property taxes to support public parks earlier this month, they chipped away at a major obstacle to the city park system being rated as one of the best in urban America. Voters in November approved a referendum for a .5-mill property tax increase for capital improvements …

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The Allegheny County Parks Foundation Hosts Third Annual Twilight Picnic

The Allegheny County Parks Foundation treated the sell-out crowd of 430 guests at its third annual Twilight Picnic for the Parks on Saturday, August 24 to a stunning celebration of the region’s nine parks, one of the largest public parks systems in the country. Event planner Nancy Byrnes designed an authentic picnic atmosphere on the …

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The Price of Nature’s Beauty

Second in a three-part series: Even modest exploration of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests reveals their gifts: hidden waterfalls that appear along hiking trails, imposing rock formations bolted with anchors for climbing, lakes created by dams for swimming and boating on warm summer days, and rivers and streams stocked with fish for the catching. Some …

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Finding the Green for Green Spaces

Gathering Place in Tulsa, Okla. was named the best new attraction in America last year by USA Today. It’s a sprawling $465 million park with lakes, gardens, wetlands and an extravagant playground. Essentially, it’s a public park, built and maintained with private dollars, and in that regard, it’s an exception as urban public parks go. …

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Allegheny County Parks Celebrate 90th Anniversary

More than 200 guests celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Allegheny County Parks January 10 at an evening reception at the Heinz History Center. “90 Years of Allegheny County Parks: Celebrating their Legacy, Imagining their Future” brought acclaimed landscape architect Thomas Woltz to Pittsburgh to envision the next era for our nine county parks. Woltz, …

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Spring Hat Luncheon Welcomes 600 to Schenley Park

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy raised $530,000 during its annual Spring Hat Luncheon on May 6, welcoming more than 600 guests to Schenley Park. A rainy week made it impossible to keep the ground dry under the tented area on the overlook, which resulted in the appearance of more than one pair of rain boots. “This …

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Among the Trees

As Meg Cheever said, “The best park in Pittsburgh is the one you are in.” She founded the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy in 1996 at a time when Pittsburgh was a long way from claiming victory in stemming the tide of decline that still clung to the city. With a band of determined supporters, she stepped …

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A Natural Playground

It’s a sunny summer Sunday afternoon and everybody’s out there. Pittsburghers in pairs and groups and alone, walking or running or being pushed along in strollers, with or without dogs of every size and breed—they lace the trails from Homewood Cemetery to Duck Hollow. An Ultimate Frisbee game electrifies the Fern Hollow playing field, while …

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Parks for the Future

When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County’s parks were special places to me. I learned to ski at Boyce Park, and my family had fall picnics at Hartwood Acres. As an adult, I’ve explored them in different ways—mountain biking, rollerblading and going to concerts. And since November, when I became executive director of …

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Full Circle for the Square

At noontime on a summer’s friday, Mellon Square—the green public space that lashes together so many of Downtown Pittsburgh’s office buildings, hotels, and businesses—is bustling. Ties loosen, heels are exchanged for sneakers and brown bags and sidewalk-stand hot dogs come out as office workers begin the brisk business of a respite from the cubicle by …

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Greening the Region

The G-20 Summit provides southwestern Pennsylvania with an unprecedented opportunity to share its compelling story with the world. Ours is the tale of a region dramatically transformed by foresight and innovation, which have led to a remarkable economic and environmental revival. After the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s, our region worked hard …

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